Karen Griffith Gryga
Karen Griffith Gryga is an experienced venture capitalist, investor and entrepreneur with over 25 years of startup and emerging growth company experience. Karen is currently COO and Operations Lead of Biomeme, a medical diagnostic company with a mobile, real-time PCR hardware solution, software solution and test diagnostics. The Biomeme solution provides the power of the most advanced central lab in the palm of your hand to perform real-time testing on-site. The Biomeme solution is applicable to many industrial segments including Human Health, Industrial QC, Veterinary Agriculture, eDNA and Vector Surveillance. The focus of the company, currently, is to provide national testing for COVID-19 and is one of two solutions that can conduct PCR testing on-demand and on-site. The Biomeme COVID-19 test is highly sensitive and specific and can detect asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals. Karen is in charge of the Legal, Accounting and HR operations of Biomeme and, with the CEO, is key to driving strategy, strategic partnerships and meeting the capital needs of the company.
Karen is also Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Dreamit Fund II, LP. When with Dreamit full-time, Karen was co-founder of Dreamit Health and founder of the DreamIt Athena program which focuses on female founders. Karen has helped launch over 200 companies that have generated close to $2 billion in shareholder value. Karen has held over a dozen board roles on private companies including Synchronoss (Nasdaq: SNCR) and Tissue Analytics (acquired by Net Health) and is currently on the boards of the Wharton Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, and the Please Touch Museum (Executive Committee, Governance Committee Chair and member of the Finance Committee). Karen is Co-President of Wharton Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and Co-founder of Wharton Women in Private Equity and Venture Capital.
DreamIt is a leading venture fund and technology accelerator for entrepreneurs which has worked with and launched over 350 companies since 2008 including SeatGeek, HouseParty, LevelUp, Biomeme, Biobots, Tissue Analytics, Parsely, MindSnacks and Adaptly. Dreamit is the only growth accelerator designed for mature startups. Post-seed companies with product market fit, some revenue, or early traction are left with limited funding options and resources to scale before qualifying for today’s “super-sized” A rounds. We put our companies in front of customers, key strategic partners to drive pilot programs and distribution before we match them with larger venture funds and investor groups to raise follow-on funding. The Dreamit Fund focuses primarily on the follow-on investments of DreamIt companies exhibiting strong growth and traction. The Fund is one of the most active early stage healthcare investors in the country.
Previously, Karen was Co-Founder and CEO of FashInvest, an initiative focused on emerging growth entrepreneurs within Branded Goods, Fashion, Fashion Tech and Retail. The goal of FashInvest was to create a business platform focused on bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and industry executives to foster the growth and development of emerging growth enterprises within Branded Goods, Fashion and Retail. FashInvest is a media, events and advisory entity which was acquired by Penske Media Group. Karen was also Co-Founder of Lipstick Wisdom whose focus was on practical, actionable video-based day-to-day advice for moms with children with neurological challenges.
Prior to her entrepreneurial experience, Karen was a Founder and Partner of Liberty Venture Partners, a Philadelphia based venture fund established in 1997 with $150 million under management. Prior to Liberty, Karen was a Managing Director of Philadelphia Ventures Inc., a privately held venture capital management firm with a family of corporate and institutional limited partnerships exceeding $100 million of committed capital. Notable transactions included Synchronoss (Nasdaq: SNCR), InSoft, (acquired by Netscape), Liveprint.com (acquired by Kinkos), Cadis (acquired by Aspect Development) and WiseBear (acquired by Michael Milken).
Karen has also been Executive Director of MAG, The Mid-Atlantic Angel Group as well as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Context Capital Partners.
Ms. Gryga is well known throughout the entrepreneurial community and was previously on the board of the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group for seven years and was Chairman of the group for the 1999-2000 term.
Ms. Gryga began her career at TRW Inc., a multi-billion dollar conglomerate, in their Federal Systems Division as a software developer. Ms. Gryga 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.