Steve & Jean Case Presented with American Spirit Award

March 12, 2020

Contact: Cassie Ann Hodges
Phone: 202-864-5923

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) today presented Steve & Jean Case with the 2020 American Spirit Award. The American Spirit Award recognizes NVCA members who have shown philanthropic leadership by applying business skills, knowledge, expertise and resources to make an outstanding contribution to society.

“It would be hard to find any other couple that has made as big of a positive impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem as Steve and Jean Case,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA. “Their work to highlight emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems outside of the traditional VC hubs on the coasts through the Rise of Rest campaign and seed fund has had a tremendous effect on those emerging ecosystems and the attention they receive from VCs. Additionally, their dedication to improving inclusive entrepreneurship, impact investing, and other areas of our digital economy through The Case Foundation is inspirational and has been transformative to so many. Together, Steve and Jean Case have helped improve the spirit of American entrepreneurship and continue to make our country a better place.”

Steve Case is one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and he was a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life. Case co-founded AOL in 1985 and under his leadership and vision, AOL became the largest and most valuable Internet company, driving the worldwide adoption of a medium that has transformed business and society.

Case is Chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, a Washington, D.C.- based investment firm that partners with visionary entrepreneurs to build significant ‘built to last’ businesses. In 2014, Steve and Revolution launched the Rise of the Rest, a platform to shine a spotlight on entrepreneurs that are starting and scaling businesses outside of Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston.

Jean Case has a long and diverse track record of transformation and change management as a business builder, policy advocate, philanthropist, investor, and tech pioneer. Since 1997, Jean has served as CEO of The Case Foundation, which is widely regarded as one of the most innovative philanthropic entities in the world. In that role, Jean has led cross-sector partnerships that have brought business, government, and nonprofits together to drive impact in areas including inclusive entrepreneurship, impact investing, citizen engagement and the digital divide. In January 2020, Jean launched the Case Impact Network to help accelerate efforts to usher in a new era of multi-stakeholder capitalism.

Since 2016, Jean has served as Chairman of the National Geographic Society. During her tenure as Chairman, National Geographic has dramatically expanded its digital strategy and global reach. Nat Geo now reaches hundreds of millions of people each month through its global platform and is one of the top social media brands in the world. Jean helped create and currently serves as Chairman of National Geographic Partners, a $5 billion global media and travel joint venture with the Walt Disney Company.

About the American Spirit Award

The American Spirit Award recognizes NVCA members who have shown philanthropic leadership by applying business skills, knowledge, expertise and resources to make an outstanding contribution to society.

Previous recipients: All Raise, RoseAnn Rosenthal, Ray Leach, Jeff Fagnan, Robin Richards Donohoe, William Sahlman, Peter Bancroft, Chuck Newhall, Joe Aragona, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, John Doerr, Alan Patricof, William Bowes, Peter Wendell, Floyd Kvamme, William Draper III, Martin Koldyke and Gib Myers.


The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) empowers the next generation of American companies that will fuel the economy of tomorrow. As the voice of the US venture capital and startup community, NVCA advocates for public policy that supports the American entrepreneurial ecosystem. Serving the venture community as the preeminent trade association, NVCA arms the venture community for success, serving as the leading resource for venture capital data, practical education, peer-led initiatives, and networking. For more information about NVCA, please visit