August 23, 2016

Kobe Bryant’s Playing a New Game

Yesterday, Kobe Bryant revealed that he’s quietly been building a $100m venture capital firm for the last 3 years with serial entrepreneur, Jeff Stibel.

Their firm, Bryant Stibel — which was intentionally kept under wraps so it could stand on its own merit as opposed to Kobe’s celebrity — has already invested in 15 companies, including Derek Jeter’s media company The Player’s Tribune, Alibaba, and Juicero.

A beast on and off the court

Kobe Bryant is known for his borderline insane work ethic. And as venture capitalist and on and off “Shark Tank” star Chris Sacca claims, Kobe reached out to him for an assist a few years ago.

He wanted to learn more about the industry, and Sacca suggested he start watching TED talks and reading a variety of articles. Which Kobe did. And apparently he “was bringing the same obsessive work ethic to learning about startups that he does to training.”

Sure, starting out with $320m in his personal piggy bank doesn’t hurt. But with Stibel handling the boring, back of the house stuff like operations and strategy, Kobe’s going to focus on leadership, inspiration, and storytelling.

And don’t tell us going through KPIs and TPS reports with The Black Mamba wouldn’t be inspiring.

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