Case and Leonsis Providing $450 Million for D.C. Tech Start-Ups


Source: Washington Post. Case, Leonsis and partner Donn Davis

Universities stimulate major business zones in various cities. So do airports. Hence the Dulles tech corridor in D.C. So does the success of major companies.

People leave with their stock options and develop their own companies. Witness Wang in Boston, Microsoft in Seattle, AOL in D.C., Qualcomm in San Diego. Too many to count in Silicon Valley. Qualcomm alone has led to at least 500 wireless companies in San Diego.

But the impact dies down after a while, and local development slows. That makes it harder for a market to recruit quality engineers and other positions to the area.

Now, two former AOL principals, Steve Case and Ted Leonsis, are seeking to reinject the infusion of cash that AOL once provided for the D.C. metro area.

Case and Leonsis — interestingly, competing investors in LivingSocial and Groupon, respectively — have announced a $450 million Revolution Growth Fund to jumpstart the D.C. area’s technology start-ups, and, they hope, find the next “LivingSocial.”

Both men have been major philanthropists in the D.C. area, but this, of course, is also a major business initiative.

Leonsis — owner of the Washington Caps and Washington Wizards, vice chair of Groupon, board member of Amex, investor in SB Nation, author of “This Business of Happiness” — is keynoting ILM East, which is taking place March 26-28 in Boston. Can’t get enough AOL nostalgia? Former AOL Time Warner President and current CEO of Clear Channel Entertainment Bob Pittman is keynoting the great lineup at ILM West Dec. 12-14).

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