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Rodriguez joins z9

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez has joined z9 Capital as Partner and EVP of Business Development. Rodriguez, a retired baseball player, is a 2017 Hall of Fame Nominee. Miami-based z9 is a venture capital firm that seeks to invest between $250,000 to $4 million in early-stage, founder-led companies.


June 03, 2016 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–z9 Capital (“z9”) announced today that Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez has joined their firm as Partner and Executive Vice President of Business Development. The 2017 Hall of Fame Nominee and z9 aim to make high-impact investments encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation across the Americas.
Over the course of his 21-year career, Mr. Rodriguez amassed countless accolades including the 2003 World Series (Miami Marlins), 1999 AL MVP, 13 Gold Gloves, 14 All-Star games and is widely regarded as one of the best catchers of all time. After retiring with the Rangers in 2012, Mr. Rodriguez became hyper-focused on growing his business interests and now advises seven companies across four industries in both the United States and Latin America.
It was in this transition, from athlete to businessman, where it became evident he needed to apply the same level of intensity and discipline off the field that led to such an extraordinary career on the field. “I remember the first conversation I had with Benny and Nandy, repeatedly stressing the importance of their active management philosophy. It wasn’t until I saw the results of this approach first-hand that I fully appreciated its impact,” said Mr. Rodriguez.
Founded by serial entrepreneurs Benzion ‘Benny’ Aboud, Joe Randazza and retired baseball player Nandy Serrano, z9 invests $250K – $4M early-stage, founder-led companies that have demonstrated product-market fit where it can leverage its active management philosophy. The boutique venture firm announced its $25M Clubhouse Fund I at eMerge Americas earlier this month.
“The key components on how I went about this process are remarkably similar to how I chose a team as a player,” explains Mr. Rodriguez. “You want to surround yourself with the best players and coaches and find an organization committed to winning over the long term. Investing in extremely talented people, that are being coached by experienced entrepreneurs and have access to the resources and infrastructure needed to build smarter, stronger businesses, really appealed to me.”
“We are beyond thrilled to have a person of Ivan’s caliber join our team,” explains Mr. Aboud, z9’s Managing Partner. “He has led a remarkable career both on and off the diamond and we look forward to doing great things together.”
About z9 Capital
Founded in 2014, z9 Capital is a venture capital firm led by Benzion Aboud, renowned entrepreneur, operator and investor. z9 provides growth capital — with investments from $250K – $4M to early-stage, founder-led companies with demonstrated product-market fit — where it can leverage its active management philosophy and resources to drive innovation and accelerate growth.
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