December 15, 2020
World-class organizations unite to bring access, equity, to minority founders & social impact startups
Green Bay, Wisconsin – Microsoft, the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Milwaukee Brewers have combined forces to form the Equity League, a new impact investment division of venture capital fund TitletownTech. This 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. Adding to the historic nature of the collaboration, Microsoft, whose mission is to empower every individual and every organization on the planet to achieve more, joins the three teams as the founders of the new organization.
First announced in 2017, TitletownTech is a partnership between Microsoft and the Green Bay Packers that has created an exciting venture studio and fund, across the street from iconic Lambeau Field, and 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. Equity League has a mission of creating a long-term, positive impact on society.
A founding principle of the Equity League is that while genius is equally distributed regardless of race, gender, or zip code, opportunity is not. 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 idea for the Equity League started with Mark Murphy, the President and CEO of the Green Bay 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 the Milwaukee Brewers, and Peter Feigin, President of the Milwaukee Bucks. They were on board and excited to play an active role in changing the ecosystem to better represent the diversity across the country and to create generational impact. “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,” said Murphy.
“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. “Our state’s professional sports teams are excited to create long-term positive change together.” And as Rick Schlesinger said, “The Equity League will create more opportunities for social impact companies and minority Founders, which we believe will generate meaningful outcomes for all stakeholders.”
“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.”
Joining TitletownTech as Director of the Equity League is Israel Squires, a M&A/securities lawyer, entrepreneur, former collegiate football player, and Wisconsin native. Prior to his role at TitletownTech as the Director of the Equity League, he raised millions in Venture Capital funding, scaled startups in both the US and China and broke barriers as a LatinX tech CEO.
“We’re attacking a multi-faceted, generational problem with a multi-faceted, generational solution,” Israel Squires, Director of the Equity League states. “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.”
The Equity League will target inequities that exist in the tech startup industry by prioritizing 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.
About the Equity League The Equity League is an investment collaboration for social change. Together, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Green Bay Packers, and Microsoft form an investment network focused on locating, developing, and investing in minority entrepreneurs and/or growth companies that are creating scalable, social change. theequityleague.com
About TitletownTech Formed out of a partnership between the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft, TitletownTech builds, enables and invests in early-stage and existing businesses. The organization identifies solutions, develops startups, and funds entrepreneurs across five key verticals: sports, media and entertainment; digital health; agriculture, water & environment; advanced manufacturing; and supply chain technology. Through a three-part structure, TitletownTech enables innovation, exploration, and disruption to address industry challenges. The Innovation Lab identifies and explores digital, transformative solutions. The Venture Studio develops creative market solutions with new and existing startups. The Venture Fund invests in high-growth scalable ventures that leverage the region’s strengths. titletowntech.com.