Kennedy becomes one of a handful of top female leaders in Utah’s venture capital and investment community


Nine years after being pulled into the Degreed ecosystem and rising to become its President and Chief Experience Officer, Kat Kennedy has joined Cottonwood Heights, Utah-based Kickstart as general partner.

Kickstart’s addition of Kennedy not only establishes her as one of a few of partner-level females in Utah’s investment community, but one of a small minority of women executives in similar roles in both the region and throughout the country.

According to the Kickstart news release,

“Women make up only approximately 11% of investing partners at firms in the U.S. and, because venture capitalists play a critical gatekeeping role in deciding whose ideas, products, and innovations receive capital, only around 13% of venture capital dollars go to startups with a woman on the founding team.”

Trained in Management Information Systems at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, Kennedy progressed through several web development and user experience positions before joining Degreed in late 2012 as its chief product officer, a position the news release suggests made her the company’s first employee.

During the ensuing near-decade, Kennedy was an integral part of Degreed’s executive team that helped the eLearning company scale from its first seed funding to, as Crunchbase reports, over $410 million in total funding and a valuation of north of $1.5 billion.

In addition, Kennedy was recognized earlier this year as the top Chief eXperience Officer (CXO) in Utah during the 2021 Silicon Slopes Hall of Fame and Awards program, a black tie and sneakers gala attended by over 1,250 at the Grand America Hotel Hotel in Salt Lake City.

Kickstart was founded in 2008 as the first ever seed fund in Utah, and its fund has grown in tandem with the exploding Utah technology scene.

To date, the early stage venture capital firm has $311 million in assets under management (AUM), over 150 active portfolio companies, and has raised $2.7 billion in capital.


{AUTHOR'S NOTE:  Individuals interested in consideration as a Contributing Writer for Silicon Slopes, should contact David Politis, its VP of Content.}

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