Senior Associate

Kara Burns

"I consider myself lucky to work with people actively changing the world."

Which tech trend are you most excited by and why?

I'm excited by technologies with the greatest potential for de-carbonization. This can take two forms. First, I'm interested in startups selling the "picks and shovels" infrastructure. For example, we will need new software to manage the grid, verify carbon removal, and optimize supply chains. Secondly, I’m excited by technology poised to lower emissions in some of the most carbon-intensive yet underfunded sectors. For example, buildings represent a quarter of global emissions, when accounting for construction and on-site energy use. We will need new design tools to reduce our reliance on carbon intensive materials, like steel and cement, as well as new energy management tools for everything from HVACs to insulation.

What inspires you about venture capital?

I consider myself lucky to work with people actively changing the world. Our job is to meet with visionary founders and make predictions about the future. It's exciting to play a role in helping founders build transformative businesses.

In another life, if you weren’t in venture capital, what would you be?

I'd be addressing global issues through a career in diplomacy. I spent a few years growing up in Hong Kong and always envisioned a career in international development. However, I was drawn towards investing for its potential to deliver meaningful change at scale.

It’s a Saturday afternoon, where can we find you and what are you up to?

You can catch me on the ski slopes or at a fitness class! I’m a big believer in the power of mindfulness and occasionally teach yoga through the Hands to Heart Center. I also host the occasional poker game.


Kara Burns is a Senior Associate with the Climate Technology Fund. Kara started her career in Fidelity’s equity research department. Most recently, she was a Sector Specialist on the private placements team, Fidelity’s late-stage VC and cross over investing arm, where she contributed to recommendations representing over $1B in capital deployed. Prior to this, she worked on the ESG, consumer, and strategic advisors teams.

Kara is currently pursuing her MBA at MIT Sloan, and she graduated magna cum laude from Hamilton College with a BA in Economics and Chinese.