Jeff Bezos and Howard Schultz Join $150M Rise of the Rest Fund

The fund aims to create economic development outside areas like Silicon Valley.

Jeff Bezos and Howard Schultz are two of the biggest names to join a new $150 venture fund that aims to bolster entrepreneurship outside the coastal areas where such economic activity has traditionally clustered.

“Rise of the Rest” is a $150 million seed fund that has grown out of Revolution LLC, a Washington D.C.-based investment firm cofounded by AOL cofounder Steve Case.

In announcing the fund, Case expressed concern that tech success stories have largely come from the same places over the last decade, saying, “Innovation is no longer dispersed around the country; instead, America has most of its eggs in a few baskets. Seventy-five percent of venture capital flows to just three states: California, New York and Massachusetts. With that distribution, we shouldn’t be surprised that lots of people in lots of places feel anxious about the future.” 

The fund will be led by J.D. Vance, the author of Hillbilly Elegy, who recently left Silicon Valley where he worked for a venture capital firm started by Peter Thiel.

Initial investments of up to $1 million will be made through the fund, which will look to partner with regional investors.

The fund initially set out to raise $100 million but exceeded targets once a number of big names got involved.

The New York Times said “it may be the greatest concentration of American wealth and power in one investment fund.”

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz are two of the biggest names on the list of investors. Also on the list:

  • Louis Bacon

  • Jim Barksdale

  • Sara Blakely

  • Jim Breyer

  • Tory Burch

  • Steve Case

  • Ray Dalio

  • John Doerr

  • Scott Dorsey

  • Craig Duchossois

  • Dan Gilbert

  • Sheila Johnson

  • Brad Keywell

  • Members of the Koch Family

  • Henry Kravis

  • Mel Lagomasino

  • Eric Lefkofsky

  • Ted Leonsis

  • William M. Lewis Jr.

  • Joe Mansueto

  • Michael Milken

  • Adebayo Ogunlesi

  • Sean Parker

  • Charles Phillips

  • William Powers

  • Members of the Pritzker Family

  • David Rubenstein

  • Eric Schmidt

  • Byron Trott

  • John Underwood

  • J.D. Vance

  • Jeff Vinik

  • Romesh Wadhwani

  • Members of the Walton Family

  • Meg Whitman

“Rise of the Rest” will have its next bus tour (“a nationwide effort to work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems”) in Spring 2018. This tour, which does not come to Washington state or any state in the Pacific Northwest, will visit larger cities like Phoenix, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Denver, as well as midsize cities like Green Bay, Wisconsin, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Lincoln, Nebraska, and York, Pennsylvania.

A 2014 “Rise of the Rest” bus tour visited 33 cities across the country, where Case would invest $100,000 after hosting a pitch competition.

You can learn more about the fund here.

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