Steve Case Re-Affirms Faith In Startups, Raising Another $150 Million Dollar Fund


Washington, DC-based Steve Case, founder of AOL, Revolution, and the founding Chairman of Startup America, has made some bold moves over the past few years when it comes to startups. He’s also been a strong advocate for startups everywhere across the nation and on Capitol Hill.

Monday, Case put his money where his mouth is again by announcing through TechCrunch. The AOL-owned website reports that through his venture capital arm, Revolution Ventures, Case and partners are raising another $150 million dollar fund to support early stage startup ventures.

Revolution is calling the fund “Revolution Ventures II,” and like the previous fund, it will back early stage tech companies. Some of their previous portfolio companies include ZipCar, Living Social, and HomeSnap.

TechCrunch also reported that they’ve heard $125 million was already committed.

Two and a half years ago Case launched Startup America, a three-year initiative to spur startups, innovation, and job creation. Two months ago Case, along with several others,  announced that Statup America was joining forces with Startup Weekend to take the initiatives global. Now we know that Case wants to continue to do his part directly by launching more companies.

Steve Case Continues To Advocate For Startups Everywhere Else


Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL, Revolution, The Case Foundation and the Chairman of the Startup America Partnership, spoke today at the Empact Summit. Empact is an event in Washington DC that promotes youth entrepreneurship and connects innovators of today with future innovators of tomorrow.

Case is currently on a nationwide road trip where he is promoting entrepreneurship and Startups across the country. Case finds different ways to drive home the same mission everywhere he speaks.

This time around though, Upstart, the startup and high growth division of the Business Journals, , reports that Case is concerned. He doesn’t want the US to get too cocky, as their are other countries that have startup and entrepreneurial ecosystems growing nearly as fast as the US.

We’ve seen first hand countries like Israel, Romania, Greece, the UK, and other countries launching startups, and supporting them with accelerators, incubators and of course cash.
“The United States of America was a startup 200 years ago,” said Case, reports upstart., “We didn’t just wake up and become the leading economy in the world. It was entrepreneurs…who drove enormous economic growth.”

Case’s life is filled with startups. Outside of launching the widely used Internet service provider, Case’s Revolution, is a venture capital firm that invests in high growth potential startups like ZipCar, across the country. Case and his wife Jean’s philanthropic foundation, The Case Foundation is a founding partner of the Startup America Partnership.

Just like keynote at Capital Connection/TechBuzz in May, Case was very supportive of startups outside of Silicon Valley. While Case said that the startup activity in Silicon Valley was “awesome” he also said it was “vital to support entrepreneurial centers around the country”.


Source: Upstart

Here’s more Startup America coverage from

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Washington DC Startup: Lands Top Internet Executive As Product Lead


Back in April we got the chance to sit down with President and Co-Founder Ric Fleisher. Fleisher talked to us about the Fort, and is a real time location based service that connects people with services that they really need rather than the typical social discovery paradigm of connecting people with things they may like, or want.

For a conceptual example Fleisher told us about the scenario that called for the creation of Fleisher had put the dishwasher on a timer and gone to bed one Friday evening. One of his children woke him up the next morning because there was water in the kitchen. As he tells it there wasn’t a puddle of water, more like a river. Luckily Fleisher had enough knowledge to turn off the water supply to the machine, but after that he needed to contact servicemen, appliance repair people and more. From that experience came

Now reports that longtime Internet product executive Rick Robinson has joined the company to help lead the product from Beta to public release. Robinson’s experience includes Xohm, Sprint and AOL.

“Having been a weekend adviser for so long it’s great to finally be taking the plunge with,” said Robinson, whose background includes mobile product development at AOL and Sprint and content and product innovation for startups and established concerns like National Geographic. “This is the right time for a location based utility service that goes beyond much of what we’ve seen and actually provides a critical service for people in need and those who can meet it.”

“We’re extremely happy Rick has decided to come aboard full time to help lead our product efforts,” said Ric Fleisher, serial entrepreneur and’s President and COO. “We’re ready for the marketplace and need to assure the product will continue to grow to meet the needs of consumers and service providers.” has established relationships with service providers who will log in to the service and display their location to users on a map, via GPS and other locating technology: “Think of it a digital version of the ‘on duty’ light atop taxis, but people can see the light from our app and Website. And service providers can see urgent needs posted by consumers on the same map,” Robinson said. is poised to be a big player in a space that they virtually created.


