Rise of the Rest: 12 Hours in Louisville

On Friday, May 11th, Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, and the Revolution team rolled through Louisville, KY, the final stop on the team’s seventh Rise of the Rest tour. The goal of Rise of the Rest is to celebrate and invest in entrepreneurship outside of the coastal cities, where the overwhelming majority of investment flows. Brit Fitzpatrick, head of business development and marketing for 1804, took the lead on organizing the day and telling our city’s startup story. Check out our recap below. You can also check out highlights from the day via our Instagram Story @weare1804.

side view of rise of the rest bus


Black woman in white button down in front of dry erase wall with names of local startups written on it in mostly black marker.


The day kicked off with a leadership breakfast at Angel’s Envy distillery in downtown Louisville. Speakers included:

  • Anna Mason, partner in the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund
  • Steve Case, AOL co-founder and founder of the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund
  • J.D. Vance, partner in the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and author of Hillbilly Elegy
  • Greg Postel, former president of the University of Louisville
  • Mayor Greg Fischer
  • Governor Matt Bevin
  • Senator Rand Paul

Then it was onto the bus to head off to the first stop. The tour included stops at:

  • Maker13, a maker space and the 1804 Southern Indiana HQ. Maker13 has been instrumental in helping startups create prototypes for their products.
  • El Toro, a local, cutting-edge IP targeting company (with one of the coolest offices in town).
  • Flying Axes, a local startup that brought ax throwing to the region (and let’s you have a cold brew at the same time!).
  • Edj Analytics, a local data company credited with helping the Eagles win the Super Bowl.
  • 1804, for lunch and a discussion led by Mary Grove, co-founder of Google for Entrepreneurs, and David Hall, partner at Revolution. We invited local entrepreneurs, ecosystem leaders, community organizations, corporate leaders, and elected officials to take part in the conversation, which focused on ways we can all drive the growth of Louisville’s startup ecosystem.
  • Love City, a community of neighbors shaping the future of Portland, which recently launched a Google Fiber sponsored social entrepreneurship center with a goal of launching 500 businesses in five years.

The day ended with a fireside chat with Steve and J.D. Vance led by incoming University of Louisville president, Neeli Bendapudi at the Speed Museum. Following the chat, seven local startups competed in a 100K pitch competition.

All of the pitches were stellar, giving the judges a tough job, but Inscope Medical Solutions, led by CEO and 1804 board member Maggie Galloway, took home the prize. Watch Steve announce her as the winner on our Facebook page.


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