More Than a Linebacker: Corey Mays’ second career as an angel investor
During the 2005 football season, senior Corey Mays was a standout linebacker for the 9th-ranked Fighting Irish, amassing 80 tackles (12 for a loss), five sacks and three forced fumbles. He graduated from Notre Dame with a B.A. in psychology and sociology, and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New England Patriots in 2006.
Mays played four seasons in the NFL—including stints with the Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs—before retiring in 2011. “You only have a finite amount of time as a professional athlete to play the game, especially football,” Mays told Chicago Inno in 2016.
During his time in the NFL, Mays discovered another game he enjoyed just as much as football: angel investing.
Launching something A-Maysing
Mays launched A-Maysing Enterprises LLC in 2013, through which he serves as an angel investor in a wide range of businesses, including uStadium (a sports social media app), BuildMyStay (a travel concierge software platform), Vice District Brewing in Chicago, Heritage Link Brands (a wine importer), and Love Cork Screw (a wine brand).
Mays sees his role as angel investor as deeper than offering financial support—he sees it as a means by which he can improve people’s lives for the better. “The more that I can be diverse in my investments, the more I feel that I can provide jobs for communities,” Mays says. “Investing and helping to build out a company is fun, it’s frustrating, it’s sometimes stressful, but it’s all about building.”
Mays continues to ask more of business—and of himself
If a successful collegiate and professional football career and a burgeoning investment company weren’t enough, for the past four years Mays has served as the VP of Global Marketing for the Obama Energy Corporation in Chicago, a clean energy company. He also recently enrolled in Notre Dame’s Executive MBA program.
“As an angel investor, I’m constantly learning the ins and outs of the businesses I’m supporting, all the things that aren’t written in a book,” Mays says. “That’s what brought me back to get my MBA; I had the real-world experience, and I really needed the technical textbook knowledge to go with it.”
Mays chose the Executive MBA program at Notre Dame because, as an alumnus, he knew exactly what he would be getting: a world-class education in a supportive and inclusive environment. “I feel like I compete so much every day as an entrepreneur, that I needed something I knew would be competitive, yet inclusive. I needed a family, something to surround myself with.”
During his second go-round at Notre Dame, Mays has found so much more. “You have a great support system, you have great professors, you have great people in the class who are experts in their fields who can help you,” Mays says. “I would encourage anybody thinking about applying to just do it. There’s nothing to lose.”