Check out our interview with here

Nibletz is the voice of Startups “everywhere else”

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E-vite founder John Bracken Shows Off HIs New Startup Speek VIDEO

Before “Startup” was one word, before Facebook and Google alumni were the “in crowd” in the startup scene, and before everyone had cable internet, a new revolution was happening in the Washington DC area. That revolution was AOL alumni founding startups.

John Bracken is one of those AOL alumni. At the time, the largest consumer online service was based in Northern Virginia. We call it a consumer online service because Steve Case said last week at an event that it wasn’t before AOL turned six years old that the service could actually access the internet. Commercial companies were banned until then.

If you think you’ve heard Bracken’s name before you might have. He was a co-founder for e-vite which was the original online invitation and event service. This was years before Eventbrite.

Well Bracken is back and just like e-vite, Bracken’s new startup self serves a problem that he has had with conference calls. A problem that he knows others have. In fact a startup in the conference call space, UberConference, won the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield Cup last week in New York.

Bracken’s startup is called Speek and it allows people to initiate conference calls much easier than they could with traditional conference calling methods.  With Speek, long gone are the days of tedious 800 numbers to remember, and unusually long codes to remember.

More after the break
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Yahoo Kills Livestand

Yahoo, a company with a brand new CEO, Ross Levinsohn, is shutting down it’s News stand that it started just months ago. In an application I nor many of you have ever heard about Livestand, was supposed to be Yahoos response to Flipboard which like many of Yahoo’s recent projects has failed. In an attempt to turn the company around Levinsohn is trying to streamline what the company does.

While we received great feedback on Livestand’s design and it earned a 4-star rating in the App Store, we committed ourselves to continuously measure and scrutinize what’s working and what isn’t. We have learned a lot from Livestand and are actively applying those insights toward the development of future products that are better aligned with Yahoo!’s holistic mobile strategy.

Regan Clark mentions on Yahoo’s Blog. While never making any inroads or showing any interest in Android, Yahoo is said to be wanting to push full steam ahead with Mobile, as seen with it’s recent launch of Axis.

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VIDEO Capital Connection TechBUZZ ’12 Ending Keynote – Steve “Makes Our” Case

(photo: nibletz syndicate)

Capital Connection TechBUZZ ’12 Had Steve Case as the Keynote speaker at the end of the two days.  In 1985 Steve Case founded AOL.  It was the first internet company to go public, it was the largest media acquisition of its time.

When crowdfunding was brought up he spoke about the ability to raise funds for projects via indiegogo or kickstarter Recently he has been spending a lot of time in Washington DC convincing the US Government to deal with entrepreneurial issues and American jobs. When asked how he feels about crowdfunding (JOBS Act) he mentioned the fact that it has been passed and is waiting for the SEC to finish their part.  The law had previously stated that it was illegal to sell private equity to investors online.  “You can sell the whole business – 100% but you will go to jail if you sell 1%” Case stated “for the first 6 years it was illegal for us to connect to the internet.” The JOBS act focuses on modernizing an extremely old system.

In this short clip he discusses the benefits he sees in crowdfunding for startups and where it will may have the biggest benefit. As we are well aware, if you are in North Dakota, Philly, St Louis, Chicago, or Everywhere Else – it is very difficult to get covered by media outlets or to raise seed or angel capital. This is where we come in. We are planning on driving across the country for just over a year meeting with startups, incubators, accelerators, and their towns. While we cannot directly assist in helping you raise capital, we are sneaker strapped ourselves, we can help get your names out.  We will come to your city and spend time with you.  We don’t discriminate against a lack of funds being raised or lack of angels in your region.  We only care about meeting startups who are making a go at something new.

We do need some help though, which explains the title of the article, our case has been made by Steve Case himself.  Take a look below:

More stories from Capital Connection 2012/TechBUZZ here

What’s this sneaker strapped, startup road trip? Find out here


This Thursday: A Day Of Two Cases, Capital Connection & Tech Cocktail

Thursday (May 24) Is a day of two cases first Steve Case (L) then Scott Case (R) (not related)

This week on the nibletz startup road trip we will be in New York for Disrupt and DC for Capital Connection and an event with TechCocktail.

