Wannabe technology entrepreneurs hail gold-plated investors like Ron Conway, John Doerr and Fred Wilson as celebrities. Aspiring Sergey Brins and Mark Zuckerbergs hang on every word they write on blogs or utter at conferences.
Now there emerges another potentially powerful class of celebrity startup backer: traditional celebrities. That list includes sports stars, actors and musicians.
A brand-name celebrity's endorsement may not guarantee success for a new business. Then again, it sure doesn't hurt, especially when trying to carve out a niche quickly in the vast - and vastly crowded - social-networking sphere.
Future Hall Of Fame point guard, Steve Nash, knows how to diversify his portfolio. Besides his production company, sports club and charitable foundation, Nash announced in August that he now aims to launch Consiglieri, a marketing consultancy and venture capital firm targeting the e-commerce, sports and consumer durables sectors.
"In the world of DVR, people don't care about many things that are live except sports, and we don't think enough has been done in that area," says Mike Duda, the fund's co-manager. Consiglieri's backers thus far include Zig Capital and Deutsch Inc. Nash hopes to raise a total war chest of $20 million.
Duda says Nash's name has definitely helped with fundraising, though "ultimately it will come down to our performance," he adds. Duda says the fund will close its first investment in the next few weeks.
Image: Ashton Kutcher
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