Leen Kawas Channels Her BioScience Background To Build Career
Leen Kawas has spent five years as a Managing General Partner of Propel Bio Partners LLC. She is currently involved in launching and managing the company’s first investments and companies. Previously, she served as Senior Vice President at Kent State University Foundation, responsible for fundraising, alum relations, endowment management, and development communications.
In her previous position with NYBioMed, Kawas led the creation of the NYBioMed BioFund, which is dedicated to supporting New York State life sciences startups. She was also involved with NYBioMed efforts to obtain tax credits for angel investors and managed capital pools for life sciences investments.
Before NYBioMed, Leen Kawas was involved in building the large endowment at Northeastern University’s School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and making significant gifts to other schools nationwide. She was also a senior vice president for assets management at the March of Dimes Foundation and had experience in various industries, including hot sauces and cosmetics.
Leen Kawas believes that organization is critical to success. She cites her experience at NYBioMed, where she worked for an organization with more than 40 professionals. Her experience as a fundraiser taught her the importance of building good relationships through manners like making phone calls and answering e-mails, even if it seems trivial.
Kawas believes in doing your homework before meeting potential investors. She advises new entrepreneurs to build solid teams and urges them to listen. She cites research that shows those who ask for advice are more likely to be asked for advice. In the field of life sciences, Kawas believes that long-term investors often provide more value than short-term investors and that they should be valued accordingly.
Leen Kawas also believes the key to early success is dealing with failure. She is always eager to try something new and believes there is always something to learn. Kawas also believes it is essential to have a life outside of work and never let your failures or successes define you as an individual.