Lee Hower

I’m an investor, entrepreneur, and helper of technology startups. I’m currently a General Partner of NextView Ventures, which focuses on seed stage internet-enabled businesses. I co-founded NextView in 2010 with my partners Rob Go and David Beisel. I started in the VC business as a Principal at Point Judith Capital, an early-stage firm. I joined PJC in 2005 and served as a Principal at the firm through early 2010. During this time I co-led investments in FanIQ, Sittercity, and Multiply and sourced investments in Music Nation and NABsys. Prior to becoming a VC, I was a startup guy myself. I was part of the founding team of LinkedIn, and served as Director of Corporate Development from the company’s inception through our early growth phases. Before that I was an early employee at PayPal, and worked in product management and corporate development roles through the company’s IPO in 2002 and subsequent sale to eBay later that year. I went to college at UPenn and received degrees from both the School of Engineering and Wharton School of Business.

  • Blog

    Taking Corporate VC: When It Makes Sense

    In recent years we’ve seen more and more corporations become more active or establish strategic VC arms.  When there are many waves of innovation (AI/ML, voice, IoT, genomics, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, etc) propagating across many industries, it’s natural for corporations to use strategic investment as one way to harness that innovation for their own purposes. […]


    Experts, Product & Design

    Startup Shootaround: Inside a VC Team Meeting on Autonomous Vehicles

    Editor’s note: The NextView team periodically holds internal “shootarounds,” where we discuss a startup topic or trend and try to make sense of it for everyone involved: entrepreneurs, investors, and consumers. We’ve decided to share these publicly. Below is a lightly edited transcript of our discussion on drones. You can also read past shootarounds on voice interfaces and […]


    Fundraising

    How to Avoid a Cluttered Board Room

    Many folks have discussed the role and value a board of directors can bring to a startup, even very early in the company’s lifecycle. The purpose of a board is not simply to be the founders’ friend…


    Hiring & Talent

    The Long Arc of Startup Teams: How Founders’ Approach to Talent Evolves

    Basketball or football?  I realize sports analogies for startups can feel trite, but as you think about the different phases of team-building in a startup, this one is actually pretty spot on. Your recruiting strategy should be adapted to a few distinct phases just as the approaches to building different kinds of sports teams varies. Below, I […]


    Fundraising

    NextView Investment Themes: A Search for Authenticity

    At NextView, we’ve long had a set of ethos or guiding principles behind all we do, which includes internal work as a team, external work as investors, and the lens through which we view seed-stage startups and their founding teams. The ethos we mention most often is authenticity — we firmly believe that the best companies are borne out of authentic […]



    Product & Design

    What Are the Benefits of Stealth Mode for Startups, Really?

    Startups and their founders who claim to be in “stealth mode” prior to launch are such a commonplace part of the startup ecosystem that it might seem odd to question its merits. But it’s important to address this head on and ask: What are the benefits of stealth mode for startups, really? 



    Fundraising

    How to Do Research on VCs (Written by a VC)

    In a typical first meeting between a VC and team of co-founders, the investor typically ends up asking more questions than the founders. Here at NextView, we (like all good VCs) encourage founders to ask questions they may have of us, but it’s just the nature of the interaction: We spend the majority of the […]


    Events & Workshops, Portfolio

    Announcing NextView’s Entrepreneur Advisors: Part 1

    As the holiday season is behind us and 2015 is firmly underway, we wanted to take a moment to both announce and celebrate the collection of top entrepreneurs who have agreed to return as our Entrepreneur Advisors. These individuals have all graciously agreed to continue their prior commitments to NextView-backed startups and entrepreneurs.