Perhaps these "NBA Cares" commercials are more than PR stunts. The Wall Street Journal reports that Knicks All-Star, Carmelo Anthony, has joined Stuart Goldfarb (a former NBC executive) to create a seed investment fund, M7 Tech Partners. The first deal? Hullabalu, a NY-based startup that creates storytelling apps for kids.
TechCrunch couldn't resist adding this jab: "As these star athletes enter the venture game, they may want to be advised that not every investment is a slam dunk...Melo may find venture success as elusive as an NBA championship."
Anthony follows in the footstep of other basketball celebrities who have publicly supported education initiatives. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is an active investor in both K-12 and postsecondary startups; Miami Heat All-Star, Chris Bosh, says "watching myself in the Code.org video was one of the coolest moments of my life."
On the school side, Earvin "Magic" Johnson continues to support blended learning centers for at-risk students, and David Robinson committed $9 million to start Carver Academy, which has since become part of the IDEA charter network. The Lebron James Family Foundation's "Wheels for Education" program offers a two-week technology camp to students in the Akron community as part of its overall goal to reduce dropout rates.
Combined, these players make for a formidable dream team on the court and in the class:
- Center: David Robinson (IDEA Carver)
- Forward: Chris Bosh (Code.org)
- Forward: Carmelo Anthony (M7 Tech Partners)
- Guard: Magic Johnson (Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy)
- Guard: Lebron James (Wheels for Education)
- Owner: Mark Cuban (Ranku, Packback, Copley Retention Services, Degreed)
Got a better lineup in mind?