For startups with outstanding ideas, the leAD team of entrepreneurs, experts and international top investors with a deep passion for and strong foothold in sports paves the way to the best playing fields in the business.
Sports have always played an important role in the family. Klaus, Horst and Stefan Bente were deeply inspired by their grandfather Adi Dassler's devotion to sports and his joy in passing this passion onto others. While passion for sports became a connecting element within the family, innovation in sports developed into its key theme. Today, this is the foundation of the leAD Sports Accelerator: the culture of support that is clearly shaped by Adi Dassler’s personality as a mentor, motivator and sponsor, and a pure passion for sports that unites the leAD team of entrepreneurs, investors, athletes, mentors, and start-ups.
»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.«
Klaus, Horst and Stefan Bente are the oldest grandchildren of Adi Dassler. Together, they founded the leAD Sports Accelerator and Adi Dassler International Family Office 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 the visionary innovative strength of young founders with the same enthusiastic team spirit – and far beyond the accelerator program.
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.
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.
Stefan is the youngest Bente brother and has been a private investor in several different fields in the US, Europe and the Bahamas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Benjamin is a SportsTech Expert who has been working as a Management Consultant and Strategy Expert for large corporations before joining the startup world in various positions. He lived and worked in Berlin, Budapest, Cologne, Malmö and New York and helps individuals and organizations to grasp future opportunities at the intersection of Sports & Tech.
Ralph is an expert on Early Stage Investments and Corporate Innovation Initiatives via startups, with work experience on both sides. Before joining leAD, Ralph was a Senior Investment Manager at hub:raum where he was responsible for identifying, selecting and investing in the best startups to the Incubator. He holds a graduate degree in strategic communication & planning, is a business coach and University tutor as well as an active mentor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finnian's passion for sports is only rivalled by his love for getting things done. At leAD, he's responsible for all the background work that goes into making a large event like an accelerator come alive. He's the silent figure that you'll rarely hear and occasionally see yet he's the one to thank for making the leAD events turn out great!
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.