Former NBA Player Omri Casspi on Moving from the Locker Room to the Venture World and Boardroom

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

Where to Find Him: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook

What’s Omri Panicked About?: Elon Musk buying Twitter.

The Takeaway:

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.

Show Notes:

  • (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

© Panic with Friends, 2022. All rights reserved.

Host: Howard Lindzon | Producer: Knut Jensen | Researcher: Pete Weishaupt

Disclaimer: All information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment, legal or tax advice, or an offer to buy or sell any security. For full disclosures: