We’re Hitting the Road Again


As our representatives in Congress take to the campaign trail for the November elections, we’re taking a little road trip of our own. Next week, Engine will join Steve Case, Revolution, UpGlobal, and Google for Entrepreneurs on the second phase of the Rise of the Rest Road Tour.

Earlier this year, we joined this roving group visiting four diverse and vibrant cities—Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Nashville— to highlight, energize, and celebrate entrepreneurship. And we found that startup communities are thriving all over the country. They’re building great new products, creating jobs, and revitalizing parts of the country that were hit hard by the economic downturn. We know this narrative holds true in other cities as well—we’ve seen it ourselves in places like Portland and Memphis, too.

That’s why we’re so excited to hit the road again. This time we’ll be stopping in some of the cities that make up the so-called Silicon Prairie.

We’re starting in Madison, Wisconsin, then will make our way to Minneapolis, Des Moines, Kansas City, and St. Louis. At each stop, emerging businesses and their founders, civic leaders, and local personalities will gather for conversation with Steve Case, participate in a $100,000 pitch competition, and come together over happy hours. And we’ll be on hand to remind startups how important it is to be engaged in policy issues (let us know if you’d like to catch up in any of those places!).

What we already know is that Silicon Valley and New York City aren’t the only hubs for new economic activity—and that incubators, accelerators, and innovation districts are sprouting up across the country. We’re excited to see in person just how these new and emerging startup communities are, as Steve Case put it, “innovating in ways specific to the economic heritage of their region.”

These cities have long-established industries in health sciences and financial services to build from, strong networks of colleges and universities from which to source talent, and support from local governments thrilled to welcome new business opportunities. That’s not to mention how the cost of living in cities across the Midwest makes them attractive for putting down roots.

We’ll be posting highlights from each city throughout the week. Follow us as we go and we’ll let you know what we find!

More information on the Rise of the Rest road tour, including times and locations for specific events in each city, is available at www.riseoftherest.com and by following #riseofrest on Twitter and Instagram.