NBPA Announces the 2022 NBPA Players Accelerator
NBPA Announces the 2022 NBPA Players Accelerator
NEW YORK, NY, June 1, 2022 - The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) is excited to announce the launch of the 2022 NBPA Players Accelerator. First developed in January 2020, the program serves as a platform for current and former NBPA members to jump-start their business ventures and startup ideas.
Over the last two years with help of program partner Patricof Co – a highly specialized private investment platform for professional athletes – the NBPA Players Accelerator operated in a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic. As part of this programming, current and former NBPA members had the opportunity to participate in virtual panel discussions, receive mentorship from successful entrepreneurs across multiple industries, and present to a panel of investors as a part of the program’s virtual “Investor Day” experience.
With collaboration from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)’s Cultural Leadership Fund and Patricof Co, the 2022 NBPA Players Accelerator kicked off last month with program participants beginning to prepare and refine their individual business plans.
In the final stage of this program, participants will attend a 2-day Training Camp In Las Vegas, NV in July 2022. This 2-day experience will include “450 Culture Connect”, an exclusive athlete-venture mixer hosted by the NBPA and a16z’s Cultural Leadership Fund which will serve as a platform for program participants to foster connections with business and technology leaders, startup founders, investors, and more.
"While best known for their accomplishments on the court, we've seen firsthand just how skilled and savvy NBA players are in business," said Megan Holston-Alexander, Partner, Cultural Leadership Fund at a16z. “We’re thrilled to collaborate with the NBPA to help connect athletes interested in innovative ways to expand their personal brands and businesses with successful tech founders who can share lessons from their own journeys building the future.”
The Players Accelerator will culminate with “Investor Day”, an end-of-program presentation by select player-led companies to a panel of professional investors powered by Patricof Co for feedback and funding consideration. Designed to champion the entrepreneurial mindset of the players, the Investor Day platform will give player participants an opportunity to gain practical experience pitching their business ideas to investors while also receiving constructive advice in real-time to develop their skills as leaders in the business world.
For participation, current or recently retired players must play an active role in the company, and the company must have series A or below funding status.
“Our members are more than basketball players and have a proven track record as investors, entrepreneurs, board members, and principals of their own brands,” said Tamika Tremaglio, Executive Director of the NBPA. “With the NBPA Players Accelerator Program, we want to ensure that our current and former members are receiving the best-in-class resources to learn, network, and grow as business titans in a creative and competitive environment.”
“As players, we are businessmen,” said JaVale McGee, an NBPA member, investor, and entrepreneur. “The NBPA’s Players Accelerator is a great opportunity for current and former players to gain practical experience and immerse themselves in an entrepreneurial environment. It’s always exciting to learn how players are increasingly networking with business leaders and taking the initiative to maximize their platform off the court. These types of programs are truly invaluable and I look forward to seeing players utilize this experience to continue their own professional development."
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About the NBPA
The National Basketball Players Association is the union for current professional basketball players in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Established in 1954, the NBPA’s mission is to protect and support the rights and talents of our players, magnify the power of their collective will, and amplify their voices as leaders who will transcend sport and society globally.
The NBPA advocates on behalf of the best interests of all NBA players, including the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, the filing of grievances on behalf of the players, or counseling players on benefits, educational and post-NBA career opportunities. Business opportunities are generated by THINK450, the for-profit subsidiary of the NBPA charged with managing the players’ group licensing rights.
Dedicated to preserving the legacy of its members, the NBPA Foundation provides support and assistance to persons, communities, and organizations around the world that seek to improve the lives of those in need.
THINK450 is the innovation and partnership engine of the NBPA, dedicated to uncovering shared interests between the 450 players and leading brands to build more engaging partnerships. Together with its partners, THINK450 creates original ideas that engage fans, stir them to action, and earn brands the right to participate in cultural conversations. For more information, visit THINK450.com.
Founded in Silicon Valley in 2009 by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz (known as "a16z") is a venture capital firm that backs bold entrepreneurs building the future through technology. We are stage agnostic: We invest in seed to venture to late-stage technology companies, across bio + healthcare, consumer, crypto, enterprise, fintech, games, and companies building toward American dynamism. a16z has $28.2B in assets under management across multiple funds.
a16z is defined by respect for the entrepreneur and the company building process; we know what it’s like to be in the founder’s shoes. The firm is led by general partners, many of whom are former founders/operators, CEOs, or CTOs of successful technology companies, and who have domain expertise ranging from biology to crypto to distributed systems to security to marketplaces to financial services. Our team is at the forefront of new technology, helping founders and their companies impact and change the world.
We aim to connect entrepreneurs, investors, executives, engineers, academics, industry experts, and others in the technology ecosystem. We have built a network of experts including technical and executive talent; top media and marketing resources; Fortune 500/Global 2000 companies; as well as other technology decision makers, influencers, and key opinion leaders. a16z uses this network as part of our commitment to help our portfolio companies grow their business, so our operating teams provide entrepreneurs with access to expertise and insights across the entire spectrum of company building.
About Patricof Co
Patricof Co is a highly specialized private investment platform designed to meet the unique business needs and opportunities of professional athletes. We optimize athletes’ direct private investment strategy through a combination of personalized services and a proprietary co-investment process.
Patricof Co’s core investment focus is on late-stage consumer growth and private equity transactions and non-control positions in legacy real estate properties, with each transaction being led by a top-tier financial sponsor.