Packers, Bucks, Brewers and Microsoft create 'Equity League' to benefit Black, Latino tech startups

NOW: Packers, Bucks, Brewers and Microsoft create ’Equity League’ to benefit Black, Latino tech startups

GREEN BAY, Wis. (CBS 58) – The Milwaukee Bucks, Brewers, the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft are teaming up to form the Equity League.

The Equity League is a new investment division of venture capital fund Titletown Tech.

It will target inequities which exist in the tech startup industry by prioritizing Black and Latino founders.

“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,” President of Microsoft Brad Smith said in a statement.

According to a press release, this is the first time all of the teams have partnered together for the purpose of positive social change.

“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,” Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said.

In a virtual news conference on Tuesday, Dec. 15, say they're also working to tackle bias in society, and in the world of venture capitalism.

“Not only do we create an entry point, but we create a roadmap, for Black and LatinX entrepreneurs in such an important time, in a really forgotten place of venture," said Bucks and Fiserv Forum President Peter Feigin.

“There aren’t many examples of three professional teams working together, and particularly for racial justice and inequality," Murphy said.

Equity League is a for-profit initiative.

“We think that we can help these companies scale in different ways. We think that we can help build sales pipelines, customer pipelines," said Equity League Director Israel Squires.

Milwaukee entrepreneur Rick Banks is executive director, and co-founder, of mobile business app, MKE Black.

Banks supports the Equity League idea, and also encourages investors to offer more grant funding to startups instead.

“As that minority business grows, their (investment company) portfolio and asset size grows with it," Banks explained. "So they make money, we make money. It’s a win-win. Whereas, of course, if it was a grant they’re just giving away money, and they’re just giving away money, which would be good for us.”

Ultimately, Equity League creators say they want the businesses to be profitable and to succeed.

"Profitable companies create jobs and opportunities," said Brewers President of Business Operations Rick Schlesinger.

The Equity League partners did not specify how much they plan to invest nor how many companies they’re looking to support.

They do encourage entrepreneurs to contact the League via its website.

For more information, click here.

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