Ryan Howard wants to make change as partner with VC firm SeventySix Capital

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As a professional baseball player, you don’t become Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player and a World Series champion without dedication and tenacity. Those traits, along a handful of others, have helped Ryan Howard build a Hall of Fame-worthy resumé. As he looks to continue his baseball career after the Atlanta Braves released him from his minor league contract last week, the 37-year-old Howard will put those traits to use as a partner at the venture capital firm SeventySix Capital.

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The firm, which is led by Managing Partners Wayne Kimmel and Jon Powell, invests in innovative seed and early-stage consumer-facing tech, retail, sports and wellness companies.

“As I’ve played baseball, I always knew that there is going to be an end to baseball someday,” said Howard, who played 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. “I want to be in a position to be able to continue to try and make a difference and change in the world.”

The idea for the partnership sprouted from a conversation Howard had with his agent. He connected the slugger with Kimmel and Powell, and the three arranged a meeting.

“During that sit-down my takeaway of those guys was that they were very, very genuine, good people,” Howard said. “I think we all had the same goals and were very like-minded in what we wanted to try and do — that was to make a difference in the world and be able to help people in business, as well as outside of business.”

For Howard, his interest doesn’t necessarily lie in one particular technology sector. He says that he’s especially interested in the way that things have evolved over time.

“This might seem old-school, but I catch myself having conversations with my friends, talking about Discman back in the day and how the world has really evolved and what the next thing is going to be coming out.”

Howard will work with SeventySix Capital in an attempt to build relationships and opportunities for entrepreneurs. He says that he keeps in constant contact with Kimmel and Powell as he continues his baseball career.

“I’m a very competitive person with playing baseball and whatnot,” Howard explained. “The dedication, the hard work, the stuff you do behind the scenes becomes the product on the field. I would take that same mentality over into this business venture and venture capitalist world.”