Meet Katarina Throssell, Giant Leap’s new Associate

Giant Leap welcomes a new Associate to the team!
February 2, 2023
Giant Leap

GL: To kick things off, what should people know about your background? 

KT: I have always been passionate about impact - I studied Law, International Relations and German, so I started by pursuing it from law and policy angles. During university I worked as a paralegal at the Australian Government Solicitor on the ACCC’s enforcement action against Volkswagen for the 2015 diesel emissions scandal, as an intern at the Australian Permanent Mission to the UN in Vienna, and as a policy intern at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra. 

I then worked as a commercial litigation lawyer at Arnold Bloch Leibler in Melbourne, where the highlight was working on meaningful pro bono litigation. I was most recently a Project Officer at the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative, researching how climate-related risks can be incorporated into directors’ duties in Australia, Canada, the UK and US. 

I’m now excited to dive into impact through Giant Leap’s investment lens. 

GL: What drew you to Giant Leap? 

KT: I was immediately impressed by Giant Leap’s genuine centering of impact in everything it does - from the impact screen as the initial threshold step in the investment process, to the team’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and human-centred values. 

I love problem solving, and believe in Giant Leap’s thesis that venture capital is one of the most powerful ways to address some of the world’s most urgent problems by helping provide rapidly scalable solutions to the market as soon as possible. 

GL: What are your key interest areas within impact? 

KT: My two core interest areas are climate and sustainability and empowering vulnerable populations. While governments globally consistently fail to take urgent action to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis, startups like Goterra, Great Wrap and Change Foods are working to create the practical solutions that we need alongside top-down policy reform (check out my recent piece on water technology for some areas of interest).

I’m also passionate about human rights and equitable access to secure housing, justice and education - issues that will continue to be exacerbated by the intersection with the climate crisis. In my spare time, I volunteer as a director of StreetSmart Australia, a national charity fighting homelessness and its causes by funding and supporting grassroots and front-line organisations. 

GL: What advice do you have for others seeking work in the impact space?

KT: After leaving commercial law, I benefited from taking a step back to assess my values, passions and strengths, and thinking deeply about the work that aligns with that. There are many ways to create positive impact through your career, including non-traditional ones - I would consider whether you are more drawn to grassroots change or higher-level impact, and go from there. 

As for practical steps, check out Giant Leap’s impact startup ecosystem directory and jobs board!

GL: What are you looking forward to most? 

KT: Getting involved in the ecosystem and meeting founders and other VCs! I’m very keen to learn about people’s stories. 

GL: Quick fire round… favourite interests? 

KT: Life drawing, scuba diving and a very sweaty hot yoga session. 

GL: Top book recommendation? 

KT: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - my favourite book of all time. 

GL:  What’s your most useless talent? 

KT: In-depth knowledge of ABBA’s entire discography. 

Connect with Katarina on LinkedIn 

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