The 2019 Athlete Tech Summit in Toronto brought pro athletes and tech start-ups together to explore mutually beneficial investment opportunities
Beyond the chance for high-earning sports stars to invest in fast-growing tech firms, these two groups can mutually benefit from the same key technology: the Blockstation Security Token Offering (STO) / tokenized IPO. See if your offering qualifies for a Blockstation STO / tokenized IPO
STOs / tokenized IPOs are a unique, flexible way to raise capital on the stock exchange, both for traditional company shares as well as individual assets, such as pro athletic contracts and sponsorships
By: Jai Waterman, Chief Enterprise Architect
Technology brings people together, sometimes in unexpected ways. For instance, we’ve gotten used to the idea of video chats from halfway around the world. On the other hand, putting elite athletes in the same room as Toronto-based tech startups is a little less likely.
And yet, that’s exactly what happened this summer at the first-ever Athlete Tech Summit. High-earning superstars like the NBA’s Steph Curry came to participate in an unlikely version of Shark Tank (or Dragon’s Den, to those in the Great White North) with Toronto-based tech firms.
As reported in early August:
“Modern professional athletes have business interests that go well beyond the court and playing fields,” said Randy Osei, founder of the Athlete Technology Summit. “They are savvy investors and entrepreneurs who have become incredibly engaged in new business and innovative technologies. We want to make sure they are informed and well connected to Toronto’s amazing tech community.”
Tech bringing non-traditional groups together to raise capital is pretty exciting, even if the partnerships themselves are nothing new. Entrepreneurs start a company and offer shares in return for capital, particularly when they’re too small to entertain the stock market. Traditional.
It’s time for technology to shake up that traditional dynamic, too. For example:
What if entrepreneurs had a fast-track to the stock exchange, making it easier and less costly to connect with public investors worldwide?
What if pro athletes could become issuers in their own right, listing a traditionally illiquid asset - like, say, an endorsement deal or their club contract - on the stock exchange?
Welcome to the world of the Security Token Offering (STO) / tokenized IPO.
Tokenization and publicly listed assets
We’ve covered the key benefits of conducting STOs / tokenized IPOs through Blockstation before (Anything IPOs can do, STOs can do better: The promise of Security Token Offerings), so I won’t rehash it in full here. What’s important about STOs / tokenized IPOs and the Athlete Tech Summit is their potential for anyone - entrepreneur, athlete, or otherwise - to raise capital or unlock liquidity on the stock exchange, turning issuers into investors and vice versa.
But what exactly is a publicly listed asset?
Simply, it’s a security token representing shares in just about anything. It could be a new product line, real estate, a work of art, intellectual property, a performance tour for top performers like Beyonce, or an elite athlete’s sponsorship deals. A Blockstation STO / tokenized IPO makes it fast and cost-effective to create, review and manage a fully compliant public listing on the stock exchange, opening the door to a massive number of innovative new investment opportunities.
STOs / tokenized IPOs for Raising Capital
Many business owners prefer to keep their company private, but need to raise capital to fund a specific new product, development deal, or other project. Private equity firms are one option, but often come with restrictive terms or large ownership stakes that threaten the owner’s control of their company.
STOs / tokenized IPOs give owners the option to raise capital from retail investors around the globe on a per-project basis, maintaining control while accessing the funds they need to grow and evolve.
STOs / tokenized IPOs for Unlocking Liquidity
Many assets, like works of art, are illiquid - they represent a certain amount of money that can’t be accessed without selling the asset itself. The same goes for pro sports contracts and endorsement deals, which are worth a specific amount of money and paid out over a predetermined period of time.
Let’s take the example of “B. Ball Starr,” a pro athlete with a 4-year, $100 million deal, paid out as a regular salary over the next 48 months. With an STO / tokenized IPO, Mr. Starr list his contract on the stock exchange and collects its full value from investors up front. In return, his salary would flow back to investors at a profit over time.
When it comes to raising capital or unlocking liquidity from traditionally static assets, there’s an STO for that.
Blurring the line between issuer and investor
If the Athlete Tech Summit proved that technology and business thrive when you put diverse, non-traditional crowds in the same room, then STOs / tokenized IPOs are the next logical step: poised at the intersection of finance and sport, empowering athletes and investors to help each other profit in new and innovative ways.
Blockstation will be announcing its first STOs / tokenized IPOs for innovative tech firms in the very near future.
Interested in becoming an investor? Open your account with Blockstation to gain access and be ready when the first STOs / tokenized IPOs are live.
Interested in raising capital through a public offering? Click here to learn more about STOs / tokenized IPOs and schedule a consultation.