AOL founder Steve Case brings Rise of the Rest entrepreneurship challenge to Detroit

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Ten companies will be vying for money from Steve Case, founder of AOL, later this afternoon. The ten companies are start-ups that are gaining ground right here in Metro Detroit.

This morning a handful of powerful names came together and shared the stage with Case. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Google for Entrepreneurs Director Mary Grove, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans founder, Dan Gilbert.

The 10 companies will present their companies in a format similar to ABC’s Shark Tank.

“We’re looking for great entrepreneurs with great ideas that really have the potential to change the world,” Case said as he prepared to tour the city in his ‘Rise of the Rest’ challenge.

Case is behind a push to bring more entrepreneurs to the Motor City. In fact he is behind the challenge. He’ll personally be handing over a check for more than $100k to the winners.

“We love what’s happening in Detroit,” he said, “And just trying to shine a spotlight on the innovation that’s happening particularly in the start-up community.”

Companies like Chalk Fly, an online office supply company, have already found roots in Detroit. Across from their office on the third floor of the Madison Building a host of other start-ups share space.  All of them prospering together in the “D.”

One of the men on stage has known Case for years, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

“Twenty-two years ago we were doing road shows at the same time,” the Governor said. “He for AOL and I was on the Gateway road show and it just shows that entrepreneurship is something that can last.”

Case even going a step further today and comparing Detroit to Silicon Valley,

“Sixty years ago Detroit was Silicon Valley. It was one of the most entrepreneurial regions arguably the world” said Case.

Today, Case promised to bring back that entrepreneurial flame, setting his eyes on 10 companies that have already been selected to win big - win $100k to build their companies here in Detroit.

“It’s not just about the money. It’s about all the networks and great connections and they’re starting in Detroit,” Governor Snyder said.

A special website has been set up where you can learn more about Case's challenge for entrepreneuers. 


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