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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Coronavirus curbs Rise of the Rest tour

Daily Oklahoman - 3/12/2020

Mar. 12--A lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs in Oklahoma is canceled due to coronavirus.

Revolution CEO Steve Case announced he will postpone a bus tour scheduled to visit Oklahoma City, Tulsa and other mid-size cities because of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

He did not announce replacement dates. In a statement posted to his website, Case said the April tour would have involved thousands of participants across five cities.

"We put a lot of thought and time into making this decision, but believe that protecting the health of everyone that comes together for the tour from across the country--founders, startup champions, investors, and press--is of paramount importance," Case said. "We (also) want to make sure that when the bus rolls through, it has the desired catalytic impact we've promised. We are working on rescheduling the tour and hope to share information soon, including next steps for pitch competition applicants."

The Rise of the Rest tour focuses on how Midwest cities are attracting business talent, and how legacy corporations and philanthropic anchors work with local startup ecosystems.

Originally scheduled to last five days in late April, Rise of the Rest prepared for stops in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Wichita, northwest Arkansas and St. Louis.

During each of the stops, Case and his team plan to meet with entrepreneurs, local business and government leaders, and startup-ecosystem builders. The tour also hosts daily fireside discussions and a startup pitch competition in which $500,000 will be invested from the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, which recently launched its second $150 million fund.

At each stop, $100,000 will be invested in a local startup.

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