Got a great idea that’s guaranteed to change the world? Kobe Bryant wants to hear about it.
On Monday morning, the former NBA superstar (still feels weird typing that) announced that he is partnering with entrepreneur Jeff Stibel to start a $100 million venture capital fund, which will be used to invest in companies in the technology, media, and data spaces. Kobe and Stibel have already invested in more than a dozen such companies over the course of the last three years, but now that Kobe has plenty of free time on his hands—growing a killer retirement beard only takes but so long—he wants to put some of his NBA fortune to good use and find more startup companies that are going to make an impact in the near future. He spoke with the Wall Street Journal about his first really big post-retirement project.
"Sometimes you can spot it right away," he said while talking with the WSJ about finding companies that could potentially be successful, "other times, not so much. It’s the inner belief that a person has that he will endure no matter what the obstacle may be. It’s that persistence, the entrepreneur doing what he or she truly believes in and truly loves to do."
Kobe went on to explain that, while others NBA players like Carmelo Anthony, Andre Iguodala, and his former teammate Shaquille O’Neal have launched similar ventures, he has no desire to compete directly with any of them.
"I think it’s interesting that the immediate reaction from people would be competitiveness between myself and others," he said. "I’m more interested in how I can help Shaq, Melo, or Iguodala."
You can check out more from Kobe and Stibel here. The two have invested in The Players’ Tribune, LegalZoom, RingDNA, and others as of right now, but they’ll be investing more money soon. How long before Kobe ends up sitting next to Mark Cuban on an episode of Shark Tank?