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Former AOL Executives Steve Case, Ted Leonsis Launch $450 Million Venture Fund

The duo looks to help rebuild the tech start-up culture in the Washington, DC area.

NEW YORK – Former AOL and AOL Time Warner chairman Steve Case and former AOL vice chairman Ted Leonsis have raised a $450 million venture fund to help rebuild the start-up culture in the Washington, DC area, the Washington Post reported.

For their Revolution Growth Fund, the two entrepreneurs spent eight months raising capital, and they will put around $75 million of their own money to work, the paper said. AOL used to be based in Dulles, Va. near DC.

Beyond U.S. government business, pushes into cutting-edge technology and other hot areas have only come in fits and starts for DC, the Post said, highlighting that in the late 1990s the Dulles area was a tech boomtown. But things changed when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000.

Allen Morgan, a Bay Area investor who has invested with both Leonsis and Case in the past, told the Post that the duo not only has money, but is also “super-connected.” He predicted their fund would be attractive to entrepreneurs.

Leonsis, 54, owns the NBA team Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals. He also founded SnagFilms, an online distribution site for documentaries and independent films.

Case, 53, is chair of the Startup America Partnership, which is part of President Obama’s strategy to stimulate economic growth and the creation of quality jobs.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai