“Often times the hardest challenges are the most fun to solve.”
Kara loves the uncertainty and challenge of bringing new companies and products to life. Just as in sailing, where the weather and water are constantly changing, so too are the market dynamics in which new companies must navigate. But by surrounding yourself with a great team, who share a willingness to push themselves, try new things, and chart new paths, the journey as well as the ultimate destination is always better. Kara brings over 10 years of experience growing tech startups, as both an investor and operator. She’s actively involved with the Emergence portfolio, and is a board observer at UpKeep, Top Hat, and Zinc.
Kara’s expertise is in B2B product and partner marketing from Seed stage companies through to IPO. She joined Zendesk, prior to going public, to help the company expand upmarket from SMB to Mid-Market and Enterprise companies. She successfully launched their enterprise product through tight coordination with product, sales, customer success, and external telephony partners. Before moving to the operating side, she blended her passion for venture and entrepreneurialism as the founding Associate of .406 Ventures. At .406, Kara played an integral role in launching the firm, raising the $170M fund, and driving the initial investments in SaaS, Health IT, and Security companies, including Carbon Black (Nasdaq: CBLK) and HealthDialog (acquired by BUPA). Kara earned her MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and her BS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. At Stanford, she was All-American and captain of the nationally ranked Stanford Sailing team.
She is an avid traveler. However, what had started as more of adventurous travel such as backpacking in Sapa, Vietnam or summiting Cotopaxi in Ecuador, has shifted to beaches, lakes, and pools that she and her husband can enjoy with their toddler.