Since retiring from the NBA, Jamal Mashburn has become a pretty successful business man with his holdings including car dealerships, restaurants, and a realty company.
Now, Mashburn is entering the realm of venture capital by creating his own venture capital firm and the fine folks over at the Wall Street Journal have the details on that:
Mashburn has teamed up with another pro athlete–National Football League offensive tackle Winston Justice–to launch a venture capital firm for investing in high-tech startups.
Justice Mashburn Capital Partners, as the Florida-based firm is called, has already made its first investment. The firm participated in a funding round for LevelEleven Inc., a software company bringing game mechanics to the sales departments at large corporations.
For those of you think that Jamal is doing this on a whim, this idea has been in his mind for the last couple of years:
The idea percolated over the years, Mr. Mashburn said, as a growing number of teammates and other athletes asked him to invest money for them, something he was not prepared to do in an off-hand way. But the constant queries planted the idea, he said.
Getting pitched on business ventures won’t be new for Mr. Mashburn, but the quality of the pitches will hopefully improve now that he is a venture capitalist, he said.
“Athletes get pitched all the time,” he said. “People have this view that you’re not the smart money, you’re the dumb money. We get pitched mom-and-pop businesses that are not scalable. We get pitched on the marketing side, heavily. We get pitched by people who say their company is the next Google. Well, if you’re the next Google, why are you free to sit here and talk to me on a Tuesday afternoon?”
Best of luck to you, Mr. Mashburn.
Jamal Mashburn launches his own venture capital firm [Wall Street Journal]
Jamal Mashburn image courtesy of Getty Images