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.
Klaus, Horst, and Stefan Bente, the oldest grandchildren of Adi Dassler, founded leAD Sports to revive their grandfather’s legacy.
But they're not alone: leAD is backed by an exclusive circle of international top investors from different areas that all have a strong foothold in the sports industry. Their objective is to support these visionary young founders with Adi Dassler's same enthusiastic team spirit.
Andrew is an entrepreneur in the Sports and Entertainment World. Having spent the early part of his career building WSM Communications into one of Europe's most successful Sports Marketing Agencies, in 2014 WSM was successfully acquired by Bill Gates. Since completing his earn-out, he has launched 5Oceans Partnership – a Commercial Consultancy focussed on the Sports Arena working with The Laureus Foundation and Albany.
Horst held executive positions at various international corporations and has been a private investor in a variety of fields in Europe, the US, and the Bahamas.
With a passion for sports and lifestyle and a knack for business, Christoph looks back at over twenty years of founding, managing and structuring businesses. He is a venture capital expert with a passion for great business ideas, startups, and early-stage investment. Christoph is also a Partner at the ADvantage Sports Tech Fund.
Harold is a former racing driver. His illustrious endurance career included a best finish of sixth at the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours. His career highlight came in the 2012 World Endurance Championship with Rebellion Racing, as he helped them secure the LMP1 Privateer Class title. At the end of the 2015 season, he declared his retirement from professional racing and in 2017, he came on board as an investor at the leAD Sports Accelerator.
Alex graduated from the University of St. Gallen, one of the leading business schools in Europe, where he received his Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance. He’s involved in several family initiatives to preserve the legacy of his great-grandfather. Alex is also Principal at the ADvantage Sports Tech Fund.
Thomas is one of leAD’s investors and a passionate entrepreneur. He is the founder and managing director of Riedel Communications. The company develops, manufactures and distributes cutting edge real-time networks for video, audio, data, and communications for broadcast, event, theatre, sports and industry worldwide.
Stefan is the youngest Bente brother and has been a private investor in several different fields in the US, Europe and the Bahamas.
Klaus is an entrepreneur in his own right with a long-time experience in consulting small and medium-sized companies and startups. He also holds a marketing doctorate.
Tim loves making an idea take shape, starting his first business at the age of 17. As former Head of Marketing at Red Bull in Europe, he played a key role in driving innovation and cutting-edge projects. Tim is a trustee of Wings for Life.
Camilo, Vice President of Family Office Coransa, is an experienced entrepreneur with impressive co-founding experience. He studied International Business and Marketing at the Northeastern University. After gaining initial experience in the marketing team, he became the Vice President of Family Office Coransa in 2001. Coransa has stake holdings in companies including Airplan, Runt and Dicermex.
Jens co-founded and worked at Munich Trust Holdings. He was earlier with Beiersdorf in Germany and Canada for 13 years. His experience includes positions as the Head of the Groups Control and Treasury functions, a Manager of the Canadian subsidiary, and the Head of Materials Management for two of the four divisions. Today, he runs his family office RIGI.
Guillaume is an entrepreneurial professional with international senior experience and a strong financial and managerial background. With a Masters degree in Accounting and Financial Management from the Institute of Bordeaux, Guillaume started his career as an Audit Manager, specializing in Banking and Life Insurance Companies and rose to become CFO of a mid-size life insurance company. In 2014, he co-founded a new life insurance company.
Christine studied at Humboldt University, Berlin after which she worked as a highschool teacher for 10 years. She then started her own business offering a golf fitness education concept. Later she started GolfBiodynamics Germany, a company offering hightech analysis of the golf swing which she sold a few years later. Christine holds a doctorate in sports science and is an active investor especially in young, sports sciences oriented companies.
Pablo began his career trading waste paper for Canusa Hershman Recycling Co. in Baltimore, Maryland. From there he moved on to Lehman Brothers, New York, working for the Desk Based Analytics and Exotic Derivatives desks, before becoming a trader in the Latin American Equities Desk. Starting in 2017, Pablo is the Managing Director of Private Equity Investment for Bancolombia Investment Bank.
Nelson is a Brazilian entrepreneur. For over 45 years, he has worked in and led the main media and communication company, the RBS Group, founded by his father in 1957. In 2017, he joined the leAD Sports Accelerator project to help in giving opportunities to new initiatives in the area of sports, or socially, where users of these new services will also have the opportunity to enjoy their respective passion for sports in a unique way.
Simon, Chairman of the Board at Contempo S.A. since 2005, is an experienced entrepreneur and founder of a social entrepreneurship project that uses soccer as a tool for social transformation. Simon is holding an MBA from the world’s most renowned program for families in business with professor Joseph Astrachan as well as an undergraduate degree and Masters in Civil Engineering.
Headquartered in the Bahamas, Brendan is the CEO of Holdun Family Office Limited. Before coming on board to run the family business, Dunn spent time working in Nassau, Bahamas, with Jeff Everett, the president of Franklin Templeton Mutual Funds. Brendan holds a Bachelor of Administrative and Commercial Studies with a focus on finance from the University of Western Ontario.
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.
We are about helping our startups accelerate their growth and professionalize their businesses so they can continue to do what they do best: work towards their ambitious goal of revolutionizing the world of sports. In order to achieve this goal, we need the right partners by our side.
"leAD Sports is taking on a pioneering role with their accelerator offering. They have comprehensive sports tech know-how, plus a unique network in this form – of mentors, investors and decision-makers from the sports industry and related sectors such as tech, finance, health, and media. SPORT1, as a leading sports platform in the German speaking market with many years of experience and great innovative capacity, has the mission to develop sports and competitions and build them up into attractive brands. With our program, we want to jointly position ourselves as the top innovators in the sports and media sector, step up existing connections to key figures in the tech and entrepreneurship scene and build up new contacts."
Olaf Schröder, CEO of Constantin Medien AG and Chairman of the Management of Sport1 GmbH
"Adi Dassler delivered world-class innovation in the world of sport in the 20th century, and now his eldest grandchildren are aiming to do the same. We are thrilled to be working with an extremely impressive and able team at leAD to help the organization identify, support and enable brilliant entrepreneurs around the world to bring their sports-related business ideas to life."
Peter Charrington, Global Head of Citi Private Bank