This is the second part of a series titled ‘Up Close and Personal’ covering the career path of several steering committee members of LebNet communities, spread across the US and Canada.
Karine Sarkissian is proof that creativity and investment go hand in hand. As a founding partner at Tamar Capital (TC), a single-family office based between the Middle East, the UK, and the US, she oversees the family office’s Impact and Venture portfolio in the US, manages Impact Investment ventures, and leads the exploration of multiple social impact initiatives. Through her background in design and design strategies, she has an extensive amount of experience in social innovation for urban and economic development initiatives internationally. Leveraging her expertise, she supports many of Tamar Capital’s portfolio companies through a designer’s lens offering strategy development. She is also the co-founder of Le Studio - a TC’s venture builder initiative - which empowers exceptional entrepreneurs and investors to grow, scale and generate sustainable impact.
Karine also co-facilitated the Open IDEO NYC Chapter, designing solutions for social impact, and served as a Design for America mentor to graduate students within New York University. She is also an active investor and speaker.
On top of all that, she is LebNet’s WiT Community Co-lead & Networking and Startup Program Lead. We’re honored to have her part of our team and look forward to all the great activities she has planned for the community! Find out more about her plans for LebNet and get to know her more personally in the interview below:
1- How would you describe your career path and what do you enjoy most about your current job?
Unconventional! I studied art, design, and sustainability. Currently I run the VC arm of Tamar Capital. With my background, I co-founded Le Studio, a venture builder that supports exceptional entrepreneurs and investors within design, impact, and financial advisory. I love every part of it, especially supporting impact driven founders and social innovation.
2- What is a unique experience or specific event that led to where you are today?
People I’ve met! Moving to the Bay Area, I met all sorts of new people, joined networks, and explored. Without those experiences, I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today.
3- What are you looking to achieve or excited about as a Women in Tech steering committee member?
Bringing more women into the tech ecosystem, especially within the Lebanese network. Supporting women in finding their voice is what this is about for me. I can’t wait to introduce, promote, and connect incredible women changing the world!
4- What were some of the challenges you encountered in your career and how were you able to overcome them?
Finding a way to bring creativity into my everyday role was a challenge. I'm creative at the core, and I believe design and design processes can change the world! With Le Studio, we’ve found ways to bring in creative thinking, design, and problem solving within the family office role.
5- Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Continuing to support entrepreneurs around the world and creating a program that becomes a new standard: bringing social impact and good design processes at the core of all ventures.
6- How do you maintain a good work/life balance?
I am lucky that I control my own schedule. I know when to push and when I need to stop. But, it’s really about making sure I do things I love. Being outdoors, in the water, making art/painting murals, or being with friends helps me find the right balance.