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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
Meet our investors

Founders & Backers.

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 White

Andrew White

Chairman at leAD

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 Bente

Horst Bente

Co-Founder & Board Member at leAD

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.

Christoph Sonnen

Christoph Sonnen

Co-Founder & CEO at leAD, Partner at ADvantage

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 Primat

Harold Primat

Board Member - leAD Sports

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.

Alexander Bente

Alexander Bente

leAD Co-Founder & ADvantage Sports Tech Fund Principal

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 Riedel

Thomas Riedel

Co-Founder & Managing Director of Riedel Communications

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 Bente

Stefan Bente

Founder

Stefan is the youngest Bente brother and has been a private investor in several different fields in the US, Europe and the Bahamas.

Klaus Bente

Klaus Bente

Co-Founder & Board Member

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 Krieglstein

Tim Krieglstein

Founder & Managing Director

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 Montano

Camilo Montano

Vice President Coransa

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.

Pablo Caicedo Gómez

Pablo Caicedo Gómez

Board of Directors at Familia and Valores Industriales

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. Now Pablo is part of the Board of Directors at Familia and Valores Industriales.

Rüdiger Ohl

Rüdiger Ohl

Managing Director at brands and emotions

Rüdiger Ohl has been leading successful marketing and communications projects for almost two decades. He specializes in strategic development and implementation of complex, international communications projects. He draws on many years of experience as a key account manager for numerous global brands, such as Mercedes-Benz, Coca-Cola and Deutsche Telekom at the renowned agency Schmidt & Kaiser GmbH, where he decisively influenced various benchmark projects.

Frank Kampp

Frank Kampp

Managing Director at brands and emotions

Frank Kampp has been working in the sports marketing and communications industry for almost 20 years. Prior to his agency career, he held various positions on the corporate side, including Sponsoring Manager at Audi AG, where he developed projects for the Le Mans 24-hour race, the Ski World Cup Kitzbühel, and the Audi quattro Cup. As Managing Director of brands and emotions, he is responsible for projects such as the Audi Cup and Volkswagen Group activations during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. 

Nelson Sirotsky

Nelson Sirotsky

President of Maromar Investimentos and Member of the Board of the RBS Group

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.

Brendan Dunn

Brendan Dunn

CEO of Holdun Family Office Ltd.

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.

Simon Torres Sierra

Simon Torres Sierra

Chairman of the Board at Contempo S.A.

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.

Dr. Christine Dinse

Dr. Christine Dinse

Investor

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.

Guillaume Bouffard

Guillaume Bouffard

Director of leAD

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.

Jens Reidel

Jens Reidel

RIGI Family Office

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.

Lineup

Meet the team

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 Accelerator at leAD, 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.

George Williams

George Williams

Chief Financial Officer

George joins leAD with over 20 years of Financial Services experience.  Most recently he was Finance Director at Babson Capital Management a manager of senior loans and structured credit.  In 11 years he had oversight of the Finance function as assets grew from EUR2bn to EUR16bn.  Previously George worked at Schroders for 10 years in a number of roles and was involved in projects including the creation of Schroder & Co., a newly created private bank.

Brett Bivens

Brett Bivens

Investment Director

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

Sport is part of Fernanda’s DNA, as she grew up playing volleyball in Brazil, her home country. Thanks to the sport, Fernanda had the opportunity to study and work in the Washington DC area, where she lived for nearly five years. After that, she's worked in Brazil, Denmark, and Germany, spending most of her career in PR, online marketing and communication roles in the startup scene.

Tina Zunic

Tina Zunic

Marketing Communications Manager

Tina is a marketing and communications professional, with a background in the production industry. She specializes in online marketing and content production to leverage digital environments and create impact. At leAD, Tina is responsible for implementing marketing and communications, content production, and event management across all three pillars of the business - the Accelerator, Business Builder & ADvantage Fund. 

Aaron Naisar

Aaron Naisar

Investment Manager

Aaron is an experienced early-stage investor. He has negotiated and executed more than 15 investments, ranging from pre-seed to Series A in the realm of sports tech. He holds a master’s degree with distinctions in Strategic Entrepreneurship from Rotterdam School of Management and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mannheim. Aaron is a sports fanatic and holds a tennis coaching license.

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.

Mina Begum

Mina Begum

Head Scout

Mina has 4+ years of experience in accelerators and sourcing market-leading technologies for brands like Google, Arsenal Football Club, and British Airways. She has worked on 28 different innovation programs resulting in startups piloting their solutions in a live environment, continued by securing investment and commercial agreements.

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.

Chris Day

Chris Day

Investment Manager

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. 

Mathew Cullen

Mathew Cullen

Investment Manager

Mathew has a passion for entrepreneurship and investing. He has multiple years of experience in private and public markets after setting up and managing a family office, as well as experience with startups in business development and data analytics. He holds a degree in International Business and Finance from New York University's Stern School of Business. Mathew lives in London and is an avid golfer and sports fan.

Tobia Tassinari

Tobia Tassinari

Investment Intern

Tobia combines his enthusiasm for sports and his financial knowledge in his role at leAD. With an academic background in economics, philosophy, and finance, he supports the development and implementation of an analytical approach to performance reporting for leAD Portfolio companies. In his bachelor's thesis, he investigated alternative incentives to address and reduce fan misbehavior.

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.

Partners

Our Partners

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.

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ACCELERATOR PARTNER

"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