Monday , 20 October 2014
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Karen Griffith-Gryga

Chairman
When you meet Karen, here is what you will find — Balance. And Perseverance. Karen has developed the perfect balance between passion and logic. She thinks with her head and feels with her heart. You meet Karen in a business setting or a personal setting you see both dynamics in motion at all times. FashInvest mirrors this balance. It is about community, it is about information and about becoming a successful business. Karen is a computer software developer with 23 years of experience, including 15+ years as an investor and advisor to start-up and early stage technology companies with Philadelphia Ventures, Liberty Venture Partners (also a co-founder) and Context Capital Partners. Karen does have her challenges with balance too. Surfing. Karen and her daughter are taking surfing lessons together. Karen can catch a wave and pop-up but as her daughter keeps reminding her, “Mom – you have to let go of the sides and balance!!” Karen is not there yet.

As a board member of FashInvest, Karen brings her experience base of 15+ years of deal transaction experience and advising hundreds of entrepreneurs to the branded goods and fashion segments. Karen also bring entrepreneurial and social media experience as CEO of Lipstick Wisdom, a video based social networking website targeting women 30 and above. The essence of Lipstick Wisdom is the sharing of life experiences so that those newly going through a life experience can learn from those who have already been through it.

Karen is an experienced venture capitalist and investor with 15 years of experience. Karen was Fund Manager in Residence for Context Capital Partners and helped to bring several next generation private equity funds to market. Prior to Context, Karen was a Founder and Partner of Liberty Venture Partners, a Philadelphia based venture fund established in 1997 with $150 million under management. Previous to Liberty Venture Partners, Karen was a Managing Director of Philadelphia Ventures, Inc., a private held venture capital management firm with a family of corporate and institutional limited partnerships exceeding $100 million of committed capital.

Karen is well known throughout the entrepreneurial community and was previously on the board of the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group from 1994 to 2001 (now MAC Alliance), having served as Chairman of the group for the 1999-2000 term. During this time, Karen was very active in the annual conference hosted by the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group. This conference featured 25-50 emerging growth companies and hosted 800 – 1000 attendees annually. Karen also serves on the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s IT Investment Advisory Committee.

Karen began her career at TRW Inc., a multi-billion conglomerate, in their Federal Systems Division as a software developer and software project manager. She is a frequent speaker on the subject of venture capital and entrepreneurialism in both professional and academic communities. Karen holds a MBA in decision analysis from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania (with Distinction). At the same time as Wharton, Karen obtained a Masters in Computer Science from the Moore School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Karen earned her Bachelor of Science degree in computer science (Phi Beta Kappa) from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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