Wisconsin pro franchises aim to help Black, Latino startups

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin’s three major-league professional sports franchises are banding together to help Black- and Latino-owned startups secure investment money and other resources.

The Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers, with assistance from Microsoft Corp., have created the Equity League. It’s a networking initiative with an emphasis on supporting Black and Latino entrepreneurs.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Packers officials say 1% of venture capital-backed startups have Black founders and less than 2% are Latino.

The Packers say the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha in August was a rallying cry for the teams.

Blake was shot seven times by a Kenosha police officer, which sparked demonstrations for days. Blake was left paralyzed from the waist down.