Lea Tarnowski is the COO, president and co-founder of Averon. Lea has deep cross-domain experience as an accomplished investor in mobile, FinTech and consumer internet. She is a Harvard Business School graduate, and holds MSc degrees from Stockholm School of Economics and HEC Paris. Lea has bridged financial services experience with technology leadership and is recognized for her distinguished leadership and inspiring work in making a positive impact in the financial services industry. She was recently named a finalist in the Banking Technology Awards’ Woman in Technology Leadership category as one of two ‘Highly Commended’ nominees among a field of thirteen extraordinary global executives.
Lea’s career began with investment banking and private equity at Morgan Stanley, where she worked as chief of staff to the president, and also worked as an associate at McKinsey & Company. She has spent much of the last decade investing in technology companies at one of Europe’s leading venture capital funds, Northzone. While an investment director at Northzone, Lea focused on the FinTech, mobile and marketplace sectors, and led investments in companies such as Artfinder, Trust Pilot, and iZettle (acquired by Paypal for $2.2B).
Lea enjoys participating in the World Economic Forum (WEF) community and often represents Averon at WEF gatherings at the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and beyond, speaking on topics related to product design, cybersecurity and creating a safer, happier digital world. She has served on a variety of corporate boards as well as the Board of SVCA, the Swedish Private Equity & Venture Capital Association. She is a Kauffman Fellow, an active mentor at various accelerators, and a Hybrid Reality Fellow. Lea has also enjoyed serving as a board member, advisor and angel investor, with a portfolio including Zetsy, Boosterfuels, and Qapital among others.
Passionate about building mission-driven communities, including fostering trust in the digital world and mentoring women in technology, Lea is also a lifelong health enthusiast and continually exploring new paths in nutrition, fitness and performance hacking. Lea was born in Croatia, where she enjoyed most of her childhood, and later moved to Sweden, the UK and USA. Today, she happily resides with her family in San Francisco, where her rambunctious young daughter keeps her smiling bright every day.