Feb. 1, 2021

Isaiah Kacyvenski — The Power of Will: How an NFL Veteran Raised $55M for Will Ventures Against All Odds

Isaiah Kacyvenski — The Power of Will: How an NFL Veteran Raised $55M for Will Ventures Against All Odds

Isaiah Kacyvenski is one of the most decorated Ivy League football players of all time. While at Harvard, he won Ivy League Rookie of the Year and then followed that up with All-Ivy League first-team honors over his final three seasons. He received the Nils V. “Swede” Nelson Award, which is given to "best, most academically talented" football player in New England, and also the Harvard University Male Athlete of the Year following his senior season.

After Harvard, Kacyvenski was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in 2000, becoming the highest draft pick in Harvard history (fourth round, No. 199 overall. Beyond his contributions as a linebacker, he was a pivotal player on the Seahawks’ special teams and helped in their run to Super Bowl XL. More impressive than any on-field accomplishment, however, is what Kacyvenski overcame just to have the opportunity to play football in the first place. He dealt with bouts of homelessness as a kid and the tragic loss of his mother during his senior year of high school.

That power of will is what keeps driving him as he enters the next phase of his professional career. Last year, Kacyvenski announced a $55 million dollar early-stage venture fund focused on health, wellness, media and content; the fund is called Will Ventures. Along with fellow former Harvard football player Brian Reilly, as well as other Harvard student-athlete graduates Kirby Porter and Alexis Nocolia, Kacyvenski is seeking out “relentless entrepreneurs with the will to change the world.”

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