Nashville welcomes back Steve Case to the EC, discussing economic & entrepreneurial momentum in cities across Middle America.

The Nashville Entrepreneur Center, along with our community partners WKU, NTC and Fisk, proudly welcomed back serial entrepreneur and best selling author, Steve Case, and his Revolution team to Nashville for a Holiday Speaker Series event on December 1, 2022.

Fireside Chat with John Ingram


A sold out crowd of 250 attendees gathered for the Fireside Chat to hear EC Board Chair Emeritas John Ingram, principal owner of the Nashville Soccer Club, moderate a discussion with Steve Case. As co-founder of AOL, Steve Case shared insights into the future of tech, which he details from his previous book, The Third Wave, otherwise known as the “internetting of everything else”.

As leader in Rise of the Rest®, Case explains the silver lining post the pandemic — that is the enabling of the already existing momentum of entrepreneurial growth and ecosystems across cities in Middle America, Nashville being one!

The Rise of the Rest® is the seed fund backed by Steve Case and other iconic entrepreneurs, executives, and investors focused on building capital across cities in the U.S. The initiative kicked off with a road trip tour in 2017 on the infamous Rise of the Rest Bus, which has since been a mobile platform for startup investment opportunity. Their campaign has accelerated the already existing entrepreneurial momentum across Middle America with over 1,400 new venture start-ups in Rise of the Rest cities.

Jane Allen Interviews Steve Case

“Its not just important to give more people in more places a chance — if they have an idea — of building a company. Its the only way to create real renewal and momentum in different communities.”

Steve Case, Rise of the Rest

This was a free event for the entrepreneurial community, with visitors from coast to coast. The event included lunch followed by a complimentary book and book signing of Steve’s newest publication, The Rise of the Rest, How Entrepreneurs in Surprising Places are Building the New American Dream.

Photo Gallery

Key Takeaways

  • With problem solving in mind, Case touched on the importance of diversity in order to address the opportunity gap. Rise of the Rest not only focuses on ‘place’ as a means for growth, but engaging different demographics who in turn bring their own unique insight into existing problems they have proximity to.

  • “At the core of every Entrepreneur – at the core of life essentially – is to see a problem and turn that into an opportunity,” says Case. What distinguishes entrepreneurs is, “taking those challenges and putting them on the table with a sense of urgency and intentionality.”

  • Case talks about four C’s in opportunity: culture, collaboration, creativity and capital, which foster the right breeding ground for talent. As the advancement of technology continues to reduce geographic barriers, the conversation now becomes talent over pedigree. And as expressed in Case’s new book, Rise of the Rest, talent is everywhere.

  • Case ends the Fireside Chat with a bit of entrepreneurial optimism. “The key to unifying America is unleashing innovation and growth.” In order to do that you have to give people a sense of hope, possibility and opportunity. “That’s what entrepreneurs and cities like Nashville are doing,” says Case.

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