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@BigDataExpo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Mark Ross-Smith, Harry Trott, William Schmarzo, Pat Romanski

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Steve Case Announces $1M Investment in “Rise of the Rest” Companies

Yesterday, at the first ever Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day, Steve Case, chairman and CEO of Revolution and co-founder of AOL, surprised the ten participating entrepreneurs with an announcement that he intends to invest $100K in each of their companies during their next fundraising rounds.

The Demo Day brought together ten selected startups from Google’s seven-city North American Tech Hub Network to pitch their companies to an audience of more than 60 investors, and receive feedback from panelists, which included Case, Steph Palmeri (SoftTech VC), and MG Siegler (Google Ventures).

“I’ve long known that great startups can be found everywhere, and not just in Silicon Valley,” said Case. “I was so inspired by the consistent quality of each of the pitches that I made an on-the-spot decision to support each company.”

“Each of the seven regions represented by the companies who participated yesterday show huge promise as part of a ‘rise of the rest’ in growing entrepreneurial ecosystems in North America. I hope my investment will be just the start of a growing flow of venture capital dollars to new regions,” Case went on to say.

"This generous funding exceeded our expectations for our first-ever Google for Entrepreneurs demo day. We believe innovation happens everywhere, and this vote of confidence proves that great teams are building strong companies across the continent. We are extremely proud of our Tech Hub Network and all the participating startups, we know this is just the beginning," said Mary Grove, Director of Google for Entrepreneurs.

The companies participating in the Google for Entrepreneurs Demo Day include:

Automated Insights (Durham, N.C.) – Automated Insights’ patented Wordsmith platform transforms Big Data into narrative reports by spotting patterns, correlations and key insights in the data and then describing them plain English.

Docalytics (Minneapolis, Minn.) – The Docalytics platform lets sales and marketing professionals track how individual prospects and groups of prospective customers interact with their company's downloadable content. Understanding and acting on this information helps businesses capture more leads, convert those leads into sales, and create better, more engaging content.

GoSpotCheck (Denver, Colo.) – GoSpotCheck is a B2B SaaS product that allows field teams to collect, structure and analyze retail intelligence. The company’s native Android and iOS apps enable field team members to capture data quickly, while their web app instantly aggregates data for management in easy to understand charts and visuals.

Kidizen (Minneapolis, Minn.) – Kidizen is a mobile marketplace for parents to buy and sell pre-owned children's clothing, accessories, and more. The app lets users set up filters for different types of merchandise and get updates on listings from other parents they follow. They can also take pictures of clothes, add product details, name their price and keep track of all transactions from a personalized shop.

InvisionHeart (Nasvhille, Tenn.) – InvisionHeart is a mobile hardware and cloud system that allows networks of physicians, nurses, technicians, and billing specialists to securely access and annotate patient ECG tracings via a smartphone or tablet.

iRule (Detroit, Mich.) – iRule is the award winning cloud and mobile based control and automation platform that runs on iOS and Android devices and controls audio/video, lights, shades, and more in the home and the business. The drag-and-drop cloud-based setup and configuration means no “programming”, and no expensive or proprietary hardware is necessary.

MarkITx (Chicago, Ill.) – MarkITx is the first online exchange for trading enterprise IT hardware. Using predictive algorithms to establish fair-market value and an intelligent matching system that connects buyers and sellers in real time, MarkITx helps businesses determine the optimal time to refresh their equipment and recoup as much as 40 percent of their original IT investment.

MOJIO (Waterloo, Canada) – MOJIO is enabling the Internet of Cars, with the world’s first open platform for drivers and automotive service providers to become intimately connected to the needs and wants of drivers in real-time. Partnered with major wireless carriers, MOJIO offers a 3G cellular device and an open API so anyone can write apps for nearly every car on the road today, unlocking a whole new world of possibilities for drivers.

WeDeliver (Chicago, Ill.) – WeDeliver connects businesses to their customers by providing same-day delivery of goods, real-time tracking and customer feedback. Using a fleet of curated, on-demand drivers powered by algorithmic dispatching, the company ensures the quickest delivery of any product from any business to any customer at any time.

Windsor Circle (Durham, N.C.) – Windsor Circle’s Retention Automation Platform makes it push-button-simple for retail marketers to get more from their existing customers by extracting purchase history from any commerce platform and transforming it into actionable data to power personalized marketing that increases retention and customer lifetime value.

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