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

    Why VC’s Don’t “Crossover” Invest

    A little more inside baseball from the VC biz… why VC’s rarely make “crossover” investments, with capital from multiple funds the VC firm manages invested in a single startup (see note 1).  I was talking with an entrepreneur recently about this phenomenon.  This person is an experienced CEO and a veteran of several startups, yet […]


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    The VC Shakeout: Are We There Yet?

    [This also appears as a guest post at PandoDaily] Over the weekend, I read Sarah Lacy’s PandoDaily article that the VC shakeout is taking too long.  It’s rather thoughtful and definitely worth reading if you haven’t had a chance to yet. There are some obvious structural reasons why a shakeout in the venture capital industry […]


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    Why Average VC Returns Don’t Really Matter

    The VC industry (both the GP part and the LP part) pays attention to the sector’s returns, but the broader tech ecosystem only occasionally tunes in.  Typically it’s when Cambridge Associates releases their benchmark data on the VC asset class (here’s a 2010 example article from TechCrunch) or an organization like the Kauffman Foundation publishes […]


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    Tacking Towards Founder

    I had the pleasure of giving a talk on entrepreneurship at UPenn last week, which happens to be my alma mater.  I’m always thrilled to speak with undergraduates who are interested in startups.  One of the most common questions I get is “What’s the best career path to becoming a founder someday?” The very short […]


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    Running a Startup Board Meeting

    There’s a lot of good suggestions out there for how early stage startups can approach (or improve) board meetings.  Some of my favorites are from Brad Feld (also this one from him), Andy Payne, and Steve Blank.  All three have perspective as both entrepreneurs and as investors / advisors in the startup board room. There’s a […]


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    Our Investment in SkyVu / Battle Bears – Taking Mobile Games Into New Territory

    We’re pleased to announced NextView’s investment in SkyVu Entertainment, along with Lightbank and angel investors.  SkyVu is a mobile game company best known for their hit franchise BATTLE BEARS… a series of shooter type games that are action-oriented with an edgy theme, that still remain kid/teen friendly in terms of content. There are countless mobile […]


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    When Does Zynga Become a Value Stock?

    Zynga’s faced a lot of pressure in the public markets recently.  The company’s lost nearly 80% of its value from the peak earlier this year, in the run up to Facebook’s IPO, and currently trades below $3/share… a fraction of it’s IPO price of $10. That much we all know.  We also know lots of […]


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    Ubiquitous Computing and the Misguided Frenzy About “Mobile”

    About 6-12 months ago you could hardly throw a rock in the startup ecosystem without hitting a VC expressing their enthusiasm for “mobile”.  Now the frenzy about mobile has extended into the mass media and public equity markets, though with trepidation as often as excitement. The best example of this was Facebook’s disclosure during their […]


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    The Rise & Fall of Great Venture Firms [Part 2]

    Last week I wrote about some of the common factors that have led great VC firms to stumble or even fade from existence entirely.  I wanted to follow-up with some observations of paths to greatness for a select group of firms.  Also it’s also worth noting a few clever hacks that some firms have taken […]


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    The Rise & Fall of Great Venture Firms [Part 1]

    I happen to be fascinated by the history of the VC industry, and one of the things we discussed at a recent offsite are the common threads behind the rise and fall of great venture capital firms.  NextView’s still in its infancy… we’re barely two years old and are just part of the way through […]