What's left to conquer when you already have 28 Olympic medals? How about Silicon Valley? That seems to be the thinking of Michael Phelps, who the Associated Press reports is planning on leveraging both his considerable star power and wealth to get in on the venture capital game.
“I would love to get involved, whether it’s in a couple little startups here and there, take a little risk, have some fun and see where it goes,” Phelps explained at an Intuit software conference in San Jose. “I am getting my feet wet," he added. "2017 will be a big year.”
Just what does that mean? Will we soon have a Phelps-backed weed vaporizer? The star isn't saying for now, but has acknowledged meeting with venture capitalists and various Silicon Valley investors.
If he was so inclined, Phelps could put some of the reported approximately $75 million he's earned over the years from endorsement deals directly into whatever SF startup that's hoping to be the next Niantic. He wouldn't be the first celebrity to drop cash into the startup scene — think Ashton Kutcher's investment in Uber — and already has some experience in the business world. Specifically, his MP-branded line of swimwear and clothing. More broadly, Silicon Valley has lately become the dumping ground for extremely accomplished semi-retired people, with some musing that President Obama might even make his way west after the completion of his second term.
Following his retirement from competitive swimming after the Rio games, the obviously hyper-competitive Phelps may just looking for the next challenge. If the startup thing doesn't work out, perhaps he could have a go at competitive bong ripping?