A Closer Look at Dan Gilbert’s New VC Firm

By Amanda Lewan on January 21st, 2016 / Comments

For those following the success of investor and entrepreneur Dan Gilbert, it has been easy to notice his love for sports and entertainment. Owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Greektown Casino and investor in dozens of other technology and media companies show this trend. Now, Dan Gilbert has launched a $35 Million dollar early stage investment fund for startups focusing on sports and media.

Dan Gilbert’s new fund Courtside Ventures also includes investments from Bruin Sports Capital, founded by George Pyne former president of IMG, and investment from WWP. We caught up with Brian Hermelin, Partner at Courtside Ventures, to find out more for entrepreneurs in Michigan.

What inspired Dan to launch a fund in sports tech? Within the Family of Companies, there is a big emphasis on tying threads among our companies and investments.  In addition to the Cleveland Cavaliers, investments have been made in some of the most innovative sports startups in the country including Krossover, Veritix and WSC, and Courtside Ventures was the next step in leveraging our experience in the space to invest in entrepreneurs who are able to harness the power and appeal of sports.

Does Dan see any strategic value in locating the fund in Detroit, often known as a “sports town” and having an entrepreneurial advantage? Courtside Ventures will have a presence in both Detroit and New York City, two cities recognized as top tier sports towns, allowing potential startups the opportunity to leverage access to a wide variety of sports franchises and fans. An even bigger advantage though is having Courtside located in two of the most innovative technology hubs in the country. Detroit is quickly establishing itself as a leading destination in the entrepreneurial community, and the fact that another venture capital firm will be operating in the city is further proof.

When are pitches open (now or future date) for entrepreneurs to submit? Courtside Ventures is already taking pitches from entrepreneurs who are transforming the intersection of sports technology and media. Those interested should send an email to hello@courtsidevc.com.

What might make an ideal investment size and company for this new fund? Courtside Ventures will invest up to $3 million in innovative, technology startups that have the capability to disrupt sports and media with the potential for broader applicability across other markets.

Follow this new fund here at Courtside Ventures, and check out our full listing of other Michigan funding opportunities from angels to VC’s and pitch competitions.

About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.