June 18, 2015

    Derek Jeter’s Next Business Play: Anti-Bullying Technology

    He’s a 14-time MLB All-Star, five-time MLB champion, and founder of a media web site and a publishing imprint.

    Now, he’s also a tech investor.

    Derek Jeter’s youth charity, Turn 2 Foundation, has partnered up with StopIt, an anti-bullying app. Jeter personally invested in the startup as well.

    Launched just last year, StopIt is a platform designed to fight cyber abuse by kids against kids, and to protect the reputations of schools when it happens. Schools pay the company a small fee—it amounts to a few dollars per student per year, StopIt says—for access to the platform, and students can then download the mobile app for free. The app helps them to quickly screenshot an example of bullying online, tap two buttons, and submit the evidence to a school administrator. The process is anonymous, so there’s no fear, for the student, of being labeled a snitch.

    “What we really want,” says founder and CEO Todd Schobel, “is to stop this behavior before it happens. We want to be proactive, not just reactive. And the platform has really become a very large deterrent—kids are thinking before they post.”

    Turn 2, meanwhile, is a foundation Jeter launched back in 1996 with his father Charles, a former drug and alcohol abuse counselor, aimed at helping kids avoid vice, excel in school, and become good citizens. The foundation is now run by Jeter’s younger sister Sharlee, who started as a board member at 18, then joined full time after college. The organization has grown to 10 full-time employees and says it has given out some $20 million to after-school programs, leadership initiatives, and scholarships.

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