I find inspiration in all types of people, doing all types of things. From poker players to reality TV stars, the world is full of self starters and go getters that we can look up to and find motivation within our own trials and tribulations in our own paths to potential greatness.
Carmelo Anthony is one of those people for me. He is a dominating force on the basketball court and handles his own personal brand with careful thought and execution. In most recent news Carmelo, the eight-time All Star and two-time Olympic champion has partnered with former NBC executive vice president Stuart Goldfarb to launch M7 Tech Partners, an early-stage seed fund for digital media and consumer technology.
One of their first investments was Hullabalu, a Techstars NYC company. I happen to be a mentor for the NYC Techstars program so this one hit close to home. What is really awesome is that Haithem Elembaby, CEO of Katalyst Live, Incubated out of AlleyNYC, is throwing an event during MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios showcasing fashion sports and technology with Carmelo. I linked up with Carmelo for an interview.
Q: Carmelo, you are not only a businessman, you're a business, man. What advice would you give young entrepreneurs about protecting their personal image, in order to protect their business?
A: Your personal image and brand follows you everywhere. Build it deliberately and carefully. You may make many professional moves over the course of your career, but your reputation is going to be with you forever.
Q: What motivated you to start Melo7 Tech Partners?
A: I've been interested in technology for years, but I’ve been a consumer up to this point. This venture allows me to become much more than that. Now, I have a front row seat to witness the future.
Related: How Hard Is Entrepreneurship? Nothing Comes Easy.
Q: Are you getting involved with the companies you are investing in or is it simply just an investment?
A: My partner, Stuart Goldfarb, and I are investors in companies and not managers. But we certainly do our best to help the companies we invest in. We do this by making sure they get publicity, advising them on issues we have expertise in or by using our network of resources to benefit the company. We work really hard to make sure the companies we invest in get a benefit from us.
Q: What types of companies are you focusing on with Melo7 Tech Partners?
A: At Melo7, we look for up-and-coming companies that we can help take to the next level – companies that are using technology to change our world.
Q: How do you vet the companies you are investing in?
A: We read piles of business plans and network constantly looking for attractive investments. When we find a company that looks interesting, we analyze the market and, most importantly, get to know the team. A great investment is a result of having a great team.
Q: What is the purpose of the event you are putting together?
A: The worlds of sports and fashion have been close for some time. Athleticwear influences streetwear which influences high fashion. And now technology is part of all of it. We are going to hold this event annually to showcase innovation in fashion and sports technology.
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Q: Who else is attending the event?
A: Technology thought leaders, CEOs, fashion designers, athletes, musicians, entrepreneurs and creative leaders.
Q: When is the event, and how does someone score tickets?
A: The event is Saturday, February 14. It is invite only but if you think you have to be there, you can request an invite at FASTAW15.com.
After speaking with Carmelo, I am truly inspired. He can chose to do anything he wants and he is choosing to invest in the future of technology. I will continue to follow him and all his investments and share them with you. Until then HUSTLE ON.
Related: How Poker Is Like the Startup World, From a Real Pro