Mindspring Capital is a globally oriented, early-stage investment firm that empowers technology ventures in the sports industry. We focus on backing seed-stage B2B entrepreneurs that redefine the business of sport. We invest and empower startups through our team who have a deep background in sports, technology, entertainment, and a strong HNWI network. Our team is built around one of the founders of the UEFA Champion League, and offers over 100 years of experience in top-tier sports. We leverage this expertise and unparalleled network to actively support our portfolio companies.
We support with business development, opening up our network among the largest sports clubs, institutions, and brands
We provide access to new markets through our global footprint across North America, Europe, Latam and Asia
We guide major strategic decisions through our in-depth understanding of the sports industry
We provide growth capital through our own investment vehicles as well as vehicles of other sports tech investors from our network
The origins of Mindspring Capital date back to 1992 when our Managing Partner and Founder Craig Thompson joined TEAM Marketing to help start the UEFA Champions League. He was on a team of 7 and managed to set the strategy for the new league where rapid growth ensued. They were soon engaged with big brands - SONY, Heineken, Ford, MasterCard, and Adidas. Their broadcasters were the biggest in their markets including - ITV, RTL, TVE, RTI, TF1, Globo, and ESPN.
Over the first 25 years of the Champions League he worked intimately with the top tier European clubs, leagues and federations, and has been in deep relationships with 200 of the best teams, plus their Leagues and FA’s.
After the success of the Champions League, Craig left to start exciting new projects such as the Champions Hockey League, and later became the CEO of the 34th America’s Cup. Throughout his career he saw many tech startups making their impact on the sports industry.
It all came together during his time at the America’s Cup, when he had the opportunity to work with Tom Perkins. Tom is one of the Silicon Valley venture capital movement godfathers and created Kleiner Perkins, the legendary VC firm. During their time together, Tom suggested to Craig: "You are a sports guy, have you seen all the sports tech start-ups in the valley? They all have one thing in common - they don't know much about sports - you should go and help them."
That insight inspired Craig to seek out experts from all over the world to join him in creating Mindspring Capital.