Rise of the Rest Seed Fund’s team, including Steve Case and J.D. Vance, will be heading to Florida for their eighth Rise of the Rest Road Trip to shine a spotlight on emerging startup ecosystems in five regions: Orlando, Tampa Bay, Space Coast, Miami, and San Juan, PR. At each stop the team will meet with elected officials, ecosystem leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs and will invest $100,000 in a startup winning ROTR’s Seed Fund pitch competition in each city.
Orlando’s competition received 152 applications before the March 11 deadline – more than received by any of the other regions on the trip. Over 100 applications were received in each region – the most combined ever received for an ROTR Road Trip. The Space Coast competition (open to startups in the space, drone, and aviation technology markets from across the country) also received applications from Iowa City, IA, Houghton, MI, Golden, CO, Erie, PA, Tulsa, OK, and other rising cities.
A team of ROTR Seed Fund investment professionals has started to review all of the applications. Companies will be judged on:
- Bold Idea — Does the idea “swing for the fences” and have the potential to disrupt a big industry, affect your community, or even change the world?
- Jobs — Will the idea, if it scales, employ a large number of people?
- Team — Does the team have the skills and leadership to move forward on this idea?
- Execution — Is there strong customer growth, revenue, or other measurable traction?
- Business Model — Has a revenue model been defined and is it realistic and sustainable?
Eight finalists will be chosen to compete for the $100,000 investment at the ROTR Seed Fund Pitching Event at the Cheyenne Salon and Opera House on Church Street in downtown Orlando on April 29.