Harvard-Educated Isaiah Kacyvenski Not Defined Just By NFL Success
The 100-year history of the NFL includes a long list of Harvard-educated players.
Well, perhaps, not a “long” list but the Jets DB John Dockery (SB III) and the Ravens C Matt Birk (SB XLVIII) proudly wear Super Bowl rings which they earned on the field after their Harvard playing days.
Isaiah Kacyvenski (above), who was the Seahawks’ fourth round draft choice out of Harvard in 2000, retired in 2008 but he continues to leave his mark on the sports world. Earlier this fall, Kacyvenski co-founded Will Ventures which promotes itself as the first venture capital firm focused on identifying the next wave of sports-related innovations that can alter our daily lives.
Will Ventures uses a research-backed approach to investing across health (e.g. nutrition and telehealth) and media (e.g. esports and online gaming). Kacyvenski and his business partner have invested in 10 companies so far.
“The times we’re in are unprecedented,” explains Kacyvenski, “ and we rely on our tested research-backed approach. We’ve been tracking a lot of areas for a long time. We had a long-term view on areas that we’re bullish on but some of those have been accelerated during the pandemic.”
Kacyvenski’s interest in the financial area goes back to his playing days in Seattle.
“I started investing in 2002 and kept it up till my retirement in ’08 after surgery,” says the Syracuse (N.Y.) native who started every game at linebacker during his four seasons at Harvard. “I learned everything I could about public and private markets from the ground up. I came up from poverty so needed a formal base of knowledge to learn how to take care of my finances and money. In 2003, I started investing as an angel investor and spent my off-seasons embedded in companies that I had invested in. I’d be a fly on the wall. Fast forward to where we are today, there were a ton of learnings along the way but I always had that feeling that there was something there kind of defining players by more than what we are on the field.”
Only a few of us alumni attended Harvard but thousands of us believe –like Isaiah Kacyvenski—that we are not defined as individuals by what we accomplished on the playing field. That is the primary reason that we now are doctors, coaches, lawyers, teachers, public servants, businessmen and professionals in all areas of expertise.
We at NFL Alumni are very proud to have all of you as members of our family.