Tom Brady, legendary quarterback, tapped as keynote speaker for Miami tech startup soiree
Newly retired star quarterback Tom Brady, a part-time South Florida resident and future first-ballot NFL Hall of Famer, will deliver the keynote speech at Miami’s eMerge Americas 2023 global technology conference in April in Miami Beach.
Brady will give the annual gathering for technology and finance insiders and startup entrepreneurs major celebrity power.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion will speak on April 20, the first day of the two-day event at the Miami Beach Convention Center. He is expected to discuss his experience as an entrepreneur and athlete for over two decades in a moderated conversation, eMerge organizers said Wednesday.
Brady “will surely inspire our attendees with his personal journey,” Melissa Medina, co-founder and president of eMerge Americas, said in a prepared statement.
In recent years, eMerge has drawn over 20,000 attendees from 50 countries to its annual event and hopes to top that as Miami’s tech and finance sectors keep growing and gaining attention from around the world.
The group’s first conference was in 2014 — Brady had only three Super Bowl victories then — when its organizers comprised a tiny group thinking Miami could become a global tech hub. Since then, startups have launched at the conference.
The 45-year-old New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback announced his retirement from the NFL for the second time earlier this month.
Over his football career, Brady has started several business ventures such as TB12, a fitness and lifestyle company. In 2020, he started 199 Productions, a media venture. Even before entering the NFL, the San Mateo, California native was an intern at Merrill Lynch in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for two summers.
More recently, he co-founded Autograph, an NFT company, which last year raised capital from venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, known as a16z, and Kleiner Perkins.
“The eMerge Americas conference has always been for founders, investors, and leaders from around the world to connect and be inspired,” Medina said.
Trying to draw parallels between star athletes and startup entrepreneurs, she noted that, “It takes a lot of passion, grit and determination to become one of the greatest athletes of all time — all qualities that are needed for a founder to successfully build, scale and grow their company.”
Brady has seen the dark side of that life, too, getting caught up in cryptocurrency’s reckoning that also hit Miami hard due to connections to the well-documented collapse late last year of crypto exchange FTX. The once high-flying FTX abruptly failed in November and then filed for bankruptcy. Its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, faces criminal fraud charges.
In 2021, Brady and his then wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, invested in FTX Trading Limited and endorsed it in a commercial. The two are now divorced.
He and numerous other pro athletes and celebrities face lawsuits in both federal and state courts, including in Florida, for their work with or on behalf of FTX.