Michael Proman is a Managing Director with Scrum Ventures.
Working with large multinational companies as well as starting new ventures, Michael’s diverse experience and deep industry relationships have been a hallmark of his nearly 20 year career. Michael worked in global marketing and development capacities at Coca-Cola and the National Basketball Association prior to starting (and ultimately exiting) his initial startup, OptionIt. Through additional roles in the early-stage space, Michael helped lead multiple startups to acquisitions and continues to play an active role in mentoring and advising founders across multiple industries. Michael is a graduate of Amherst College and makes his home in Minneapolis.
A greater push for more diversity and equality: In 2003, the NFL established the Rooney Rule, requiring teams to interview at least one minority candidate prior to filling a head coaching vacancy. In 2018, Amazon adopted this practice when filling board spots, and additional companies are evaluating similar mandates as we continue to address social inequalities. Look for the private sector to take a giant step forward in 2021 with meaningful increases to executive and Board-level representation -- this could translate to virtually all S&P 500 and Russell 2000 companies having at least 1 minority Board member.
Don't sleep on sleep (tech): As rest and recovery becomes even more critical to high intensity, at-home workouts (along with mental stability and immune health), the next chapter of the stay-at-home economy will be investing in how we recharge. Look no further than Sleep Number's stock price over the last 6 months -- a 200% increase: consumers are increasingly looking for a better night's rest and tech can play a massive role in providing personalized solutions that address an increasingly large market opportunity.
Traditional youth sports participation is declining at historic levels... so where are these kids spending their time? They may be too young to be day-trading on Robinhood or legally betting on sports, but they are becoming avid gamers. Factor in a cold, dark winter and consumption will only pick up -- adding pressure to high-school sports leagues to formally recognize eSports as a legitimate (sanctioned) extra-curricular activity. In a time where colleges and universities are cutting sports to reduce costs, we might not be too far away from the day they start adding them back with an immediate focus on eSports. "Signing Day" on ESPN could look a lot different very soon!
With cities and states hemorrhaging cash and slashing budgets, could legalized gambling be part of the economic turn-around? Coming from a state that could use the revenue, I'll answer that in the most Minnesota-appropriate way: you betcha! The pandemic will accelerate legalization and create new opportunities in 2021 for tech to reach and convert casual bettors in the same way that teams, leagues and properties are determined to connect with occasional fans.13 January 2021