Billionaire AOL founder Steve Case is convinced the next big thing in tech won't happen in Silicon Valley, and he's launched a job network to prove it
- Steve Case is a cofounder and former CEO of AOL who has been running a DC-based venture capital firm, Revolution, since 2005.
- It has invested over $1 billion over this time, with the majority of its capital going to young companies outside of Silicon Valley, New York City, and Boston.
- The new Revolution Talent Network lists more than 1,000 jobs across these companies.
- This post is part of Business Insider's ongoing series on Better Capitalism.
In 2005, two years after leaving the company he founded and led, AOL cofounder Steve Case launched his venture capital firm, Revolution, in Washington, DC.
For the last four years specifically, he's been focused on what he deemed "Rise of the Rest" approach, dedicated to fostering the growth of startup communties outside of Silicon Valley, New York City, and Boston - which receive 75% of all venture capital in the United States.Last year, he put "Hillbilly Elegy" author and former Valley investor JD Vance in charge of a $150 million Rise of the Rest Seed Fund for this purpose, and on Wednesday he announced the Revolution Talent Network, which will be used as a listing of all available jobs in Revolution companies. The initial batch of listings includes about 1,300 jobs from 108 companies, with 80% outside of the three primary startup markets.
In an announcement of the network, Case wrote, "people should not feel compelled to go to the coasts after graduation nor should they feel trapped there if they want to continue to build a startup career. As I hope our careers page illustrates, there are opportunities in dozens of cities across America to help build companies that create real value and make a real difference."
The network is part of Revolution's site and is essentially a firm-centric version of AngelList's jobs network.
Case is dedicated to this mission because he believes the US is at the start of the "Third Wave" of the internet, where the Internet of Things will go from novelty to a fundamental aspect of life, and will transform industries spread throughout the country, like agriculture and logistics. This will require entrepreneurial infrastructure, capital, and an easing of a "brain drain," where a region's most skilled and educated members leave for one of the big three startup centers. The talent network is intended as one small way to work toward talent retention.
"As we seek ways to further develop portfolio support services for companies across the country, we consistently hear that identifying and hiring the right talent quickly is a pain point for so many of our teams," Rise of the Rest Seed Fund partner Mary Grove wrote in a statement. Revolution Ventures managing partner and Revolution cofounder Tige Savage added, via email to Business Insider, "If we can use our network to help our companies hire for the 1,000+ positions available then it's a win-win."