Podcast Ep 71: Melanie Strong, Managing Partner at Next Ventures

Our guest in this episode is Melanie Strong. Mel is a Managing Partner at Next Ventures, working alongside Julian Eison and Lance Armstrong. Next Ventures is a health and fitness focused venture capital fund. Prior to joining Next, Mel spent the majority of her career so far in Sports Marketing, included 17 accomplished years at Nike.  

In this episode, Matt and Mel discussed things like her decision to move on from Nike, how she goes about setting expectations for herself, and building relationships with people in the venture space. The two also talked about things like the possible lasting changes of 2020 and the connection between mental health and spending time outdoors.

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Show Notes:

2:00 – Leaving Nike. “I had so much fear coming out of my career at Nike – a good 18 years working with one brand. But I don’t think I realized how much I wasn’t learning until I left.”

14:00 – Setting Expectations. “I’m 47. And I think it’s really important to acknowledge that there is never a moment in your life where you shouldn’t be seeking people that keep you honest, be there for you when you do fail, and learn from.”

27:00 – Human Connection in Venture. “I’ve had more meaningful conversations with strangers over the past year than I would have thought possible. And that’s awesome.”

40:00 – Mental Health & Performance. “The research coming out in the last year around people being more physically fit, embracing more activity in their lives, and that being an enduring behavior change is super exciting. I love that more Americans are getting outdoors.”

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