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

    Starting a New “Walkabout”

    Some VCs describe themselves as “thematic” or “thesis-driven” investors.  These folks typically hone in on an industry sector or type of company, immerse themselves in the subject, meet as many similar companies as possible, and then invest in some. Other VCs can be described as “opportunistic” which sounds like they have no particular strategy or […]


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    Our Investment in Konekt: Picks & Shovels for the IoT Gold Rush

    Today Konekt announced their $1.3M seed round.  We were pleased to lead this round along with a great group of other co-investors.  And I’m excited to collaborate with co-founders Ben Forgan and Patrick Wilbur as they build their IoT connectivity platform. Konekt is creating a turnkey platform for makers of internet connected devices to integrate cellular […]


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    Why Entrepreneur Advisors Matter

    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 […]


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    Not Everyone Is “Killing” It: How & When to Admit It

    Note: This post also published at NextView’s blog for seed stage companies The View From Seed. The startup ecosystem is often full of hyperbole, which is perfectly understandable when you think about it.  A population of founders, employees, investors, advisors, and others all aligned in trying to build large disruptive businesses is naturally prone to […]


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    Punch & Pie: How Should Co-Founders Divide Equity?

    I like to say that “there are only co-founders” — it’s extraordinarily rare for a successful business to have just a sole founder. But not all co-founders are equal in terms of title, ownership, responsibilities, and so forth.  As a result, one of the trickier things co-founders tackle is determining the equity split amongst the […]


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    Where Do Venture Capital Dollars Actually Come From? This Visual Explains

    Most folks reading this will know that many startups were built in part with the help of venture capital. Most attention goes to tech companies ranging from Google to Genentech, but some non-tech companies like FedEx and Starbucks also raised VC early in their lives. However, many folks probably don’t think about exactly where those VC […]


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    PayPal Unshackled – Now Is the Time

    eBay announced today plans to separate itself into two companies, one the core eBay marketplace business and the other is the PayPal payments business.  This is a move that’s been contemplated by folks both inside the company and outside for many years.  Recently prominent activist shareholders have also been “encouraging” eBay management to spin off […]


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    GrabCAD’s Acquisition: From Talinn to London to Boston

    GrabCAD today announced their acquisition by Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS).  All of us at NextView extend our congratulations to founder Hardi Meybaum and the rest of the GrabCAD team.  There’s a variety of coverage of it in the tech press (BetaBoston, TechCrunch), but I wanted to share the story of how we came to know the […]


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    Boston Startup Talent: Leaky Bucket or Everlasting Spring?

    One of our portfolio companies, Plastiq, announced yesterday that they raised a $10M Series B led by Khosla Ventures and are planning to move their headquarters from Boston to San Francisco.  We’re thrilled for the company to have a great investment partner joining the syndicate and one with deep payments expertise having backed companies like Square, […]


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    The Great Winnowing of World Cup & The Startup Ecosystem

    Those of you who know me are probably aware that I’m a rabid soccer (football) fan.  I’ve been a devoted fan of Arsenal for nearly two decades, former MLS season ticket holder (both San Jose Earthquakes when I lived in the SF Bay Area and New England Revolution here in Boston), attended World Cup 2002 […]