The MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers, the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and Microsoft have joined forces bring access and equity to minority founders and social impact startups by forming the Equity League, a new investment division of venture capital fund TitletownTech that will focus on locating and developing companies working to enact social change.
The Equity League, which has a mission of creating a long-term, positive impact on society, will target inequities that exist in the tech startup industry by prioritizing Black and LatinX founders and hiring minority venture fellows, according to a news release from TitletownTech, while also investing in sectors including, but not limited to, education, fintech, digital inclusion, health equality, urban innovation and criminal justice reform.
“The shared values between the Packers, Bucks, Brewers, Microsoft and TitletownTech is what made this possible. It’s time for us to step up and I’m proud we are taking a bigger role to focus on driving meaningful change and bridging a significant gap for social impact companies and minority founders,” said Mark Murphy, the President and CEO of the Green Bay Packers, in a statement.
First announced in 2017, TitletownTech is a partnership between Microsoft and the Green Bay Packers that is now shepherding more than 20 new startups into formation with many beginning operations in Northeast Wisconsin. The Equity League is an investment network focused on building a portfolio of impact-driven technology companies and creating more opportunities for Black and LatinX founders.
“We are proud to forge a partnership with the Packers and Brewers to generate such meaningful opportunities for Black and LatinX founders,” said Bucks and Fiserv Forum President Peter Feigin in a statement. “Our state’s professional sports teams are excited to create long-term positive change together.”
A founding principle of the Equity League is that “while genius is equally distributed regardless of race, gender, or zip code, opportunity is not.” According to numbers from the organization, when looking at Venture Capital-backed startups, only 1% of founders are Black and less than 2% are LatinX. On the investment side, just 3% of the employees at Venture Capital investment funds are Black or LatinX professionals.
“The Equity League at TitletownTech is a meaningful step to help Black and LatinX founders get access to capital and support to grow their startups into thriving businesses. We are delighted to continue our support of TitletownTech through this unique partnership that brings together sports, business, and community leaders, said Brad Smith, President of Microsoft. “As an organization, we are committed to driving positive social change and using technology to open more doors of access and opportunity.”
This endeavor marks the first time the Brewers, Bucks, and Packers have partnered together for the shared purpose of fostering positive social change in Wisconsin and across the United States.