ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks on Thursday announced a new $50 million fund aimed at supporting early-stage startups for "minority- and women-led/underrepresented businesses."
The fund is to be called Hawks Ventures, which the team described as a "mission-driven venture fund with roots grounded in the Hawks' core value of inclusion."
The team said it is looking to disperse the money across the next five years and finding investments that will help the "Hawks and/or State Farm Arena businesses."
Hawks owner Tony Ressler said in a statement the venture fund was the kind of "community-enhancing effort we committed to making when we purchased the team in 2015."
“Hawks Ventures is an endeavor that our ownership group is extremely passionate about, and we are excited to be able to invest in and work with the significant untapped potential of minority- and women-led entrepreneurs," Ressler said.
David Garcia, formerly the Hawks senior vice president of experience and innovation, will steer the fund's efforts as senior vice president and managing director of innovation and investments.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this initiative and to be able to meaningfully contribute to driving economic empowerment in underrepresented communities,” Garcia said. “With the experience economy being a driving force of so much business value and our focus on diversity and inclusion, we believe there will be no shortage of great ideas and founders to invest in.”