The program will run a three-day training camp, provide mentorship, and introduce enrolled startups to investors and similar companies. The accelerator is being set up with Patricof Co, a private investment firm for professional athletes, and will be open to current and former players. (Bloomberg)
Talking point: Several of the game’s best-known stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry—who backed Toronto’s SnapTravel in December 2018—have built tech investment portfolios. But deal flow can be difficult for even slightly lesser-known players. “That billionaire’s boys club is real,” Andre Iguodala said in an October 2018 interview. The star sixth man struggled to get companies to accept his investments, until his then-Golden State Warriors won a championship in 2015; his deals include Zoom Video, which went public in April 2019, and Casper, which filed for an IPO on Friday. That early resistance came despite the San Francisco-based Warriors’ technology links—majority owner Joe Lacob and several other shareholders are prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalists or executives. The NBPA’s accelerator could help bridge some of those access gaps.