About Venture Up

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Team Building

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About Venture Up

Why Venture Up?

US: 888-305-1065 / Canada: 514-312-8295 / UK 020 3002 3761• Email: info@ventureup.com

VENTUREUP: America's Team Builders Since 1983

Why Venture Up / Leadership / Philosophy / Training Topics


Celebrating 30+ years in business, Venture Up founders wish to thank the hundreds of clients and the more than 250,000 participants who paved our path. In 1983 we went from becoming America's first team building company, to the world's largest  provider of team building activities, many of which are Venture Up originals or adaptations of popular experiential games -- always with an innovative edge.  We work with people of all shapes, sizes and cultural backgrounds; and offer programs in several languages. Group sizes range from
8 to 1,000 or more.
About 80 percent of our business involves corporate clients, who prove that word of mouth is the greatest advertising.  We also work with schools, non-profit groups and government agencies, including the FBI, U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Special Forces.  Many of our corporate clients are winners of the J. D. Power & Associates Quality Award -- and J. D. Power & Associates itself is also on our client list. Venture Up has a long-standing track record working on the inside of many of the world's leading firms, notably in the Fortune 100. In terms of client satisfaction, please see our testimonials.
Customer Service

Venture Up staff return calls immediately and deliver proposals usually within 24 hours or less.  We work on short notice, or plan months ahead.  You can expect us to handle the details and stay in touch, so you retain your peace of mind and have the freedom to tend to other matters.  Our aim is to exceed your expectations, and history shows we can. 

With a high percentage of our business generated from repeat clients and referrals, we are driven towards innovation.  We're constantly developing new methods and programs to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients, especially in the new economy. 
Venture Up has the largest  selection of activities available from any one source.  We're a one-stop shop and can save you money by eliminating the middleman in every program. We design and build our own props and courses, and provide and maintain all our own gear, including state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment.

Venture Up  has the resources and flexibility to travel, providing on-site and off-site programs indoors or outdoors.  We use portable activities and may also build on site in the U.S. and beyond.


In 1983 Venture Up became the first company in the U.S. devoted soley to team building programs. As our clients attest, we provide upbeat team experiences in a day of fun, professional development and recognition.

Suitable for all ages and abilities, activities are designed to motivate people to combine their talents and perform at their best, individually and as team players. Team members discover diversity is their greatest asset and find the obstacles a welcome challenge. Trust, cooperation and effective communication are key to team success.

Participation in all activities is voluntary. Programs may last a few hours or all day, all culminating in a celebration of recognition and success.

David Lengyel, MS
University of Arizona

Managing Director since co-founding Venture Up in 1983, David has worked on the inside with top level executives designing customized programs for management teams. His clients include American Express, DuPont, Ernst & Young, Ericsson Communications, Michelin, Philips and Union Bank of Switzerland. Also a plant biochemist, he has extensive international business experience in addition to his expertise as a world class mountaineer. In November 1991 he met with industry leaders in Moscow at the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences to consult on an international crop testing program, similar to one he pioneered in Mexico. At the White House in Moscow he joined the Prime Minister's Innovation Council to discuss a self-contained eco-tourism site near the Altai Mountains, and the development of an outdoor experiential learning center. He was first to descend Mont Blanc, Western Europe's highest peak, on nordic skis in winter, and is has many first nordic ski descents and winter mountaineering ascents in the Alps of Europe, including the Triolet and the north face of Les Droites in Chamonix. He also participated in government-sponsored trips to Romania, and to Chile and Argentina where he climbed Aconcagua and trekked in Patagonia. Other notable ice and rock ascents include Howser Towers in the Bugaboos, Athabasca, Andrometer and Polar Circus in the Canadian Rockies, Ames Ice Hose in Colorado, and the Black Ice Couloir in Wyoming.

