Florida has a robust startup community, but data suggests the strength of Florida’s entrepreneurial activity has a long way to go to match the funding received by states like California, New York and Massachusetts – where nearly 80 percent of venture capital goes.
However, a recent visit by Steve Case, chairman and CEO of D.C.-based venture firm Revolution and co-founder of AOL, may be just what the doctor ordered.
“When we look at the funding landscape and see the same people, places and ideas getting funded, it should give us pause,” explained Mark Rucci, community manager for Revolution’s $150-million Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.
Rucci is part of a team that believes democratizing access to capital for entrepreneurs is vital for a healthy economy. As a community manager, he supports over 120 companies in which Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund has an investment. He also works with policymakers, investors, ecosystem builders, and corporations to foster innovation across the country.
“Steve and the team are betting fundamentally that the most transformative ideas and companies are going to be born out of cities all across the country; not just a select few,” Rucci said.
In 2014, Case launched a nationwide initiative that identifies pockets of innovation and invests in select startups in spaces that might not otherwise have exposure to large funding opportunities.
Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Road Trip with Steve Case has toured 43 cities and traveled over 11,000 miles since inception. This year, the tour included four stops in Florida and one in Puerto Rico, placing a national spotlight on three cities in the 23-county Florida High Tech Corridor (The Corridor) region: Orlando, Tampa and Melbourne/Space Coast.