leAD, the premier sports venture ecosystem, is inspired by Adi Dassler, the founding father of the modern sports industry. Through smart investment and mentorship, leAD works with remarkable early-stage sports tech startups from around the world.
Klaus, Horst, and Stefan Bente were deeply inspired by their grandfather Adi Dassler's devotion to sports. While passion for sports is a connecting element within the family, innovation in sports has become its key theme. This is the foundation of leAD: the culture of support shaped by Adi Dassler’s personality as an innovator, and a passion for sports that unites the leAD ecosystem.
Our worldwide network of shareholders, investors and partners enables us to tap into local ecosystems and increase visibility of the leAD ecosystem in the most important markets for startups.
"In an age where disruption has become the norm, leAD is the home for founders, brands, and investors who want to be part of the Sports & Health Tech growth story. Our Academy is dedicated to finding the companies of the future for our shareholders and partners. Our Portfolio companies continue to deliver impressive growth as the leAD companies become collectively worth over a billion dollars. Our Funds, the ADvantage Fund and the Lake Nona Fund, are great sources of capital for the world’s leading Sports Tech founders." - Andrew White, leAD Chairman
"Entrepreneurship at its best is a team sport. Without the right players, coaches, and supporters, we wouldn't be where we are today. Our high caliber stakeholders – investors, partners, mentors with a wide range of expertise in sports and health – in combination with our unique investor club, bringing network, capital, and invaluable experience to the table, are a major part of our success and growth." - Christoph Sonnen, leAD CEO
"The way leAD supports its startups is pure passion, purpose, and professionalism. I love when you make a business out of things that are actually contributing to society, the health of people, and well-being. It’s the best of all worlds." - Claudia Hillmeier, leAD Shareholder
Situated in the leAD office in Berlin, our ever-growing team consists of experts in their respective fields – from strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship to project management, marketing, and communication. They make the daily running of leAD possible, and they have one thing in common: whether it'll be a special interest in sports tech, nutrition, trying out new sports or focusing on one in particular – they're all fueled by a passion for sports.
After a brief trip into the agency world, Nathalie soon immersed herself in the founders’ scene to live her passion for fast-paced environments and strategy in unfamiliar terrain by working for startups both in the U.S. and Germany. As Head of Program at leAD Sports Accelerator, she gets to combine her personal interest in sports with this diverse experience and leverage it – to help promising early sports startups to grow and succeed.
Brett is passionate about the intersection of sports and technology, having spent most of his career building and investing in innovative companies that bring those two worlds together. After leading global operations at Krossover Intelligence, a sports analytics firm, Brett helped launch and lead the investment team at TechNexus where he played a role in sourcing, executing, and supporting over 50 venture capital investments.
Fernanda is a communication professional with international experience. Thanks to volleyball, she had the opportunity to study and work in the U.S., where she lived for nearly five years. After that, she's worked in Brazil, Denmark, and Germany, mainly in the tech and startup scene.
After a decade in different management positions around the globe at Red Bull, he focusses on marketing strategy & innovation at Ignore Gravity. He is also a passionate mentor for startups and young talents.
Aaron has experience as a strategy and technology consultant and in supporting early-stage startups. He holds a graduate degree with distinctions in Strategic Entrepreneurship from Rotterdam School of Management. In his master thesis, he analyzed the disruptive influence of ICOs on the traditional venture capital ecosystem. Aaron is a sports fanatic and holds a tennis coaching license.
Jan is the founder of Ignore Gravity. He designs accelerator programs, mindful leadership programs & innovation journeys and works for more than 100 founders, start-ups & top management teams as systemic consultant and executive coach.
Chris is a former professional poker player and collegiate tennis player who graduated from Babson College with a Bachelor of Science focused on IT and Strategic Management. He has started a range of ventures from a Cryptocurrency Investor Network to a Property Management firm in London. His passion now revolves creating equal opportunity in health, fitness, and sport for all. Chris is based in London with his wife and dog where he coaches at his local Crossfit gym in his free time.
Theodore has nearly a decade of experience in competitive ice hockey. With an educational background in economics and experience with value and risk analysis in the field of microfinance, he has a keen eye for growth potential in early-stage sports startups.
Linus has been swimming competitively for over a decade while coaching on the side. In addition to his commitment and passion for sports, Linus brings his academic knowledge in sociology and organizational behavior to the role, allowing him to develop a sharp eye to scout the best sports startups in the ecosystem. Prior to joining leAD as a junior scout, Linus worked in the startup scene in Berlin.
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leAD creates impact and fuels growth for entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, and global brands. We are proud to partner up with industry leaders, innovation pioneers, and build our foundation on driving business growth to shape the future of sports, health, and entertainment.