About LvlUp

Find out how we're taking our teams & partners to the next level.

Our History


Founding Partner Investments


Startup Failure Rate


VC Funds raised by Portfolio Teams


Quake Capital Launch

LvlUp's Founding Partner Brandon Maier launched Quake Capital (early-stage accelerator and venture capital fund) in New York City, NY.

Forbes-Ranked VC

Under Brandon's leadership, Quake expanded to Los Angeles, CA and Austin, TX and was ranked as a top-10 seed investor by Forbes.

Since launching in 2016, Quake Capital has:
250+ investments
9 (so far) exits/acquisitions
<14% startup failure rate
#1 fund for investments in founders of color
Global top 2% of early-stage investment vehicles



LvlUp Consultancy Launch

After several years of leading Quake Capital, Brandon began working independently with companies as an advisor and fundraising coach to address their #1 pain point: fundraising.

Brandon and long-time friend & colleague AJ Smith formed a consultancy around this need, which would eventually become LvlUp Ventures.

LvlUp Ventures Fund I Launch

Formation of LvlUp Ventures Early-Stage Fund as a value-add VC, combining all of the best parts of Brandon's experience from Quake with the hands-on approach of several years consulting with companies and community-building to capitalize on a unique market downturn and invest in teams solving new challenges and problems.


Meet Our Core Team

Brandon Maier
Founder & General Partner

Co-Founder of Quake Capital, highlighted by CrunchBase for making the second-most investments in female-led startups (2018).

250+ Startup Investments, with 84% still active, 9 previous exits. 10X+ return on portfolio of active investments within last 6 years.

Extensive network of over 1,000 investors.

Frequent collegiate guest lecturer & startup judge.

Aaron Golbin
Managing Partner & Head of Accelerators/Incubators & Partnerships

Four-time startup founder, creating and leading industry-leading enterprises like DebateIsland.com and The American Post.

10+ years of operating experience across VC-and-non-VC-backed startups and a multi-billion-dollar technology and strategy company in the Media, AI, FinTech, and Government Consulting industries.

Strategically advised and invested in over 30 companies.

AJ Smith
Managing partner and head of product

Technical managing partner bringing over a decade of frontier tech experience and 5+ years of investment experience prior to LvlUp.

Four-time venture-backed CTO with 3+ years leading startup consultant firm assisting in pitch deck creation, fundraising, coaching, and more.

10+ years of full-stack dev. experience in FinTech, SocialTech, MedTech, and more.

New York University, Masters

Adam Ned

Adam is a determined leader and expert problem solver, who takes a very hands-on approach with founders.

3 years of experience managing associates and working with a variety of startups across several industries.

Frequent Event & Pitch Competition Organizer, Host, and Participant

Co-Founder of a stealth mode cryptocurrency mining company.

B.S. Economics, Occidental College

Natalie Dunn
Head of Operations & Investor Relations

Former founder and operator with 10 years of experience in early and growth stage startups in a variety of industries from health tech to CPG.

2x venture backed executive (COO & COS).

3 years of experience allocating $30M per year of federal funding to advanced industry startups in bioscience, clean tech, aerospace, and advanced manufacturing.

Active startup mentor, coach, and strategic advisor with a passion for supporting high-impact and undercapitalized founders.

BA University of Denver - Business and International Economics

Jacob Ringel
Associate Partner
Jerome Timmons
Associate Partner

Highlighted Venture Partners, Mentors, and LPs

Ben Kromnick
Venture Partner
Daniel Idzkowski
Venture Partner
Kurt Akers
Sam Palazzolo
Jason Manasse
Anthony Tijerino
Venture Partner
LP & Mentor
Zac Delvecchio
Venture Partner
Wendy Diamond
Jules Arthur
Michele Arthur

Think of us as a member of your team.

We take a community-driven approach to venture.

For startups

We are a non-traditional lead, focusing on "upcelerating" our teams.

We open up our network full-throttle to help our portfolio companies close rounds faster so that they can spend less time pitching & more time building great companies.

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For investors

We run a nation-wide venture scout program to support & educate the investor community.

This means that we are seeing a higher volume of great deals come across our desk & we aren't greedy with those opportunities. We love sharing deal flow with our community.

Learn More