NBA champion Kyle Kuzma looks to bring his team mentality to Scrum Ventures | TheTrendyType

by The Trendy Type

Kyle Kuzma is plenty of issues. He’s a ahead for the Washington Wizards NBA crew and a 2020 NBA champion. He’s additionally a method icon — relying on who you ask — and an angel investor. Now he’s an adviser at a enterprise fund too.

“I’m a part of a brand new technology of the NBA,” Kuzma instructed TheTrendyType in a telephone interview. “For me, I’ve at all times been a hustler and any individual that could be very interested by enterprise and doing issues simply to arrange my household’s generational wealth. I feel entering into enterprise is just going to take that to a unique stratosphere.”

Kuzma, 28, joined early-stage-focused Scrum Ventures in March as an adviser to assist with the agency’s sports activities and leisure fund, which is concentrating on $120 million. The partnership began in January when Kuzma’s agent, Austin Eastman, was linked to Scrum managing director and accomplice Michael Proman. Kuzma stated he was impressed with Scrum’s crew. Proman stated the optimistic sentiment was mutual.

“The factor about Kyle is, I personally didn’t actually even perceive how intensive his pursuits have been within the enterprise area till after getting launched,” Proman, a former NBA worker on the enterprise growth crew, stated. “Kyle is absolutely interested by understanding the enterprise playbook however extra so from the enterprise facet.”

Proman stated Scrum’s sports activities fund, the place Kuzma will likely be serving to, is a bit of totally different than different sports-focused VC funds, as a result of it focuses on tech that may very well be helpful to athletes or enterprise sports activities prospects and can also be relevant to different industries. Ozlo Sleepbuds is an efficient instance. The corporate makes earbuds to assist folks sleep higher. Whereas sleeping effectively is extremely necessary for athletes, it’s necessary far past skilled sports activities too. Scrum participated within the firm’s $6 million seed spherical earlier this yr.

Scrum’s broad strategy to sports activities tech makes Kuzma adviser, versus one other NBA participant, Proman stated, as a result of Kuzma has already invested throughout a number of sectors. Kuzma began angel investing in 2020 and has constructed up a portfolio that features soda various Lemon Good, which has gone on to lift a further $67.8 million in enterprise capital; client knowledge firm, Surf; and watch market, Bezel.

“His funding portfolio is fairly numerous; it’s not simply your basic sports activities tech,” Proman stated. “There are plenty of of us on the market that wish to make investments into what they do 24/7, and whereas they could be nice at offering insights and evaluation of these applied sciences, in lots of circumstances these aren’t venture-backable applied sciences.”

Kuzma stated he plans to be a hands-on investor, and whereas he is aware of a reputation like his may very well be a advertising boon for the businesses he works with, he stated he doesn’t simply wish to relaxation there and would fairly use his standing to assist corporations increase their community utilizing his connections. He additionally thinks his expertise taking part in basketball makes him match as a VC as a result of he’s used to working in a aggressive surroundings the place you don’t succeed until you’re employed as a crew.

“I convey a aggressive nature,” he stated. “If you play sports activities on the highest degree just like the NBA, you’re taking part in chess and never checkers. We’re good; we aren’t simply athletes. We’re not simply those that play sports activities and never do anything.”

Kuzma’s presence has already proved helpful for the agency, Proman stated, as working with an athlete like Kuzma has led to an uptick in inbound curiosity within the agency. Good inbound curiosity — he clarified.

Kuzma isn’t the primary NBA participant to become involved with enterprise capital. Kevin Durant’s household workplace, 35V, invests closely in startups. Steph Curry is the anchor LP of Penny Jar Capital. Former gamers like Andre Iguodala and Michael Redd have taken extra formal roles within the trade, too, by launching companies of their very own, Mosaic and 22 Ventures, respectively. Kuzma is the most recent NBA participant to dive into enterprise, however he probably received’t be the most recent for lengthy.

“Becoming a member of Scrum Ventures is absolutely thrilling for me,” Kuzma stated. “I wish to additional my portfolio and simply my attain within the VC world. As athletes, they at all times let you know to diversify your portfolio as a lot as you may. That is the subsequent iteration of me as an entrepreneur.”

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