The Milwaukee Brewers are teaming up with the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Microsoft to form the Equity League, which will be a high impact investment division of the venture capital fund, TitletownTech. The joint venture marks the first time the three sports organizations are partnered, and their partnership stems from a shared vision of fostering positive social change in Wisconsin, specifically, and across the United States, generally.
Microsoft, the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Milwaukee Brewers have combined forces to form the Equity League, a new impact investment division of venture capital fund TitletownTech.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 15, 2020
TitletownTech was an already established partnership between Microsoft and the Green Bay Packers. Since its inception in 2017, the TitletownTech partnership has helped more than 20 new startups come online in Northeast Wisconsin.
The Equity League will seek to increase TitletownTech’s reach and impact in Wisconsin with a focus on impact-driven technology companies as well as creating more opportunities for marginalized groups who often fail to get the attention and cultivation that other potential business founders have access to.
The Brewers, Packers, Bucks and Microsoft are committing $1.2M in administrative costs to establish the entity. From there, investors (including the sports teams and interested players) will be able to invest in the fund to make grants to these startups.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) December 15, 2020
The articulated principle of the Equity League is that while genius is equally distributed regardless of race, gender, or zip code, opportunity is not. They back that principle up with some interesting data. When it comes to startups backed by venture capital, only 1% of founders are black and less than 2% are hispanic. Just 3% of employees at Venture Capital investment funds are black or hispanic.
Here’s more on The Equity League, a joint venture of the Brewers, Packers and Bucks ⬇️https://t.co/hohIZaoWQs— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) December 15, 2020
The idea for the Equity League started with the President and CEO of the Green Bay Packers, Mark Murphy and Managing Director of TitletownTech, Craig Dickman. With the success brought about from TitletownTech, Murphy conveyed his idea for something more substantial with Rick Schlesinger, President of Business Operations for the Brewers and Peter Feigin, President of the Milwaukee Bucks. The result is the Equity League.
Coming on via TitletownTech to manage the Equity League will be Israel Squires. He is a Wisconsin native who played collegiate football. He has experience both as a M&A/securities lawyer and entrepreneur. Prior to taking on the role of Director of the Equity League, he raised millions in venture capital funding, scaling startups in the United States and China. Squires said of the Equity League,
We’re attacking a multi-faceted, generational problem with a multi-faceted, generational solution. Our goal is to invest in companies and founders that have strong potential to produce both significant financial returns and large-scale social impact. Our strategy to achieve this is one that challenges the status quo and we’re excited to show how the venture capital and startup space can be used to facilitate long-term positive change.
The thought is that Microsoft, the Brewers, Packers, and Bucks are on the precipice of something meaningful. As Rich Schlesinger pointed out,
I have no doubt that we’re going to get a lot of inquires from teams in other states who want to replicate this model. That would be a fantastic win, frankly, if this ends up being replicated in other states. If this becomes a national movement, then we’ve accomplished one of our goals.