Investments

Kat Kennedy joins enterprise fund Kickstart to scale investments within the Mountain West

Salt Lake Metropolis—Kickstart, a seed-stage enterprise capital agency targeted on the Mountain West, introduced Kat Kennedy as Common Companion. Kennedy brings together with her 15 years of working expertise, and her appointment will allow the agency to proceed creating fruitful alternatives for the Mountain West area.

With the expertise of working her approach from a startup’s first worker to President — one which grew from seed to late-stage below her watch — Kennedy brings a brand new perspective and empathy for founders navigating the curler coaster that’s rising a venture-backed firm.

“Kat has an unmatched ability set with regards to scaling firms. Her gritty, entrepreneurial spirit and keenness for serving to different entrepreneurs was precisely what we’ve been in search of,” says Gavin Christensen, Common Companion and founding father of Kickstart. “Kat’s addition permits us to scale at a time when so many enterprise companies are pulling again, not solely on investments however on constructing their groups. Kat actually embodies every little thing we worth right here, and we’re excited to see what the longer term holds together with her perspective on board.”

Previous to becoming a member of Kickstart, Kennedy spent the final decade at Degreed, a office upskilling platform, the place she most just lately served as the corporate’s President and Chief Expertise Officer. Kennedy helped scale Degreed from a $0 to $1.5B valuation in 9 years and brings together with her deep expertise in acquisitions, rising into a worldwide firm, and scaling a world-class product.

Kennedy’s appointment makes her one among just some feminine companions within the state. Regardless of years of efforts to extend variety amongst enterprise capital decision-makers, a big gender hole nonetheless exists. Girls make up solely roughly 11 p.c of investing companions at companies within the US and, as a result of enterprise capitalists play a essential gatekeeping position in deciding whose concepts, merchandise, and improvements obtain capital, solely round 13 p.c of enterprise capital {dollars} go to startups with a girl on the founding staff. 

“The purpose of enterprise capital is to generate returns by fostering innovation. As a girl born and raised right here in Utah, who has gone by way of the assorted phases of development at a venture-backed firm, I noticed no higher technique to drive influence within the Mountain West than by supporting founders who’re beginning their very own journeys,” says Kennedy. “Kickstart has at all times executed an unimaginable job discovering and funding entrepreneurs of all backgrounds, and I’m excited to develop that help.”

“Kat is an inspiration to girls in Utah and past with regards to the rising affect that ladies can and will need to have in the way forward for enterprise. I’m proud to see her take this subsequent step in her profession, as Kat is proof of the influence a single particular person can have of their group, their firm, and their business. I’m assured she is going to take all she’s discovered as an operator and deploy not solely capital but in addition her expertise,” says David Blake, co-founder and CEO, Degreed.

Kickstart was based in 2008 as the primary ever seed fund in Utah and its fund has grown in tandem with the exploding Utah know-how scene. So far, the corporate has $311M belongings below administration, 150+ energetic portfolio firms, and has raised $2.7B in capital. 

About Kickstart

Kickstart is a seed-stage enterprise capital agency on a mission to assist construct nice startups in Utah, Colorado, and the Mountain West. Based in 2008 as the primary seed fund in Utah, Kickstart labored with native universities, angel traders, entrepreneurs, enterprise capital funds, and different key stakeholders to construct a seed fund that the group might rally behind. The corporate is dedicated to being accessible, main investments in promising however early groups, and being honest with entrepreneurs and traders alike. Kickstart aspires to at all times be the selection for seed capital within the area with a repute for fierce loyalty, deep competence, and full alignment with founders. 

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