The Power of NEXT VENTŪRES
NEXT VENTŪRES was founded by Lance Armstrong and Lionel Conacher, who bring together a powerful combination of deep sports and fitness knowledge as well as proven financial investment experience.
The expertise of this team has been strengthened by the addition of Mel Strong, whose entire career has been focused on sports marketing, including 17 years with Nike.
NEXT VENTŪRES’ competitive advantage is its ability to leverage the expertise of NEXT VENTŪRES’ Managing Partners and its Advisory Board to effectively identify and assess potential investments, and meaningfully contribute to the product development and brand marketing of its portfolio companies -- helping these companies achieve mindshare and market share sooner.
- MANAGING PARTNER
- A globally known cyclist and endurance athlete, Lance remains passionate about the benefits of an active lifestyle. Through his decades of competitive racing, Lance has developed extensive worldwide contacts in the sports, fitness and health markets, regularly being invited to review early stage companies.
- MANAGING PARTNER
- Lionel is a life-long multi-sport athlete and outdoorsman and proud member of Canada’s first family of sport. His financial experience spans senior positions in public companies in both Canada and the US, investment banking, and most recently private equity.
- MANAGING PARTNER
- Mel has spent most of her life in the sports marketing industry, including more than 17 years working at Nike as a leader in global brand marketing, where she has driven an agenda focused on innovation, inclusivity, sustainability and access to sports.
Lionel is a life-long multi-sport athlete and outdoorsman and proud member of Canada’s first family of sport. His financial experience spans senior positions in public companies in both Canada and the US, investment banking, and most recently private equity. He understands what it takes to create a highly successful start-up having co-founded Westwind Partners Inc., a specialized Canadian institutional investment bank. As Chief Executive Officer, Lionel grew Westwind to $100 million in revenues over 5 years after which it was sold to Thomas Weisel Partners (TWP) for $145 million. Post-sale Lionel served as President of TWP until the sale of TWP to Stifel Financial in 2010. For 7 years prior to co-founding NEXT VENTŪRES, Lionel was a Senior Advisor and Operating Partner at Palo Alto based private equity firm, Altamont Capital Partners, LLC. He currently sits on the boards AMP Human Inc., and DXL Group (NASDAQ: DXLG). Lionel is also actively involved in various non-profits including serving as a Trustee of SFMOMA, Council for Canadian American Relations and Surf Canada.
A globally known cyclist and endurance athlete, Lance remains passionate about the benefits of an active lifestyle. Through his decades of competitive racing, Lance has developed extensive worldwide contacts in the sports, fitness and health markets, regularly being invited to review early stage companies. His extensive connections have resulted in highly successful early investments in Docusign and Uber that reflect his strong investment insights. In this digital age Lance understands the importance of digital brand building and the power of influencers. He currently hosts THEMOVE, a podcast that provides analysis of stages of the Tour de France and other cycling and endurance races; this podcast has had millions of downloads and has been ranked in the top 10 in the sports and recreation category on Apple's iTunes. He also hosts a podcast called THE FORWARD where Armstrong interviews authors, musicians, athletes, politicians and influencers from all walks of life. These form the cornerstones of WEDŪ MEDIA, part of his WEDŪ brand, a budding community of endurance athletes who go Forward, Never Straight.
Mel has spent most of her life in the sports industry, because she believes that access to a healthy and active life can transform culture. She spent over 17 years at Nike, leading international marketing teams across running, women’s, soccer/football and training. She worked on all of Nike’s digital sports and tracking products, and was most recently vice president and general manager for their skateboarding business. Today Mel is managing partner at Next Ventures, a VC fund investing in innovative health, sports and wellness companies. She serves as an advisor to Nike’s accelerator Valiant Labs, sits on the board of performance brand PowerDot, and is an advisor for photography app VSCO. Mel and her husband also run a mountain bike tour guiding company in Hood River, Oregon.
NEXT VENTŪRES’ Advisory Board Members have been selected for their domain expertise in the sports, fitness, wellness and nutrition markets, their proven business acumen, and for their industry connections. They ensure that NEXT VENTŪRES and our portfolio companies have access to resources that will help us succeed in today’s competitive environment.
Pam Alexander founded Alexander Communications, a technology-focused public relations firm that launched tech disruptors such as WebMD and Mindspring/Earthlink, and represented market leaders such as News Corp, Hewlett Packard and TED. After building her firm into one of the largest independent...more
Dylan is a retired professional cyclist, who rode for The US Postal Service Cycling Team alongside Lance Armstrong. His 15 year professional athletic career included competing in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and success as a four-time national champion. Today Dylan is the Chief Product...more
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Darren Phelan, MD is board certified Emergency physician, health tech investor, consultant, and lifelong athlete.
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Robin Thurston is the CEO of Pocket Outdoor Media, a company building the world’s content and events home for runners, triathletes, and cyclists. Under his leadership, Pocket Outdoor Media is reinventing how athletes consume content, participate and engage, increase knowledge, find gear, and...more
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