Yesterday, my colleague Alastair Goldfisher reported that NFL kicker Billy Cundiff has joined VC firm Pacific Southwest as an associate. In the spirit of massaging a dead horse, I’d like to add that Cundiff’s former Dallas Cowboys teammate Drew Bledsoe has also gotten into the private investment game.
Bledsoe — who made his bones with the beloved New England Patriots — is namesake and co-founding principal of Bledsoe Capital Group, whose investment mandate includes emerging technologies, entertainment, luxury services and real estate. Sounds opportunistically broad, but is counterbalanced a bit by BCG’s commitment to a limited portfolio. Sure that second part hasn’t worked out yet for Chris Flowers, but why judge yourself by the lead standard?
“When Drew retired, he and I had hundreds of business plans to look through, and the one guiding principal he insisted on was that we invest in companies and projects aimed at fostering a better environment and the greater good,” says Chad Wold, Bledsoe’s partner and longtime attorney. “Do good by doing well.”
Wold says BCG is structured like a traditional private equity fund, with institutional and high-net-worth backers supplementing Bledsoe’s personal piggybank. It’s first publicized investment is in Ecosphere Technologies Inc. (OTC BB: ESPH), a water engineering and services company that trades well below the $1 mark. BCG is betting on an Ecosphere technology that can clean and recycle industrial wastewater produced during industrial processes like oil and gas exploration, without the use of chemicals. According to a press release, the energy “industry’s usual method of disposing of contaminated water was to either pump it back down into the ground through injection wells or create massive holding ponds.” The technology also could be employed in such instances as a bioterrorism attack.
BCG originally invested a few million into Ecosphere as a PIPE, and has since committed up to $50 million to form a joint venture that would exclusively license the Ecosphere technology (with $10m going directly to Ecosphere).
Wold says that BCG also has made several undisclosed investments, and that it is in due diligence on several other projects. On the real estate front, BCG is examining deals that would include the designation of conservation lands in the Pacific Northwest. In terms of technology, BCG is looking at GPS applications that could be used to help find lost of kidnapped children, and also at LED lightbulb applications.
Bledsoe Capital Group is based in Montana.