Janne Kouri is the president and founder of NextStep, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization. NextStep believes that all persons living with paralysis and other physical disabilities deserve the hope and opportunity to live long and healthy lives. Yet today, most of these individuals are deprived of the resources they desperately need for survival because there are no options available to them or they cannot afford them. NextStep provides the opportunity for health and recovery through affordable and progressive community fitness, health, and wellness facilities.
NextStep is a nationwide movement that aims to revolutionize the quality of healthcare for the physically challenged community. NextStep has paved the way with the first community facility in the United States to offer Locomotor and activity-based training at its state- of-the-art facility in Los Angeles and continues its vision to expand across the U.S. The organization's other initiatives are participation in cutting-edge research, education, and awareness programs that are focused on enhancing the lives of the 6 million people in the U.S. living with paralysis. NextStep is a member of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) Community Fitness and Wellness (CFW) Program.
In August of 2006, a tragic accident in Manhattan Beach left Janne paralyzed. Doctors told him that he would never walk again. He proved them wrong, and it was documented on ABC's "Good Morning America."
From 2004-2006, Janne was the North American Director for Sulake Corporation, a world leading online community entertainment and media company. Janne was responsible for Sulake's overall North American business strategy and management of its property Habbo, a new type of youth brand, which is based on one of the world's fastest-growing online communities and virtual worlds for teenagers. Prior to Sulake, Janne was an associate at Monrepos LLC, a venture capital firm. Monrepos LLC is a venture capital company that creates, manages, and funds technology-based start up companies, focusing on communication technology and software. Janne was the co-founder of Orchimedia LLC, a mobile gaming pioneer. Orchimedia was a leading Finland-based wireless entertainment company. Orchimedia launched some of the very first WAP, SMS, and interactive TV based wireless games in the Nordic countries.
Janne graduated from the Georgetown University Business School with a degree in marketing. He was also the Captain of the Georgetown University Division I-AA Football Team. He was the 1996 MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, 1996 Team MVP, 1st Team All Conference in 1995 & 1996, and an All-American in 1996. Janne also holds the Hoya All-Time and Single Season Sack Record with 16 and 31.5, respectively.