Editor’s note: Carmelo Anthony is a co-founder of Melo7 Tech Partners and a forward on the New York Knicks.
“Entrepreneur” might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of me. People know me as a New York Knick, an Orangeman, an Olympian, a Nugget, a husband and a father. But I also consider myself an entrepreneur.
Like many entrepreneurs, I dropped out of college to pursue my dream. Like most entrepreneurs, I work long hours, day and night, to achieve my goals. Like every entrepreneur, I am driven to be the best at what I do and leave a lasting legacy.
And like all entrepreneurs, I have a vision. Mine is to be a pioneer athlete in the tech space.
I developed a love for technology at an early age. When I was 15, I was fortunate enough to get my first computer. It quickly became difficult for my mom to tear me away from it. (I might have made her regret her purchase.) That computer gave me a glimpse of the world I didn’t have growing up in Baltimore. When I turned 17, I got my first iPod. I was amazed at how I could fit so many songs into something that fit into my pocket. Remember how big of a deal that was?
As technology has become more advanced and I’ve progressed in my basketball career, these passions have come together.
For example, when I practice, I use a sophisticated device that measures biometric data. My diet and training routines are all guided by data. I use a wearable to monitor my sleep patterns. It’s safe to say that if there’s technology out there that can make me a better athlete, I’m using it.
Like all entrepreneurs, I have a vision. Mine is to be a pioneer athlete in the tech space.
This year, I decided to form Melo7 Tech Partners with my friend and now partner Stuart Goldfarb. At Melo7, we look for up-and-coming companies that we can help take to the next level. Although technology fuels my life, I’ve been a consumer up to this point. This venture allows me to become much more than that.
While I’m blessed with a natural ability to play basketball, I’m still learning what makes a great investment. I’ve been picking up pointers from my partner and soaking up advice from some of the greats, like Ben Horowitz. I read TechCrunch, CrunchBase and Product Hunt every day to learn about and find investment opportunities.
I have found that my experiences on the court also help me in the office. Like the NBA teams that have made commitments to me, I’m prepared to invest a lot of money in an individual. Do I sense that this person is ready for what comes with that? This is a unique perspective I bring to the table.
Many of the athletes I look up to and admire have not only been successful on the court, but off the court, as well. That’s why I’m building on my passion for technology and taking this next step.
I never cease to be amazed at how technology has improved my game and my life. Even something as small as being able to see my family when I talk to them on the road is incredible to me. Technology has huge potential to change our lives for the better, and that’s why I want to make an impact in this space.
My journey as an entrepreneur has led me here. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.