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Volume 24 No. 112

Technology

A number of high-profile players in the Bay Area are "taking part in a new trend (of) pro athletes acting as tech accelerators," according to Alexandrea Alphonso of THE ATHLETIC. The players are "building portfolios nearly as impressive as their on-court/field production by throwing their fame behind tech start-ups." Tech investment firm Andreessen Horowitz co-Founder Ben Horowitz has taken Warriors F Kevin Durant "under his wing," and Durant's move to the Bay Area has taken his tech investment firm "to the next level." He was already invested in delivery service Postmates, microlender Acorn and dozens of other companies, but Durant’s "recent stake in Rubrik, one of the fastest growing startups, has made a splash in Silicon Valley." Hingeto Founder & CEO Leandrew Robinson said, "People underestimate how strategic and enterprising many athletes are." Social media startup Slyce co-Founder & CEO Bryant Barr, whose company was co-founded by Warriors G Stephen Curry, said, "You’re exposed to technology very easily. You have to actively avoid it to not be in it. ... Athletes are hungry for it and when it’s in your backyard it’s easier to touch and experience." Meanwhile, pro teams also are "getting in on this." The 49ers are "heavy on the intersection of technology and how fans consume content." In a new partnership with AI software company 30sec.io, they are the "first professional sports team to deliver the latest team content to smart home devices." Meanwhile, the NBA Kings are "betting big on esports." Kings investors Andrew Miller and Mark Mastrov joined forces to "disrupt the sports-and-tech scene with NRG eSports" -- the "first eSports franchise backed by traditional sports capital." Additionally, the Warriors are "turning to wearable technology like Athos" (THEATHLETIC.com, 10/9).