Since leaving the White House over a year ago, former President Barack Obama has been trying to figure out what he’ll work on next. He has a memoir in the works. His official portrait at the National Portrait Gallery has been unveiled. He’s even continued work with the Obama Foundation.
Now, Obama can add supporting local startup communities to that list.
On Monday, the former president met with a handful of investors, programmers and startups from the “Rise of the Rest” initiative, headed up by Revolution’s Steve Case, at his D.C. personal office. Since 2014, “Rise of the Rest” has worked to invest and support startups outside of Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston.
President Obama heard “firsthand accounts from entrepreneurs working in five sectors across five states, who shared their experiences and challenges of launching businesses outside of major tech hubs,” according to a note sent to DC Inno from D.C.-based venture firm Revolution a few days after the meeting.
The meeting comes on the heels of some notable developments for “Rise of the Rest.” A few weeks ago, it made its first investments in startups across the country from its newly raised $150 million fund. Around the same time, the team added Mary Grove from Google for Entrepreneurs to its partnership team.
Here’s who all attended the meeting from “Rise of the Rest” with Obama, per Revolution:
- Jewel Burks, Co-Founder and CEO of Partpic
- Steve Case, CEO and Chairman of Revolution
- Megan Glover, Co-Founder and CEO of 120 Water Audit
- David Hall, Partner at Rise of the Rest Seed fund, Revolution
- Jacob Hsu, CEO of Catalyte
- Diane Lansinger, Co-Founder and CEO of Seeva Technologies
- Anna Mason, Partner at Rise of the Rest Seed fund, Revolution
- J.D. Vance, Managing Partner of Rise of the Rest Seed fund, Revolution
- Jonathan Webb, Founder and CEO of AppHarvest