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Magic Johnson invests millions in Detroit Venture Partners

Say hello to Earvin "Magic" Johnson, the newest investor in Detroit Venture Partners, and one more significant reason why downtown Detroit's revival will gain traction.

The former Los Angeles Lakers great is also a largely successful businessman who controls controls multiple investment funds worth several hundred million dollars. And he is interested in taking a hands-on approach to growing Detroit Venture Partners.

"I want to be part of bringing the city back and bringing jobs to the city," says Johnson, who is investing millions of dollars in Detroit Venture Partners. "This is a great time to be investing."

Dan Gilbert (chairman of Quicken Loans), Josh Linkner (chairman of ePrize) and Brian Hermelin (chairman of Rockbridge Growth Equity) started Detroit Venture Partners late last year. The venture capital firm has focused on investing in early stage tech start-ups, making eight investment so far this year with four more expected by the end of the year.

"We're investing up to $3 million in each company we invest in," says Linkner, CEO of Detroit Venture Partners. "We intend to make 12-15 investment each year."

Another focal part of the venture capital firm's strategy is bring its portfolio companies into downtown Detroit, either moving their headquarters there or setting up an office. It's part of Gilbert's larger Webward strategy of turning the lower Woodward corridor from Jefferson Avenue to Grand Circus Park into hub of start-ups, entrepreneurs and creative firms.

"One company at a time, one investor at a time," Linkner says. "That's how we will have an impact on transforming the city."

Source: Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Josh Linkner, partners in Detroit Venture Partners
Writer: Jon Zemke
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  • Detroit Venture Partners
    1050 Woodward Ave
    Detroit, MI 48226 Website
    We're a Detroit-based Venture Capital firm on a crazed mission. We back seed and early-stage technology companies who have a purpose. Our purpose is to help rebuild the Detroit area through entrepreneurial fire. We view business building as a ...

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