Karina Sotnik is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, and advisor with over a decade of experience creating entrepreneurial ecosystems through innovation programs with significant economic impact. She has extensive experience in academic innovation, incubation, acceleration, and global soft-landing programs for startups, universities, and international organizations.
After a decade working in senior positions in Silicon Valley, assisting US tech companies in global expansion, she moved to Philadelphia to start her own first company in 2003. Since then, she has held positions with the University of Pennsylvania and with the University City Science Center. At the former, she launched and ran the AppItUP Challenge, a digital accelerator for novel mobile technologies resulting in the creation of 19 new companies. At the latter, she oversaw the commercialization program with 22 participating universities and built a cutting-edge accelerator focused on US market entry.
In the course of the past decade, Karina also launched and developed WorldUpstart, a consulting firm applying her passion, unique skills, and deep experience to two missions: helping global companies enter the US market and helping academic institutions in the US and around the world build innovative commercialization programs.
Karina serves on the board of advisors for multiple companies, mentors startups, and is a member of the Investment Advisory Committee for Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Pennsylvania. Her other interests include poetry translation and language study. Her translations of Russian poetry have appeared in World Literature Today and Common Knowledge, and many other publications. Karina lives in Philadelphia with her husband, two daughters, and cats named Pushkin and Zack.