Atlanta Hawks Launch Hawks Ventures with $50M Fund to Support Minority- & Women-Led Startups and Businesses
Tuesday, March 21st, 2023
The Atlanta Hawks announced today the launch of Hawks Ventures, a mission-driven venture fund with roots grounded in the Hawks’ core value of inclusion. The fund will invest $50 million in early-stage startups and businesses, combining two primary focus areas: minority- and women-led/underrepresented businesses and customer-obsessed businesses with the potential to impact or transform the way a product or service is experienced.
Hawks Ventures is committed to providing the majority of its capital to minority-led/underrepresented startups over the next five years and finding strategic investments that can benefit the Hawks and/or State Farm Arena businesses.
“Hawks Ventures is exactly the kind of community-enhancing effort we committed to making when we purchased the team in 2015. Creating a fund that could strategically enhance our business and leverage the experience and talents of our ownership group has been something that we have been working to put our resources and energy into from the beginning,” said Hawks Principal Owner Tony Ressler. “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.”
Tapped to lead Hawks Ventures as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Innovation and Investments is David Garcia, who was previously the Hawks’ Senior Vice President of Experience and Innovation. Garcia joined the Hawks organization in 2018 and has played a pivotal role in transforming the guest experience at State Farm Arena, where the Hawks and State Farm Arena secured the top ranking in overall game experience in consecutive seasons (2019-20 and 2020-21).
Garcia also played a leadership role in converting State Farm Arena into the largest voting precinct in Georgia history during the early-voting periods for the 2020 general election and the January 5th runoff election for both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats. He also sits on the NBA Innovation and Advisory Committee.
“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.”