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Investing in technologies that move you

Our vision

We see the future of sports technology through a lens of possibility

Zone 5 Ventures was founded on the belief that innovation in sports and fitness technology will change lives and improve the world we live in. And we know that there are entrepreneurs out there with that same mission and belief. Entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas and ground-breaking technologies that will transform the athletic experience. We want to partner with them on their journey.

What We Do

We invest in people transforming the next generation of technology for tomorrow’s athletes

Zone 5 Ventures is an early-stage investor with Specialized as our sole limited partner. We partner with startups at the intersection of sports, technology and health and wellness. The teams we invest in bring the passion, creativity and innovation to transform sport and redefine how the inner athlete in all of us harnesses technology to achieve goals and ultimately improve lives.

We want to empower those teams to bring their vision to life. But it takes more than just funding. It also takes collaboration and unwavering support. We aim to provide both to the entrepreneurs we partner with by bringing deep collective experience in sports, technology, investment and entrepreneurship. We want to use that experience to be a long-term resource to our portfolio founders.

Portfolio

KAYA Climb

KAYA Climb is a leading community network and analysis platform that facilitates engagement between climbers, route setters and climbing gyms.

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Pocket Outdoor Media

Pocket Outdoor Media is the leader in technology and media innovation for the endurance sport and performance lifestyles.

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Today’s Plan

Today’s Plan provides a high-performance training platform that enables athletes and coaches to connect through online training tools and quantifiable structured training.

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Team

Chris Yu
Joseph Tiller
John Rangel
Kimberly Hilger

We partner with a one-of-a-kind sports tech cloud platform that companies can leverage to accelerate innovation and growth in the sports tech space

The Zone 5 Cloud platform enables sports tech companies and entrepreneurs to deliver digital products to market faster and at a lower cost. Zone 5 Cloud offers a solution to many of the software development hurdles faced when building sport and fitness apps and websites. They’ve done the blocking and tackling for you so that you can focus on innovating and accelerating your go to market strategy.
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Our values

People

We focus on the founders we invest in. We want to support and empower them to build great teams and transformative companies.

Innovation

Innovate or die. This has been Specialized’s mantra since 1974, and it still holds true today. We believe there is no idea that is too imaginative to explore. It’s often the “crazy” idea that leads to new and exciting innovations.

Passion

Passion drives us. And we look to partner with mission-driven entrepreneurs that seek to harness their passion to make the world a better place through game-changing advancements in sports technologies.

Commitment

At Zone 5 Ventures we bring more than just capital. We believe in the entrepreneurs that we invest in and we commit to being trusted partners along the way.

Contact us

If you share our values and are aligned to our mission, we’d love to connect with you.

info@zone5ventures.com

Locations

MORGAN HILL
15130 Concord Cir
Morgan Hill, CA 95037

BOULDER
1801 13th St Suite 302
Boulder, CO
80302

Chris Yu

Managing Partner

Chris is an experienced technology and engineering leader. He has led Product, Innovation, and Engineering teams at Specialized for more than eight years. He understands the sports tech space and can ask the right questions, big or small. Chris co-founded Zone 5 Ventures with the desire to help sports tech entrepreneurs break down barriers and make it easier and faster to bring their vision to market.

Chris also leads Zone 5 Cloud, a sports tech platform that accelerates the development of sports tech software through its SDK and API offerings. Chris received his B.S. from California Institute of Technology, his M.S. and PhD in Aeronautics from Stanford University and a lifetime of lessons from leading the design of Specialized’s ‘Win Tunnel’, an industry-first full scale, human sport specific wind tunnel. Chris lives in Menlo Park with his wife and son, and often can be seen riding his Specialized bikes in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

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John Rangel

Managing Partner

John is a seasoned financial and operations leader, with over 30 years of experience in the sports retail industry, including at Specialized, K2 and Brooks Sports. John is an experienced dealmaker, having participated in over 85 investments and M&A deals. But he is an operator at heart. John has demonstrated the ability to impact financial performance by focusing on a strategic plan.

Throughout his career he has led initiatives that drive both top-line growth and improvements in operational efficiencies. At Specialized, he drives the long-term strategic plan. John received his B.B.A. from Loyola Marymount University and his MBA from University of Southern California. John lives in Southern California with his wife. When he is not empowering tomorrow’s leaders, he’s probably riding his Specialized Tarmac or petting one of the many dogs that “work” at Specialized.

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Joseph Tiller

Managing Partner

Joey has over 15 years experience investing in, acquiring and advising companies. He believes in being a trusted partner that helps entrepreneurs with the complex problems and tough choices they will face on their journey. As co-founder of Zone 5 Ventures, he leads the firm’s investment strategy. At Specialized, Joey heads corporate transactions and leads teams that source, evaluate, structure and close investments and strategic acquisitions around the world.

Prior to Zone 5 Ventures and Specialized, he practiced corporate law at the global law firm, Jones Day, specializing in distressed investing and corporate turnaround. He has a B.A. from Southwest Baptist University, an MBA from the Brennan School of Business at Dominican University and a Law Degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago - John Marshall Law School. Joey lives in Los Gatos with his wife and three kids. He is an avid skier and cyclist, and he enjoys hiking the redwoods with his family and planning epic cycling routes that he may or may not ever ride.

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Kimberly Hilger

Senior Investment Associate

Kim has a diverse background in private equity, operations and accounting. She spent the majority of her career performing business valuations at BDO, LLP, one of the largest accounting firms in the world, and supporting investment and portfolio management for a private equity firm in New York. At Zone 5 Ventures, she supports investment strategy and sourcing. She also manages strategy and operations for Zone 5 Cloud, a sports tech platform that supports digital platforms and apps.

Kim is a CPA and received her MS in accounting from the University of Florida. She lives in Santa Cruz, California, and her biggest dilemma on the weekend is whether to ride her mountain, gravel or road bike.

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