Capital Connection is a one and a half day convention/conference being held in Washington DC Wednesday May 23rd and Thursday May 24th. It’s one of the nation’s most respected industry conferences and showcases emerging, growing companies (startups).

“For 25 years, Capital Connection and now TechBUZZ, have brought together a high-powered cross section of the nation’s technology-based, high-growth ecosystem.  Attendees include senior players from across the industry – investors across the continuum of capital, professional advisors, technology product and service firms, and, at the center of it all, innovative entrepreneurs.” source

The conference is divided into two tracks one on Wednesday afternoon and the other on Thursday. Wednesday afternoon is “TechBuzz” and features early stage startup companies. The TechBuzz companies will square off in a familiar quick pitch setting. Each company will have 4 minutes to present and two companies will present simultaneously, according to their website.

Later on Wednesday afternoon the best of the TechBuzz presenters will square off again in a “semi final” type round called “Best of the Buzz”.

The Capital Connection presentations involve early, expansion and growth companies that have been vigorously vetted prior to their presentation. During the application process, the companies presenting in the Capital Connection presentations are scrubbed for “the soundness of their financial model as well as the innovation and potential of their ideas”.

Over the 25 years of the Capital Connection conference it’s been a virtual who’s who of the best tech in the region has to offer.

The Thursday afternoon festivities will be capped with a keynote by AOL founder and Chairman and CEO of Revolution, Steve Case.

Later on Thursday evening we’ll move over to the TechCocktail sessions event with Startup America CEO and Priceline Founding CTO T. Scott Case. The other case (Scott) gives great, almost guy next door presentations on startups, the startup ecosystem and Startup America.

Thursday will be a fun filled day of two cases.


More on Capital Connection here (tickets still available)

More on the TechCocktail event here

If you’re in the other Washington this week TechCocktail is also having this event

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” check out these stories

Please Check Out This Link about our nationwide sneaker strapped road trip


Karma? Arianna Huffington Gets Hacked By Nigerian Hackers


Gawker is reporting and now Arianna her self is confirming that yesterday morning her personal email was hacked into. For those who don’t know who she is, she is the founder of Huggington Post, a blog site which after selling to AOL for over $300 million never gave a dime to her workers, many of whom she never paid in the past.

The email went out to look like Arianna her self sent a document for people to see. What it did was leave those who opened the email to a mock site for users to log into. Thus providing their email and passwords to the hackers.

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More Changes At AOL As Patch Editor In Chief Brian Farham Steps Down

There was actually positive news out of the AOL camp last week when it was announced that they were selling 800 patents to rival Microsoft for $1 billion dollars. That news was quickly overshadowed by the Facetagram announcement later in the day. The patent sale to Microsoft was a great move for AOL’s bottom line however there still seems to be trouble and disorganization in their media division, which is supposed to be their bread and butter.

The Blogsphere erupted with joy last week when Michael Arrington announced that he and Crunchfund partner MG Siegler would be participating at Tech Crunch Disrupt NY. Arrington will be the main interviewer and pseudo MC again, but this year there will be a lot less speculation swarming around him. Last year during Tech Crunch Disrupt NY Arrington’s removal from the company that he founded was just starting to bubble. Relief has been in the air knowing that the next Disrupt will be hosted by the man himself. Of course PandoDaily wasn’t the least bit excited about that.

With the TechCrunch/AOL/PandoDaily headlines taking center stage many missed the fact that AOL’s Editor In Chief of their Patch properties Brian Farham was stepping down. While on the surface it seems that Farnham was happy with the progress that Patch has made under his leadership, Forbes magazine was quick to point out that AOL recently hired a chief content officer for Patch which bumped Farham down to the number two position.

More after the break
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AOL Shoots Up 35% After $1 Billion Dollar Patent Announcement

AOL has inked an amazing deal with rival Microsoft to sell 800 of their patents to the Redmond based computer giant. The deal is said to be worth $1 billion dollars and includes licensing back to AOL.

AOL stock closed at $18.42 on Friday and skyrocketed to $25.16 on the news of the patent sale. While Tim Armstrong is taking much of the credit for the patent sale it was actually sparked by activist shareholder Starboard Value LP who had said earlier on that, if structured properly, AOL could stand to earn $1 billion dollars or more off it’s treasure trove of patents.

