Start up to leAD!

About leAD

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. 

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ABOUT LEAD

Passion for sports.

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 grandfather, Adi Dassler, was always driven by the idea of making great sports ideas even greater and putting them into action. Today, he would be supporting startups in the same way we are doing in his honor.

Horst Bente, leAD Co-Founder
OUR GLOBAL REACH

Our Network

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.

Lineup

Meet the team

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.

Nathalie Sonne

Nathalie Sonne

Head of Accelerator

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 Bivens

Brett Bivens

Head of Business Builder

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 Bartels

Fernanda Bartels

Head of Communications

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.

Steffen Kellner

Steffen Kellner

Strategy & Development

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 Naisar

Aaron Naisar

Investment Manager

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 Bathel

Jan Bathel

Accelerator Design & Host

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 Day

Chris Day

Synergy Officer

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 Simson

Theodore Simson

Junior Scout

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 Ersing

Linus Ersing

Junior Scout

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.

Partners

Our Partners

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.

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ACCELERATOR PARTNER

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PRIVATE BANKING PARTNER

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Mail Partner