PORTLAND, Maine — AOL co-founder Steve Case plans to take his startup business tour to Portland this fall, where his investment firm Revolution plans to hold a $100,000 business pitch contest and other events.

Case announced the visit to Portland as part of his company’s fourth Rise of the Rest Tour, which also will stop in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Buffalo and Manchester, New Hampshire.

The tour and the Rise of the Rest initiative, which Case said intends “to level the playing field for entrepreneurs everywhere,” will visit Portland on Friday, Oct. 2.

Jess Knox, a co-founder of Maine Startup and Create Week and business consultant, said discussions about having Case’s Rise of the Rest tour come to Portland began at this year’s Maine Startup and Create Week.

“[The selection] is really a recognition of the great companies that are really all over Maine, and I hope that folks will come and be a part of it from all over the state,” Knox said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

The event will include a business pitch event, open to the public, where people can compete to win a $100,000 investment in their business or startups. The competition requires that applicants already have a product to market and that they are headquartered “a reasonable driving distance away from the cities we are visiting.”

The judges for the competition will consider the business model, growth potential and also the possibility for the company to draw attention to the region, among other factors, according to the company’s website.

Knox, who is organizing the Portland event, said the day also will involve meetings with local entrepreneurs, businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions and public officials to talk about policies that may encourage growth of startup businesses.

Aside from Startup and Create Week, Knox has helped get Portland on the startup map, attracting a Popular Mechanics feature on Portland’s network for entrepreneurs earlier this year and other media mentions.

He said he’s not sure if that level of attention is reflected in investor focus on companies here, but he and others are forming relationships with people who have connections to Maine and work in some of the country’s top tech companies.

Knox said Mike Perlis, president and CEO of Forbes Media, is a recent example. Perlis, Knox said, has a summer home in Maine and agreed to be a keynote speaker for Maine Startup and Create Week in 2016.

“I’ve seen a lot more people who have a connection to Maine in innovation and startup companies reach out and want to find out how they can be a part of what’s happening here,” Knox said.

Before the tour announced Tuesday, the Rise of the Rest initiative has invested $1.5 million in 14 cities across the country.

Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.