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Reliving the Magic of the Bus: Everything You Need to Know About Rise of the Rest’s Stop in Tampa Bay


On May 1st, AOL co-founder Steve Case brought a national delegation of entrepreneurs, investors, and other stakeholders to Tampa Bay for the Rise of the Rest (ROTR) Tour. Now on his eighth tour, Rise of the Rest has become a key indicator that a community is on the rise, and on May 1st, the spotlight shined on our region. If you missed any of the day's events or just want to relive it again, see below:

ROTR8TB Highlights:

  • We're Gonna Need a Bigger Room: We were the fastest region to reach venue capacity for the public fireside chat and pitch competition. The ROTR team realized we'd need a bigger space for the engaged Tampa Bay audience after all of the tickets were claimed in just two days. Luckily, Connectwise stepped in and offered space so that 2x the crowd could participate (600+ people).


  • $100K for IMMERTEC: After hearing compelling pitches from 8 Tampa Bay-based startups, the Rise of the Rest team awarded the $100K investment to IMMERTEC, a real-time 3D VR communications platform that allows professionals to seamlessly train, consult, and observe any time, anywhere.


  • We Trended: Both the #ROTR8 and #ROTR8TB hashtags were trending in Florida thanks to the community doing its part to share our region's startup story.

The Path Forward

  • Let's Do 20 in 10: During the fireside chat, Jeff Vinik noted, "We can't accomplish twenty years of progress overnight, but we can do our best to make twenty years of progress in ten years." We can't see May 1st as an endpoint, but as time to reflect on the progress to date and the work ahead. Let's continue to be ambitious and focused on realizing our region's potential and how that can positively drive the startup community.



Press Coverage from the Day:

Florida's pitch for growth: more diversity

Tech legend brings investment competition to area
Business Observer

Steve Case And “The Rise of the Rest”
Chief Executive

AOL's co-founder wants to show the nation Florida is good for startups
Tampa Bay Business Journal

How Ybor startup AbleNook got a stop on the national Rise of the Rest tour
Tampa Bay Business Journal

Take the Rise of the Rest tour in Tampa with AOL co-founder Steve Case (Photos)
Tampa Bay Business Journal

‘Startups Are Like Hockey:’ Advice From AOL Co-Founder Steve Case
Tampa Bay Inno

The Tampa VR Company That Won $100,000 from a National Tour
Tampa Bay Inno

Rise of the Rest brings its focus on startups to Tampa Bay, awards IMMERTEC $100,000
Tampa Bay Times

Column: The startup revolution is thriving in Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Times

Top 8 Moments of being on the Rise of the Rest 8.0 Bus
Tampa Bay Wave

Exclusive: On the Rise of the Rest bus with Steve Case
St. Pete Catalyst

What the Rise of the Rest means for talent in Tampa Bay
St. Pete Catalyst

Insiders tell how Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest came to Tampa
St. Pete Catalyst

Kriseman unveils Entrepreneur-in-Residence program at Rise of the Rest kickoff
St. Pete Catalyst

Why Steve Case is bringing Revolution’s Rise of the Rest to Tampa
St. Pete Catalyst

Tampa startup Immertec wins Rise of the Rest pitch competition
83 Degrees Media


Social Media Coverage:

Pitch Competition Live Stream Pt. 1
Pitch Competition Live Stream Pt. 2
Embarc Collective

#ROTR8TB: Recap of Rise of the Rest in Tampa Bay
Embarc Collective

Fireside Chat with Steve Case and Jeff Vinik Live Stream
Embarc Collective

Rise of the Rest Tampa Bay Recap Video
Rise of the Rest

Rise of the Rest with Steve Case comes to Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Wave



Embarc Collective
Embarc Collective helps Tampa Bay’s startup talent build bold, scalable, thriving companies. Our staff of executive advisors and function-specific experts deliver individualized support to startups inside of Embarc Collective’s state-of-the-art 32,000 square foot hub.