Venturesome

a venture growth studio

Venturesome is a venture growth studio with headquarters in Chicago and a client base in the US and Europe. Franziska Gonder and Kyle Henry formed this studio after years of building companies and identifying the best partners, talent and process to drive growth. Our services are focused on support to venture capital portfolios and launching new initiatives for corporate innovation teams.

Our philosophy is to facilitate the building, partnering, and investing in behavior-changing platform technologies for consumer-facing companies. We represent end-to-end execution--not consulting--and are excited to become the extension of any of our partner's teams.

Our services range from research, integrated prototyping, and in-market launch-and-growth services to organizations subscribing to open innovation. Our ideal partner is one that balances a data-driven mindset with a determination to create intriguing consumer experiences.

 

We are venturesome

| Futurist | Entrepreneurial leadership | Strategy companion + Execution partner |  

 

Leadership

Franziska Gonder

Over the last 10 years, Franziska Gonder has worked hard to define and express her purpose strategy: Unleash potential for others and empower them to be their strongest self.

To express this purpose strategy through action, she has combined an entrepreneurial mindset, the use of technology, and her work in research to understand the psychology of motivation and building teams.

Over the course of ten years, she earned two degrees in Economics, launched two startups, co-founded the largest student entrepreneurship community in the Netherlands with some fantastic people, contributed Chinese companies' move from traditional HR approaches to ones of Talent Management, and conducted her own field research in Vietnam on the importance of trust in multi-cultural manager-employee relationships. Her journey took her to the furthest corners of the world, even onto the transiberian train through Russia, Mongolia, and China to practice the art of doing nothing.

In the last three years, she has helped coordinate a technology partnership for the European Commission reaching thousands of aspiring young entrepreneurs with UP Global; launched a global mentoring program for aspiring entrepreneurs; and built a platform to unleash technology partnerships between over 1,000 software engineers and 60 charities around the world.

Before Venturesome, she ran Ilovemondays.co, an organization that advised several VCs in Europe and supported their investments operationally and culturally. Her projects ranged from turnaround management, leading purpose-driven community business and marketing strategies, many workshops on growth strategies through a strong Brand DNA, Interim CEO roles and serving as the product development mastermind and lead for two AI companies.

Franziska is currently Managing Director at Venturesome, the first initiative to bring proven entrepreneurs into corporations and foundations to execute strategic innovation initiatives.

In her free time you will most likely find her spending time with her little family in deep nature, creating fusion paleo food, practicing CrossFit and growing her coaching practice. Her work has been featured in Forbes, TheNextWeb, and the Huffington Post.


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Kyle Henry

After leaving Wall Street 7 years ago, Kyle vowed to use his abilities in finance, strategy and data analysis toward social and environmental initiatives.

Kyle’s journey led him to the startup community where he has crafted a skill set for building dynamic teams that use data and metrics for faster learning.  His experience and methods have been developed from work inside dozens of companies and interfacing with hundreds more through advisory work, workshops and sponsored trips.  

During this time, Kyle has operated in numerous industries including recycled packaging, hydroponic agriculture, local-farm food distribution, productivity software tools, mobile ecommerce apps, financial literacy and healthy school lunch programs.  He's led a successful initiative as an entrepreneur inside P&G.  Collectively, his teams have successfully raised $17M in early-stage investments.  

Outside of his professional work, he has been an active mentor for 7 years to a Chicago Public School student through his involvement in the non-profit organization, Horizons for Youth. He is currently the Marketing Chair for the Associates Board at Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE), a non-profit dedicated to keeping arts education and programs in Chicago Public Schools.

Kyle is currently Managing Director at Venturesome, the first initiative to bring proven entrepreneurs into corporations and foundations to execute strategic innovation initiatives.  

Kyle is an avid hiker, surfer, traveler and yogi. Notably, he will be the officiant for the upcoming wedding of his younger sister in Chicago.


Our Entrepreneurs + Advisors

Chris Bye

Design Entrepreneur, Product Strategist + Customer Experience Expert, Chris Bye has led the development of many award-winning digital product experiences for global retailers and world-famous brands. Currently, he is Chief Instigator of ByeDesign, a studio that uses a human-centered approach and detail-obsessed craft to create products that motivate + inspire.

Chris consults for forward-thinking enterprises ranging from Fortune 500 companies to promising startups about the way design + technology can be utilized to improve people's lives.

Min Sok Lee

Dr. Lee is a Lecturer in Economics and the College at the University of Chicago. His primary research interests are behavioral/ experimental economics, the economics of education and pedagogy.

Before returning to the academia, Dr. Lee spent 6 years leading the Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation, developing and implementingn their philantrophic vision with over $15 million in investments. Leveraging his experience, Dr Lee consults with non-profit organizations and foundations.

Dr. Lee holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Cambridge (U.K.) and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. 

Mike Hostetler

Entrepreneur and Ethical Hacker, Mike Hostetler is passionate about Open Source, Working Virtually, Entrepreneurship, HTML5 and JavaScript. Mike served as the Entrepreneur in Residence at Table XI, a Digital Agency based in Chicago.  Mike formerly founded appendTo, a boutique consultancy born out of the jQuery project, which he exited in 2015.  He also currently serves as editor-in-chief of ModernWeb.com.  Mike is passionate about Remote Work, the Future of Work, Leadership and helping others succeed.