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A Different Kind of “Pitching:” Curt Schilling on Entrepreneurship

Thom Ruhe, Director of Entrepreneurship, The Kauffman Foundation

The roads that lead people to entrepreneurship are often as varied as the college campuses, Wall Street, Hollywood, basements and garages through which they wind – and sometimes even lead through Major League Baseball.

Such has been the unlikely path of former MVP and All-Star pitcher, Curt Schilling.  In a recent interview with the Boston Globe, Schilling details how he’s begun his “second act,” and found a full-time career as an investor and entrepreneur with video game developer 38 Studios.

His interview touches on the Venture Capital, the economy and his love for the sort of “high fantasy, massively-multiplayer, story-driven, episodic content delivery”-style game they’re trying to build and launch.

Regarding whether his involvement with the firm is largely as a ceremonial figurehead, or “resident celebrity,” Schilling says: “I definitely am not involved in the day-to-day management of people. But yeah, I am holding out for a (“Beta-Tester-In-Chief) position. (laughs) I do participate in play testing when we do that, because if you don’t like the game now, you won’t like it when it launches. My role has a chameleon aspect to it. I do whatever I need to do on the day I show up. That can be helping fundraise or having input in a design issue, which is rare.”

With more than $5 Million of his own personal wealth invested in 38 Studios, Schilling is certainly taking a big risk.  But hearing the passion with which he describes the game, the firm and his involvement in the development process, it’s clear that if the venture is aided in its success by anything, it’s got the be the same tenacity and can-do attitude that helped Schilling lead teams to World Series Championships on several occasions.

What about you?  Are you on your second – or third – act?  What particular challenges have you found while navigating the waters of entrepreneurship?  What prompted you to “take the leap” after already having a successful career doing something else

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