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. 

We’re excited and feel incredibly lucky to have them back on board:

The Purpose of Entrepreneur Advisors

We frequently tell entrepreneurs that advisors who are just names on a page are kind of a waste of time. We believe the same is true for us here at NextView, which is why we think it’s important to take a second and explain what NextView’s own “Entrepreneur Advisors” do.

When Rob, David, and I started NextView nearly five years ago we thought it was important to enlist a small group of talented entrepreneurs as we built and helped our portfolio over time. These were all folks we’d known for a number of years, and people we respected deeply. Their expertise is focused across the range of software and  internet sectors that we focus on here at NextView — from SaaS to e-commerce, ad-tech to mobile.

At their core all of the folks listed above are builders — they have all founded and run exceptional software and internet companies, in some cases multiple times.  But we also believe in the “keiretsu” principle here at NextView. In parallel with their entrepreneur advisor role s with us, many of these individuals are also active angel investors themselves independent of NextView , or else they have relationships with other companies or investment groups. Thus, we can all work in concert within the broader startup ecosystem.

So if they’re not just names on a page, how are these entrepreneur advisors involved with us at NextView and our portfolio companies? Practically speaking they help us in three ways:

  1. New Investment Opportunities: These advisors sometimes introduce us to new entrepreneurs and new companies we might invest in.
  2. Insight During Our Due Diligence: We frequently touch base with these people when we are looking at a potential new investment where the advisor has unique insight.  In some cases , the advisors’ companies form business relationships with startups NextView is vetting.
  3. Advice Post-Investment: All of these individuals are busy people with limited bandwidth, but they ‘re generous enough to periodically provide advice and mentorship to founders in the NextView portfolio.

We’re pleased that as NextView has grown, all of these original entrepreneur advisors have extended their relationship with us.

But … Stay Tuned

We plan to expand this group slightly with a handful of other high quality folks which we’re equally as excited to introduce publicly. So keep an eye out in the coming weeks and months when we’ll talk more about these additions.

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.