Today’s guest is former NBA player Omri Casspi. Notably, he’s the first Israeli drafted to play in the NBA, he’s the managing director of the Omri Casspi Foundation, he’s got a VC fund, he’s even got his own podcast. Omri is now part of this crossover group of athletes in the right place at the right time. Less than a year after retiring, he co-founded his fund Sheva (seven in Hebrew) with David Citron. Their $50 million fund is focused on pre-seed and seed stage high-tech startups. I had a chance to spend time one on one with Omri in Tel Aviv and am suitably impressed. (Full disclosure: Social Leverage is an LP in his fund.). And now he’s back for an in-depth discussion on moving from professional sports to investing. Enjoy.
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I hope you enjoy this episode. More details on the podcast are below…
Guest: Omri Casspi
Profile: Founder of Sheva VC, Omri Casspi Foundation
What’s Omri Panicked About?: Elon Musk buying Twitter.
Since moving back to Israel, Omri has been using the ‘athlete as a tech investor’ model; one that’s been quite successful from an allocation standpoint and when competing for deals. He wants to be heads down, working – helping founders by leveraging relationships built over the years. It’s a winning mentality that gets the best deals. The parallels between professional sports and understanding what it takes to assess a startup team boil down to the culture of the organization. It’s the dynamic between how hard they really want it, and then putting in the work to be successful.
- (00:39) – Intro
- (05:20) – Welcome Omri
- (06:45) – The NBA draft
- (12:58) – Moving back to Israel
- (14:11) – Playing in the NBA
- (14:47) – Similarities between sports teams and founders
- (18:18) – Bringing value
- (19:59) – Back to hoops
- (26:47) – Web3 infrastructure play
- (29:57) – Getting an investing edge
- (31:17) – Helping founders succeed
- (34:24) – Hosting a podcast
- (36:02) – Screening investments
- (38:11) – Israeli politics
- (41:05) – The wallet is the thing
- (43:29) – Wrapping up
- (44:31) – Closing thoughts
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