Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and Battery Ventures are all names that you'd expect to see on a venture capital transaction. But what about Ellen DeGeneres, Leonardo DiCaprio, and P. Diddy? They've all made venture investments.
Former NBA star Magic Johnson isn't just another celebrity investor. He's actually an adviser and general partner at Detroit Venture Partners. The Michigan-based venture firm backs early and seed-stage technology investments. DVP recently participated in rounds for UpTo, Stik and Chalkfly. Johnson was brought on board for his entrepreneurial experience and also his capital. Johnson said he wants "to have a positive impact on the biggest downtown in my home state. I believe strongly in the Detroit 2.0 movement." Johnson also owns Magic Johnson Enterprises, which has invested in the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers (whom he played for), movie theaters and restaurants such as Burger King. He has also been a long-time advocate for HIV awareness.