A cadre of leading sports industry executives announced the launch of NextUp Ventures and NextUp Partners, investment vehicles designed to fuel startups and emerging brands in the sports betting, esports and sports technology spaces. The executives include Craig Heisner, formerly at Newton Running and Rob Purvy, formerly at Hoka One One and And1.

NextUp Ventures offers capital investment while NextUp Partners provides sports-focused organizations with marketing services.

“The distinctive strengths of these entities will provide unparalleled value for sports organizations at any stage, from early startups to established brands and organizations,” said Joe Dupriest, co-founder NextUp Ventures and NextUp Partners. “Our mission and talent fully align with the sports industry’s current trajectory and can help sports brands at all stages get to that next level and beyond.”

“These are truly extraordinary times that present real-time challenges,” said Derrick Heggans of NextUp Partners. “As a result, the way companies evaluate, invest, strategize, activate and engage consultants and agency partners across the sports industry must evolve appropriately. Having been on the league, agency, athlete, digital network and brand sides, I saw an opportunity to deploy a unique model and join this differentiated and diverse network of some of the industry’s best talent.”

NextUp Ventures is an early investor in StarStock, an online stock market for sports cards and has also developed a partnership with Chalkline Sports, the provider for scalable, personalized sports betting games. NextUp Partners is currently working with Titan HST, an all-in-one platform for emergency communications, two-level COVID-19 contact tracing, population density monitoring, and asset tracking.

NextUp Partners has executives operating in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Denver, Charlotte and Tampa. More information is available here.