Wisconsin’s major league sports franchises the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers have teamed up with Microsoft to form a new impact investment division of venture capital fund TitletownTech designed to create a portfolio of technology companies and offer more opportunities for Black and LatinX founders.
Entitled the Equity League, the new venture aims to foster positive social change in Wisconsin and across the United States. First announced in 2017, TitletownTech (pictured) is a partnership between Microsoft and the Packers that has created a venture studio and fund located across the street from the NFL team’s Lambeau Field stadium, as part of the Titletown mixed-use development.
The idea for the Equity League started with Mark Murphy, president and CEO of the Packers, in conjunction with Craig Dickman, managing director of TitletownTech. Building on the success of TitletownTech, Murphy shared this vision for an investment network with Rick Schlesinger, president of business operations for MLB team the Brewers, and Peter Feigin, president of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks.
Murphy said: “The shared values between the Packers, Bucks, Brewers, Microsoft and TitletownTech are what made this possible. It’s time for us to step up. I’m proud that we have all come together to drive meaningful change. The Equity League will help bridge a significant gap for Black and Hispanic founders, as well as benefit social impact companies.”
The Equity League will target inequities that exist in the tech startup industry by prioritising Black and LatinX founders and hiring minority venture fellows, while also investing in sectors including, but not limited to education, fintech, digital inclusion, health equality, urban innovation and criminal justice reform.
Joining TitletownTech as director of the Equity League is Israel Squires, a M&A/securities lawyer, entrepreneur, former collegiate football player, and Wisconsin native. He said: “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.”