AOL Founder Adds $10,000 Student Demo Contest to Highly Anticipated Philly Tour
The Philly tech community has yet another reason to be excited that AOL co-founder-turned-angel-investor Steve Case is coming to town: A student demo/pitch contest with a grand prize of $10,000.
That will go along with an already announced $100,000 contest for entrepreneurs. (Apply here.)
Case is famous for investing in companies outside of traditional startup hubs like New York and Silicon Valley. With that principle in mind, Case is bringing his Rise of the Rest Road Trip to Philly on September 29 — along with a massive bus. It’s part of a 10-city tour where Case and friends will give away $100,000 in each city for a total investment of $1 million. Other cities on the tour include Baltimore, Buffalo, Manchester, and Portland.
The Philadelphia $10,000 Student Speed Pitch is open to any college student enrolled in a Philadelphia-area university. (A source tells me that there are discussions about raising the prize money.) The students will pitch to Case and Amy Stursberg of Blackstone Charitable Foundation. Deadline to apply for the student pitch contest is Sept. 18.
“Last year, 75 percent of all venture capital funding went to three states – California, New York and Massachusetts,” Case told me in an interview last month. “The other 47 states were fighting over the last 25 percent. That will change over next decade.”
Case also predicted big things for the local startup community in the next few years.
“Cities like Philadelphia will rise. They have a stronger startup ecosystem than most people perceive,” said Case. “Most people around the country don’t know what’s happening in Philadelphia, so we hope to attract more national media attention and investor attention.”