The nonprofit Birmingham organization called Bronze Valley creates educational and organization opportunities for underrepresented communities, and at its first conference earlier this year a start-up called Mixtroz won $100,000 in the Rise of the Rest, a competition funded by the former AOL chief executive Steve Case. The Nashville-based mother-daughter team behind Mixtroz plan to relocate to Birmingham to develop their networking app.
It was the end of a long four months for Ashlee Ammons and Kerry Schrader, who just wrapped up their participation in the 2018 Velocity Accelerator cohort in Birmingham, AL and were gearing up to participate in the Rise of Rest bus tour pitch competition. The mother-daughter founders, spent 13 weeks away from their home in Greater Nashville to share a bed in a small dorm room hoping to gain the tools, resources and funding they need for their start-up, Mixtroz, an app that alleviates the awkwardness of networking events by connecting attendees at mixers based on their interests. On May 9, 2018, their time away from home paid off as they pitched themselves to victory winning the top prize of $100,000 at the competition.
"We are so excited to be on the front-end of knowing what a gem in the tech space Birmingham is," startup founder Ashlee Ammons told WBRC.
Q. How are you (or your company, org, nonprofit) currently bridging the gap between politics and tech? Our platform helps people from different sides of the political spectrum (or any spectrum for that matter) find commonality. When that commonality is discovered even when you disagree you tend to do so more respectfully.
Nashville’s mother-daughter duo Ashlee Ammons & Kerry Schrader also just graduated from Velocity Accelerator and their startup Mixtroz is already doing big things.
In May they won Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest pitch competition at Sloss Furnaces, taking home $100,000.
After all the love Mixtroz has received from Birmingham, they’ve decided to make it their home. They’ll be working out of Innovation Depot through the end of the year and adding several new people to the team.
AOL cofounder Steve Case runs the Washington, DC-based venture capital firm Revolution, and "Hillbilly Elegy" author JD Vance, who oversees the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.
In May, the Revolution team led a bus tour across five cities in the southeastern US, with the intention of catalyzing growth in emerging startup communities.
The latest tour, the seventh of its kind, was the first to draw from a $150 million seed fund, whose investors include Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Bridgewater's Ray Dalio.
This post is part of Business Insider's ongoing series on Better Capitalism.