Karin O'Connor has been an active investor in early- and growth-stage companies for more than 20 years. She currently serves as clinical assistant professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at Kellogg, where she leads the school's growth-stage entrepreneurship initiative and teaches its Growth Strategy Practicum course. She is also a venture partner at Serra Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in Champaign, Illinois, and leads the firm's activities in the Chicago market, including recent investments in Hazel Technologies, Built In, Tank Utility and Backstitch. She is also active as an advisor to growth-stage companies, including Aaron Equipment Company, Morey Corporation and LumiSource LLC.
From 2011 until 2014, Karin served as managing director of Hyde Park Angels, Chicago's largest angel investor network. She invested in 15 companies with the group and served as HPA's representative on the boards of portfolio companies FeeFighters, which was acquired by Groupon, Inc., in 2012; and Moxie Jean, which was acquired by Schoola in 2015.
Karin received her BA in Finance from the University of Illinois, where she graduated magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her MBA from Kellogg, where she was an F.C. Austin Scholar and was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma. Karin received a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charter in 2007.