Richard Gomez, BS, MS

Richard is a retired Naval Aviator, having served for 20 years in the Command and Control field.  A 1986 Naval Academy graduate, Rich brings a unique perspective to experiential learning.  His experience in the Navy included directing operations and maintenance of a squadron culminating in directing the Combat Direction Center on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.  He served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made five deployments overseas including operations in most major military actions from the early 1990 though 2005.  Through his experiences as a Naval Officer and visiting countries throughout the Mediterranean, he brings an energetic, in-depth background that challenges teams to achieve higher goals, enhance individual knowledge of self and others, and build leadership and communication skills in a fun and safe environment.  Rich has facilitated programs since 2007, working with the full range of ages from youth through corporate executives.  He has worked with Venture Up since 2008.  Rich holds a BS in Physical Sciences and a Masters in Strategic Studies, and has returned to his native Flagstaff where he works with Venture Up in Arizona and nationwide.

David Van Sickle, MS, PhD
Santa Barbara State University, University of Arizona

David has been awarded numerous research grants, including from The World Health Organization and Rockefeller Foundation to study asthma in native populations in southern India. Following the 3-year project, he landed served at the Center for Disease Control for several years. He began his work at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he studied cultural anthropology and environmental studies. He has done field studies in remote jungles of Mexico and was involved with the Glacier/Bob Marshal Ecosystem Project, a Wildlands Study program through San Francisco State University. He also worked in the Tropical Cloud Forest Ecology program in Costa Rica, a Northeastern University program. David speaks fluent Spanish.

Arizona State University,
University of Phoenix

Mike Donnelly has an extensive background in educational psychology and has worked with Venture Up since 1985 designing and delivering multi-day adventure programs for select populations. Also a lead guide on our annual Volcanoes of Mexico mountaineering expedition, Mike has also directed Venture Up's rock climbing and caving programs and developed numerous multi-day outdoor leadership programs for private schools in Arizona. Representing Venture Up, he has also worked as a technical advisor in Walt Disney films. He has a long history of first rock climbing ascents in Arizona and has notable climbs to his credit throughout the West.

University of Arizona

Co-founder of Venture Up, Teresa oversees team building programs for charity and non-profit organizations.She speaks French and Spanish and has worked as a travel writer, publishing in newspapers across the nation and the Associated Press. She has been to more than 50 countries and has studied in Europe and Mexico. She was one of few American writers invited by the Government of China to newly-opened regions in Inner Mongolia in 1990, the first travel writers admitted since the infamous student uprising in Bejing. The Government of Nepal invited her to speak with Sir Edmund Hillary and others at the first Adventure Travel Conference in Kathmandu; and invited by the Government of India to attend the International Himalayan Mountaineering & Tourism Meet in Mussoorie, India. She has taught at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.

University of Arizona, Arizona State University

David has been with Venture Up since 1990 providing experiential learning programs and facilitating ropes courses and rock climbing for corporate groups across the U.S. and Mexico. Also a hand-on artist, he provides creative direction for Venture Up and is responsible for designing and building many of our original props and games, especially on travel programs. He has represented Venture Up all over the U.S., Puerto Rico, Switzerland, France and Mexico. David is also well known as one of the pioneers opening up the Queen Creek rock climbing area. He is credited with many first ascents ranging up to 5.13.

Arizona State University, Prescott College

Matt Hudson began his work with Venture Up in 1993 facilitating corporate training programs involving Ropes Courses, Strategic Games and Rock Climbing. He has represented Venture Up on programs throughout Arizona, Palm Springs, Atlanta, Chicago and Houston. As a member of the adjunct faculty at Prescott College, he taught Wilderness Leadership and Foundations of Adventure Education field courses. He also served as assistant director of the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of America, the national trade organization based in Boulder, Colorado. He has extensive rock and mountaineering experience in the Rockies, Sierras, Alps, Andes and Himalayas. Among his notable climbs: the Nose on El Capitan; Snake Dike on Half Dome; Naya Kanga in Nepal; and Mont Blanc du Tacul in Chamonix, France. He also taught English in Japan and worked for the Moscow Circus in Russia.

