Rise of the Rest (ROTR), a nationwide effort that “invests in passionate entrepreneurs who leverage their expertise to change the way we live and work,” is the brainchild of AOL co-founder Steve Case and his venture capital company, Revolution. Case was a pioneer of the Internet and now is helping fellow entrepreneurs in the seed stage of their respective companies become industry pioneers. The Rise of the Rest Road Trip has stops in OrlandoMelbourneTampaMiami and Puerto Rico, giving away $100,000 in each city to eight local competitors.  

The ROTR bus comes to a stop at ConnectWise, 4805 Independence Parkway, Suite 101, Tampa on Wednesday, May 1, to conduct a pitch competition for the top local startups which results in a $100,000 investment from the ROTR Seed Fund. Think of it as Shark Tank on wheels.

The eight finalists invited to pitch are COI Energy, GuestBox, Immertec, Pocket Network, Presence, Rankminer, The Natural Nipple, and WorldWatch Plus.

COI Energy is making the world more energy efficient one building at a time. Setting out to protect the environment, COI Energy’s system allows its customers to not only make money but to save money by reducing the amount of energy used in buildings. Founded by SaLisa L. Berrien, COI Energy partners with its customers to monetize their energy efficient buildings and pays them for the data they provide utility companies. According to COI Energy, its mission is to make the world more energy efficient by improving building energy performance and grid optimization. It uses efficiency, speed, and simplicity to accomplish this mission.

Envisioned while hosting on Airbnb, GuestBox is one of the latest companies in the product-to-door game. The service curates luxury essentials and high-quality extras that help turn an average host into a host with the most. A unique welcome for guests, the box contains coffee, fragrance samples, toiletries, and snacks.

RELATED CONTENT: Rise of The Rest Bus Tour Brings $100,000 Opportunity for Tampa Startups

Created to assist medical companies with staff training and observations in real-time, technology company Immertec deals in live-streaming 3-D virtual reality software. Immertec makes it possible to train doctors from anywhere in the world in the simplest of exercises to the most complex surgical procedures. This is done by utilizing VR to place surgeons into operating rooms worldwide to observe their counterparts in action.

Pocket Network helps software developers create mobile peer-to-peer cryptocurrency applications utilizing a live, open-source platform. With the speed of growth it's experiencing, Pocket Network’s goal is to make cryptocurrencies easier to use and more accessible for people worldwide.

These days it’s all about engaging your audience, especially when it’s a vast audience of students on college and university campuses. St. Pete’s Presence is making the campus engagement process easier to track, manage, and assess via its web and mobile platform. Founded in 2012, the platform Presence provides helps increase student engagement, assess involvement, and allocate funding efficiently. Retention is also improved through simplifying and digitizing processes, collecting, structuring, and analyzing involvement data.

Rankminer, a predictive analytics firm, is another innovative startup from St. Pete. Its purpose is to support call centers through emotion-based voice and behavior. Rankminer’s patent technology identifies which customers are at-risk and who will buy more. It goes one step further by determining which call center agents are rock stars with their ability to help customers and the ones who are struggling.

Empowering breastfeeding mothers worldwide, The Natural Nipple has set out to improve the success of the transition between breast to bottle while in the breastfeeding stage, therefore, increasing the longevity of breastfeeding overall. Using food-grade silicone in a BPA-free bottle, The Natural Nipple bottle is the only one of its kind that is fully customizable and modeled after the mother’s breast.

WorldWatch Plus is an international screening solution that provides its users with a self-serve interface that delivers compliant background screening and due diligence searches. Accurate and up-to-date data can be accessed to determine if a subject “has been listed as barred or received any type of censure by financial, criminal and/or regulatory authorities globally”.

Doors Open at 4 p.m. 

4-4:30 – Doors open (networking with ROTR delegation and open bar)

4:30-5:30 – Fireside with Steve Case and Jeff Vinik

5:30-7 – Pitch competition

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