Start up to leAD!

About leAD

leAD Sports & Health Tech Partners sources, funds, and drives growth of early-stage sports & health tech startups globally. leAD works with groundbreaking solutions across the verticals of fan engagement, connected athletes, and health & well-being.

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PASSION FOR SPORTS

About leAD

Inspired by Adi Dassler, leAD launched its first program in 2017. leAD focuses on driving growth through smart investment, premier network access, and expert training in the following core principles: leadership, commercial, finance, legal & IP, fundraising, and strategy. leAD has three three investment vehicles – Academy, Portfolio, and ADvantage Fund.

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 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

Founder & Executive Chairman at 5Oceans Partnership

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.

#BoardMember #Shareholder

Horst Bente

Horst Bente

Co-Founder at leAD Sports, Founder at Adi Dassler International Family Office

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.

#BoardMember #Shareholder

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.

#BoardMember #Shareholder

Harold Primat

Harold Primat

Investor & Former Racing Driver

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.

#BoardMember #Shareholder

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.

#Shareholder

Willem Haitink

Willem Haitink

Investor & leAD Board Member

Willem is a former executive of Nike, O'Neill, and Tesla. He is an active board member and hands-on investor with a portfolio of fast-growing companies in the world of consumer, sports, and technology. Next to his board role at leAD, he works closely with the founders of a number of leAD investments in realizing their fullest potential.  

#BoardMember

Thomas Riedel

Thomas Riedel

Co-Founder & Managing Director at 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.

#Shareholder

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.

#Shareholder

Klaus Bente

Klaus Bente

Co-Founder at leAD Sports

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.

#Shareholder

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.

#Shareholder

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. 

#Shareholder

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.

#Shareholder

Nelson Sirotsky

Nelson Sirotsky

President at Maromar Investimentos, Member of the Board at 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.

#Shareholder

Camilo Montano

Camilo Montano

Vice President at 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.

#Shareholder

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.

#Shareholder

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.

#Shareholder

Brendan Dunn

Brendan Dunn

CEO at 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.

#Shareholder

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.

#Shareholder

Jens Reidel

Jens Reidel

RIGI Family Office

Jens co-founded and worked at Munich Trust Holdings. He was earlier with Beiersdorf AG in Germany and Canada for 13 years. In 1992 he opened the Hamburg office for, was Managing Partner and from 2004 to 2009 Chairman of the Global PE Firm BCPartners. Today, he co-owns the family office RIGI.

#Shareholder

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, health, nutrition, trying out new sports, or focusing on one in particular – they're all fueled by a passion for sports.

Nathalie Sonne

Nathalie Sonne

Program and Marketing Director

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 Program and Marketing Director 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.

Sebastien Gros

Sebastien Gros

Portfolio Director

Seb started his career in France working in M&A and Capital Markets before moving to London to become a strategy consultant for Accenture, where he spent a few years working for a variety of technology, media, and telecommunications clients worldwide. He then had the opportunity to join the sports industry as a venture capital investor, with the idea of identifying and investing in the best-in-class and market-disruptive companies that will shape the future of sports. He recently joined leAD as their new Director of Portfolio and has the pleasure to support promising entrepreneurs in growing their business and taking them to the next level.

Anne Joachim

Anne Joachim

Finance Director

Anne joined leAD with a strong background in the startup and VC world. After starting her career in banking, she worked for an eCommerce shop and became part of the startup world very fast. Taking the chance to be part of the most disruptive part of the economy fascinated her. She invested in several FinTech and HealthTech companies and was responsible for all financial processes within a Munich-based VC. She took the opportunity to join leAD as Finance Director to combine her experiences in finance and investing with her passion for sports. Anne loves to support entrepreneurs especially when it comes to questions in finance or fundraising as well as keeping all things in place for leAD.

Sebastian Vohradnik

Sebastian Vohradnik

Investment Director

Sebastian joins leAD with extensive experience in the startup and VC world as well as a strong finance background. Sebastian is an entrepreneurial-minded operator and investor whose expertise lies in ramping up international operations while identifying, building, and establishing scalable business models and opportunities. Before joining leAD, Sebastian was MediDate’s CEO, where he led the team to become Europe’s leading player for elective surgeries and digital healthcare services. 

Rasha Kawalit

Rasha Kawalit

Chief of Staff

Rasha has over 12 years’ extensive global experience in marketing, partnerships and project management in the world of sports and entertainment- creating successful collaborations that lead to increased brand awareness and commercial growth. Rasha recently joined leAD as Chief of Staff, directly supporting the CEO across all areas of the business – helping to drive growth, streamline strategic initiatives and projects.

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. She's studied and worked in the Washington DC area, where she lived for about five years. After that, she's worked in Brazil, Denmark, and Germany, spending most of her career in communications, PR, and online marketing roles in the startup scene.

Aaron Naisar

Aaron Naisar

Portfolio 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 has a tennis coaching license.

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.

Mathew Cullen

Mathew Cullen

Portfolio 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.

Gülefşan Sarı

Gülefşan Sarı

Controller

Starting her career as an Auditor at Deloitte, Gulefsan was soon attracted by the fast-emerging sports industry in Turkey. She started working for the sporting goods retailer Decathlon as a Commercial Controlling Manager and after a while, she changed to Red Bull Turkey and became the Marketing Controller for all sports marketing projects and events including athletes management. With her financial knowledge of the sports industry and a passion for the startup ecosystem, she joined leAD beginning of 2020.

Dr. Dirk Koehler

Dr. Dirk Koehler

Lawyer & General Counsel

Dirk brings in a variety of expertise from different angles, ranging from sports, fun, excitement, and digital to legal and management. He is a lawyer by profession and gained broad entrepreneurial, management, and legal experience spanning from investment banking and law firms to in-house legal and consultancy functions. He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Lucerne/Switzerland. 

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

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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ACADEMY PARTNER

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PRIVATE BANKING PARTNER

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ACADEMY PARTNER