Jimmer Fredette Balances Venture Capital Gig With Gold Medal Dreams

Jimmer Fredette spends his mornings handling his fatherly duties before diving into a strenuous workout, then he takes business meetings and fundraising calls in the afternoons. This is just part of his routine as Fredette looks to secure an Olympic gold medal this summer.

“It’s something I’ve dealt with most of my life in [terms] of time management,” he said in an interview. “I’ve just been able to hone in on it and it’s been working really well.”

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Fredette, a former college basketball star at BYU who was drafted 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2011, will be headlining the first U.S. Olympic men’s 3×3 basketball team that was announced last month. The former Naismith College Player of the Year looks to help USA Basketball win all four of the sport’s gold medals between the men’s and women’s programs for the first time in Paris.

But in the meantime, he remains focused on his day job as a partner at investment firm Tandem Ventures.

Fredette joined the Utah-based firm in 2022 and has helped raise $40 million for five different special purpose vehicles (SPVs). The former 3×3 Male Athlete of the Year, who is supported by mentors Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith and HGGC chairman Steve Young, has dived into world of venture capital as he puts the final touches on his basketball career.

Last year, the Glen Falls, N.Y., native assisted in the launch of The Tandem Ventures Fund I, L.P., which targets early-stage tech companies, with a specific focus on finding the next group of unicorns (private companies valued at $1 billion). Tandem secured $20 million in its first closing earlier this year and now looks to close on the $30 million early-stage fund by end of May.

“It’s been a really cool experience to build something in business and not just be known as a basketball player,” Fredette said. “Just to have something I’m working for outside of basketball has been a lot of fun.”

Fredette balances his role as a leader and pick-and-roll savant for the 3×3 team while assisting with sourcing and fundraising over at Tandem. The 35-year-old receives plenty of deal opportunities from a host of different founders and their companies. This flow includes sports-related ones, from basketball data analytics to recovery management.

Once the fund closes this spring, providing a break in fundraising, Fredette plans to spend more time on his Olympic duties as pool play begins on July 30. Team USA’s 3×3 team—which includes Rick Barry’s son, Canyon, and former Ivy League star Kareem Maddox—comes to Paris after winning silver in the FIBA World Cup last year. There’s an expectation to win the gold medal, but Fredette’s team will be competing against the world’s best in 3×3 including reigning Olympic champion Serbia, Lithuania, Belgium and others.

“Whenever you put on the USA jersey, especially for basketball, you’re expected to win,” he said. “That’s just the way it comes. That pressure is great, and it’s something that we want.”

Fredette—who has played for the CBA, Greek League and EuroLeague—says making the men’s 3×3 basketball team and competing in the Olympics will be “near the top” of his athletic accomplishments, which includes winning G League All Star Game MVP in 2016.

In the twilight of his basketball career, Fredette is soaking up these moments competing with 3×3 teammates before he strictly focuses on his family and building camaraderie with his venture capital teammates. He says it’s “more than likely” that he will retire from pro basketball once this year’s Summer Games are over but wouldn’t totally shut the door.

“Never say never.”

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