SeventySix Capital taps sports media exec to be 1st entrepreneur-in-residence
Philadelphia Business Journal by Michelle Caffrey
SeventySix Capital didn't go far to find its first entrepreneur-in-residence.
The leading Philadelphia venture capital firm announced Wednesday it's tapping the executive vice president of one of its portfolio companies, Brian Selander of Whistle Sports, for the role, which the venture capital fund said will help drive its "vision and growth."
Selander's been an executive of the global sports media company since its inception in 2012. It officially launched in 2014.
It counts a number of high-profile investors in its camp beyond SeventySix, which first invested in Whistle Sports in 2013, like the chairman and CEO of Clear Channel and NBC Sports, and Yankees legend Derek Jeter. The company, which targets millennials, reportedly reaches more than 270 million fans, followers and subscribers with its branded content, original content and targeted media interactions.
Selander brings a background in politics into the mix, having served as Delaware Governor Jack Markell's Chief Strategy Officer and as a press secretary and communications director for senators, governors and presidential candidates. His business experience includes building professional services firm Silver Oak Solutions, acquired by consulting firm CGI in 2005.
“Since 1999, SeventySix Capital has backed passionate, smart and nice entrepreneurs like Brian,” SeventySix Capital Managing Partner Wayne Kimmelsaid in a statement. “Brian is a leader in establishing disruptive, innovative brands both in the private and public sectors, making him the perfect fit as an Entrepreneur in Residence. He was an invaluable member in growing Whistle Sports and is a true architect of change. We’re thrilled to bring him on board during our firm’s exciting time.”
At SeventySix, Selander will be charged with working with other portfolio companies, developing new investment opportunities, representing SeventySix's brand and supporting the firm's due diligence on potential deals, among other directives. SeventySix's most prominent exits include NutriSystem and GrubHub when it operated as SeamlessWeb, prior to its acquisition by ARAMARK.
“I’ve never met a team that wakes up each day so completely committed to the success of their partners as SeventySix Capital. They were the first venture capital firm to invest in Whistle Sports and I’m excited to be part of the team that helps create the next world-changing idea,” Selander said in a statement. “SeventySix Capital was built by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, and I could not be more excited to join this exceptional group that shares this rare DNA.”