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Karen Lawson

Travels From New South Wales

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CEO

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Authenticity in leadership

Can corporates innovate like startups?

Diversity and Inclusion

Imposter syndrome, female leadership, and Networking 2.0 Read less
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Innovation

Inside or outside? Read less
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Karen Lawson

The digital industry leader helping organisations stay ahead of the curve

Karen Lawson is an award-winning business executive renowned for her leadership expertise across the digital, technology and start-up industries. As an advisory board director to the Sydney Startup Hub, she has also been the CEO and managing director of many leading businesses, including with Slingshot, CareerOne and Spotify.

With her passion for driving reinvention and embracing change, Karen has helped many of the world’s biggest brands stay ahead of disruption by becoming innovation leaders themselves.

Karen was originally the CEO of Slingshot. Under her leadership and expertise, the company quickly grew into becoming the leading corporate accelerator in Australia, after having accelerated more start-ups and corporate programs than any other provider. Across a range of sectors, including fintech, media and retail, the $15m Slingshot Venture Fund invested in over 151 businesses and drove the total market capitalisation of its alumni to over $507m. Some of their clients have included Qantas, SEEK, NewsCorp, HCF, Caltex as well as state and federal governments in Australia. 

From her work at Slingshot, Karen went on to launch the disruptive SaaS business, CoVentured. Launched in 2017, the business created a global platform for corporations and start-ups to connect for mutual growth. They have helped organisations from over 97 countries create better strategies and networks for exponential growth.

Karen also served as the CEO of CareerOne, a joint venture between News Limited and Monster Worldwide. Recognising a need for a new digital strategy, Karen turned the company into a leading digital business offering media, employer branding, SaaS and sourcing solutions. CareerOne went on to be recognised in the coveted BRW ‘Top 50 most innovative companies’ list in 2014, and was sold for over $50m two years later.

Karen continues to use her leadership expertise to help contemporary businesses innovate in the digital landscape. She served as the General Manager at Yahoo!7, holding full commercial and operational responsibility of the company’s business. She was also the former managing director at Spotify Australia & New Zealand, where she helped launch the platform’s podcasting feature to Australian audiences, including the new format podcast ‘Your Daily Drive’.

Today Karen sits on the board of Save The Children Fund Investment Committee, a world first venture capital fund investing into early stage ventures, as well as on the board of SDGx, a venture capital and tech business raising a $100m fund for climate change and the UN SDG0073. 

In recognition of her incredible work, she has been selected as the UN ambassador for Women's Entrepreneurship Day, Rare Birds Speaker, Nominee for Telstra Woman of the Year, Pledge 1%’s Women Who Lead, Australian Growth Company Awards, Women's Agenda finalist 2017 and Smart Company Women in Tech 2018.

With experience leading through change; Karen Lawson is the perfect speaker for any organisation looking to stay ahead of the curve and become innovation leaders in their own industry. She is extremely passionate about helping others reach their potential and achieve great results for commercial growth and transformation.

Enquire about Karen Lawson to speak at your next event