Deadline near for ‘Rise of the Rest’ Birmingham startup competition for $100,000

Deadline near for ‘Rise of the Rest’ Birmingham startup competition for $100,000
Startup companies are encouraged to sign up to compete for $100,000 by the March 20 deadline. (contributed)

Birmingham area startups have only a few days left to be considered for a $100,000 investment from “Rise of the Rest” founded by Steve Case.

Birmingham is among five cities chosen for the America Online founder’s latest initiative aimed at championing innovation ecosystems in the U.S. The Rise of the Rest bus tour arrives in Birmingham May 9, but the deadline for startups to apply for the six-figure prize is March 20.

Interested companies are encouraged to go to the website and apply.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said having Rise of the Rest in Birmingham is great exposure for what is happening in the Birmingham entrepreneurial scene but the $100,000 could make a major difference for a company on the rise.

“This is an amazing opportunity for local startups because now we get a chance to highlight and showcase what they’re already doing so well,” Woodfin said in the video below. “They deserve national exposure.”

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin on Rise of the Rest coming to Birmingham from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Bill Smith, founder and CEO of Shipt, said having Rise of the Rest in Birmingham is a sign of the momentum happening here.

“What we’ve been able to prove with Shipt is you can build a great company outside of Silicon Valley,” Smith said.

He, too, encouraged companies to go for the prize money.

“You know, $100,000 can really make a big difference for a company that’s just starting up,” he said in the video below. “I think it’s not just about the capital, but it is about exposure. It’s really important to get your name out there if you’re a startup company and that will enable you to get the credibility you need to go and raise additional money.”

Shipt CEO Bill Smith on Rise of the Rest coming to Birmingham from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The tour stop in Birmingham also features Google for Entrepreneurs, a longtime Rise of the Rest partner, which will provide coaches to help startup founders with their investment pitches.

Related Stories