Seth Berger Launches Potential Captial, Following Success of Sixers Innovation Lab
Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment to Serve as Anchor Investors of New Early-Stage Fund
PHILADELPHIA – JUNE 27, 2023 – Seth Berger, formerly the Managing Partner of the Sixers Innovation Lab, announced today the launch of Potential Capital, an independent early-stage business-to-consumer and business-to-business-to-consumer venture capital fund.
Since 2016, the Sixers Innovation Lab invested in and supported more than 20 early-stage companies, successfully providing resources to allow growth and scale. Nearly 70-percent of those companies were led by at least one minority founder, while two-thirds of Lab companies secured additional investment rounds.
Berger will serve as Managing Partner of Potential Capital and be supported by his business partner, Rhyan Truett. Potential Capital will operate independently of Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment (HBSE), with HBSE and the Harris and Blitzer family offices serving as anchor investors in the fund to support entrepreneurs and fast-rising companies. HBSE owns and operates the Philadelphia 76ers and many other leading sports and entertainment brands.
Potential Capital has already invested in diverse and growing companies, including:
- Highlight, an innovative in-home product testing platform, led by University of Pennsylvania graduates Dana Kim and Ethan Kellough. The Sixers Innovation Lab and HearstLab previously led the company’s pre-seed round in 2020, followed by a $7M SEED round led by First Round Capital in 2022.
- Oya Femtech Apparel, performance wear engineered for feminine health, led by the Philadelphia-native Mitchella (Mitch) Gilbert. Oya’s oversubscribed $1.3M pre-seed round led by Potential Capital and the Sixers Innovation Lab makes history for Gilbert, who is now one of only 200 Black women to have ever raised over $1M in venture capital. The round was joined by REI Path Ahead Ventures, R/GA Ventures, an SPV managed by actress Sophia Bush’s Union Heritage Venture Partners, and Techstars Sports.
- A stealth project spearheaded by Philadelphia-native, University of Pennsylvania alumnus and former Philadelphia 76ers intern Michael Su, a two-time founder and most recently the Director of Yellow, Snap’s early-stage startup accelerator program; and Joe Landon, a tech leader who most recently led engineering at the Australian health and fitness startup, Sweat, scaling the business to a $400M acquisition.
- Mobility Capital Finance, Inc. (“MoCaFi”), a turnkey fintech platform leading financial empowerment for traditionally underserved communities, recently announced a $23.5M Series B round. MoCaFi is backed by Commerce Ventures, Wells Fargo, BNY Mellon, Citi Impact Fund, Mastercard and more, and has enabled more than $100M in government and philanthropic funding to be disbursed to more than 60,000 people in 15 cities including Los Angeles, CA, Philadelphia and Newark.
- Roomie, a technology solution and marketplace providing 3D modeling and interactive collaboration tools to 31 colleges and universities across the US. Roomie continues to grow month-over-month, launching its marketplace for back-to-school 2023.
- Muse Tax, an API-based platform revolutionizing financial institutions’ ability to provide customized tax and financial planning services.
“We could not be more grateful for the support of Josh Harris, David Blitzer and the entire HBSE organization from day one of the opening of the Sixers Innovation Lab to today’s Potential Capital announcement,” Berger said. “When we started the Lab, Rhyan and I were entrusted to identify, incubate, and grow companies with potential. As we began to invest in companies, they offered counsel, input, and resources. We have had an opportunity to work with bright entrepreneurs across gaming, sports, consumer packaged goods, technology and more. We are excited for what’s to come.”
“We are proud of the work Seth, Rhyan and the Sixers Innovation Lab have done to help talented, diverse entrepreneurs and startup companies succeed in the Greater Philadelphia Area and beyond,” said Tad Brown, CEO, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment. “Our investment in Potential Capital is a natural transition point that further allows us to use the platform of sports and entertainment to support entrepreneurialism and equality in the cities we serve.”