Obviously it was structured properly.

AOL is holding onto 300 of their patents which revolve around some of their current core business’ like maps, and search.

“This is a valuable portfolio that we have been following for years and analyzing in detail for several months,” Microsoft’s General Counsel Brad Smith said in a statement.

The patent transaction is expected to close by the end of 2012 and has a sweetheart breakup clause as well. Should the sale not go through, Microsoft will be on the line to AOL for $211.2 million dollars.

Analysts are hopeful that this influx of cash from the sale of it’s patents will help AOL continue to rebuild it’s core business units.

source: Reuters

AOL, TechCrunch, Crunchbase Et Al, Ignore Android Developer’s Intellectual Property

The one time internet giant AOL, which has been declining over the past few years, has been trying desperately to bring readers from other sites to their media properties like TechCrunch, Huffington Post, Patch and other blogs and online content. With some of the more notable websites in the tech community, AOL has always seemed to be very supportive of intellectual property.

In fact, as recent as last week, we published a story about AOL considering licensing patents rather than suing over them. A move to not further clog the arteries of our already busy patent court system.

You would think that AOL, TechCrunch and Crunchbase would be very protective of not just their intellectual property but also the intellectual property of those businesses and members of the community that they serve. You would also think that TechCrunch, Crunchbase and AOL would be protective and supportive of Android developer’s, especially those who have premium apps in the Google Play Store.

More after the break
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AOL Wont Pull A Yahoo And Sue, They’ll Just Sell Instead

AOL is rumored to be looking into possibly selling some of its patent portfolio Bloomberg reported earlier today.  Tim Armstrong and Co. have watched their fortunes fall away since the split from Time Warner Inc.  They have hired Evercore Partners to somehow bring in a cash infusion.

Starboard Value LP, an AOL shareholder, has stated they feel the patent portfolio may be valued as high as US $1 billion from licensing income.  Bloomberg had this quote in their article earlier,

AOL’s portfolio includes “some of the foundation patents for the Internet,” AOL Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong said at a Barclays Capital conference this month.

While Yahoo recently sued Facebook over 10 patents and many people feel this is the low-road because it’s a last ditch effort to bring in some money.  There is only one person I could find who agrees that Yahoo is doing the right thing.*  AOL instead is possibly looking into licensing their patents.

AOL had announced in September 2011 that they had on retainer lawfirm Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz and the investment bank Allen & Co. after news had leaked of meetings with both.  Many people have felt that AOL was looking to move to private ownership but as the ability to earn anything diminishes with each passing quarter.  In Q4 2009 AOL had total revenue of US$809 million in Q4 2011 they had declined to US$576 million.  Advertising revenue dropped from $471 million (Q4 2009) to $363 (Q4 2011) despite a growth year-over-year from 2010.

While the idea of licensing their patent portfolio may make Tim Armstrong giddy it remains to be seen if they will take the high road and attempt to license or take the low road and sell to any number of notorious patent trolls.  It would not be the first time that a huge company starting with the letter A has chosen to work with an alleged patent troll.  Apple came under fire after TechCrunch writer Jason Kincaid uncovered some interesting information

Put another way, Apple appears to have transferred its patents to the patent troll Digitude, though it first routed them through a shell company that shares the same office as Digitude’s lead investor and Chairman. Further evidence of the relationship between Apple and Digitude can be found on the ITC’s own website, where a list of files relevant to the lawsuit can be found. Many of these files are marked confidential, but it appears someone mistakenly left the file names intact. One of which is “Digitude-Apple License Agreement.”

At the end of the day we don’t know their plans at this point but we will keep you informed of any future updates.

*there’s a catch, it’s still wrong but it works for the greater good.

Source:  Bloomberg

Is Microsoft Considering A Yahoo Purchase? Insider Says AOL To Come Apart

The word on the proverbial street is that by 2012 one of the internet giants either AOL or Yahoo will no longer be around. For a while it looked like Yahoo may be that company, however Yahoo’s chairman Roy Bostick put a brief end to those rumors by firing CEO Carol Bartz.  Immediately co-founder and board member Jerry Yang took the definitive saying that Yahoo was not for sale. Right after that announcement the Yahoo sale rumors heated up.

Nibble on after the break
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