New Mexico State University

An electrical engineer, Stuart worked for six years as a project leader in the corporate work force. His work involved a wide range of responsibilities -- from the initial design to constructing the final product to customer service training. At Honeywell, he worked in research and development as a design engineer on LCD display systems. At III-IV Systems, he was the senior design engineer in the same area. In Alaska, he worked for Total Engineering Systems Technology (TEST) where he was the senior staff engineer and designed an emergency shutdown computer control system, in addition to scheduling and supervising installation and the construction crew. At Venture Up he works as a program leader on and as a consultant for the physical design of custom ropes course programs and new construction. In the outdoors, he has extensive mountaineering experience in Alaska, Washington, Mexico, Nepal and France.

Northern Arizona State University

Eric is a magna cum laude graduate in marketing management and has climbed extensively throughout the West, Mexico, Canada and South America. He has numerous first ascents on the record in Arizona, including Lost in Space in Sycamore Canyon (5'11+). He has also climbed the Nose on El Capitan. Eric took his first adventure with Venture Up at age 14, in 1984. Also an expert kayaker, he works as a whitewater videographer. He has worked with Venture Up since 1994 involving Ropes Courses, Strategic Games and Rock Climbing. He has represented Venture Up as a technical advisor for rock climbing and kayaking for various photography shoots for national magazines.


The Venture Up experience combines well with existing corporate training programs or may be designed to focus on specific areas, such as:

  • Team Support: Maintaining it for the long run
  • Communication: Improving skills for team efficiency
  • Change: Breaking way to new opportunities
  • Trust: Building and maintaining it
  • Creativity in solving complex problems
  • Decision Making process improvement
  • Leadership: The power of flexibility
  • Positive Options to resolve team conflict
  • Team Success: Recognition & celebration; the greatest motivators
  • On Track: Follow-up strategies for continuous improvement


  • Venture Up has a long-standing track record, serving more than 250,000 clients since we began in 1983. As corporate training technologies began shifting toward integrated learning models, Venture Up was on the forefront as one of the pioneers in corporate experiential learning.
  • The Venture Up experience integrates cognitive, emotional and physical awarenessand perceptions. Our philosophy is rooted in the power of the individual in creating a high performance team and hence a successful organization. At Venture Up we deal with large and small scale issues affecting organizations of all types and sizes. In motivating people toward optimum performance as team players, Venture Up provides programs to make people more aware of their abilities to effect change.

  • Our programs are flexible enough to be combined with existing corporate training programs, or may be designed to target clients' objectives. The exercises of a typical program establish trust and create a positive learning environment that enables people of all professional levels to become more creative and innovative in their thinking and problem solving. We aim to remove barriers that blocked them from trying something new and inspire them to look at problems from many points of view.

    Programs are designed to be fun and challenging but geared for success. Our goal is to build relationships through positive feedback, recognition and reward. The result: team players leave with an action plan and are willing to try new ideas and look for new solutions back on the job.

    Quality Service

    Venture Up's focus on quality is here to stay. In an age of global competition, quality and service will remain top priorities for successful organizations for many years to come.

    We view quality as a vision of doing things right the first time for the ultimate purpose of creating and keeping customers. We adhere to the principles captured by the Harvard Business Review that caution against false goals of many activity-driven quality programs. We believe strongly in the need for measurable long-term results on the job. Anything short of exceeding customers' expectations and impacting organizational performance is activity for activity sake and not part of the quality process. The success of any organization is dependent on the individual commitment of each employee to a common goal. Research has overwhelmingly demonstrated the need for individuals to feel a sense of ownership and pride in their work.

    We work with organizations to help them maximize individual and organizational performance. It is through the accomplishment of common goals, through combined individual talents that teams are forged and true quality is achieved.


    Our vision is a workplace with individuals committed to a common goal contributing their talents with self-motivated initiative, ownership and organizational pride.


    Our mission is to provide realistic job-related learning experiences which empower individuals to contribute to common goals through effective individual and team behaviors; to work with organizations and individuals to ensure long term change and applications to the job.


    Our success is measured by the results of our clients, and is reflected in the quality of our staff. We practice our beliefs.


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