Kate D. Shapiro

Kate D. Shapiro

As SVP of Operations and Partner, Kate is a trusted leader at LaunchTech. Dedicated to establishing and extending the credibility of our cybersecurity and technology clients, Kate has been advancing growth at LaunchTech since its founding in 2015. During her tenure, the firm has successfully launched 12 high-tech companies out of stealth and significantly contributed to the PR and communications of over 75 brands. Prior to LaunchTech, Kate drove marketing and communications efforts in IT services, real estate development and non-profit industries.


Kate has experience implementing and managing a wide spectrum of marketing and communications activities, including creative graphic design, social media, content and website development, as well as strategic public relations and analyst relations campaigns. She prioritizes building inclusive, effective and agile teams, empowering members to grow, conquer challenges and take ownership.


Kate is a Baltimore native and graduate of Lafayette College.


What did you want to be when you grew up?

From as early as I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher. In college, and for a few months following, I worked at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) teaching kids in Baltimore City how to start and run their own business and certifying educators to teach the curriculum. While my career path took me out of the classroom I expect I’ll find myself back there one day.


How did you come to find yourself at LaunchTech?

I met Wayne at a golf tournament when I was 22 years old. Fortunately, we retained a mutual connection and when Wayne was starting LaunchTech we reconnected over breakfast at a now-closed restaurant in Federal Hill. His pitch sold me and I promptly put the wheels in motion to depart the technology company where I was employed. In February 2015, I entered our 300 sq. ft. office with two desks and a conference table. The rest is history.


Do you have a secret talent or a hobby?

At a previous job, my title of ‘Business Manager’ was more accurately defined as ‘Director of the Unknown’. While it’s probably not a secret to those who work, or live, with me, I have an insatiable desire to seek out solutions to problems or questions that hang in the balance. I am not afraid to play in the unknown, in fact, I prefer it.


What is a professional highlight of yours?

Anytime our team succeeds, it’s a professional highlight. I have the unique opportunity to hire, train, and lead our rockstar team. Mentoring each member as they grow into themselves, exert their strengths, and refine their weaknesses is one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done.


What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I love to be outside. Most of the vacations that my husband and I plan have remote outdoor components – we’ve explored southern Iceland, the jungles of Belize, ruins in Guatemala, the Narrows in Mt. Zion and both the northern and southern rims of the Grand Canyon. On weekends I find the best way to unwind is by packing our dogs into the car and spending quality time on a trail.


What do you find most interesting about cybersecurity or technology?

The cybersecurity and technology field is on the cusp of a revolution. It’s one in which grit, talent and determination win the day and while the industry has the appearance of being stereotypically monochromatic [accurate], this is changing—and it has to. The problems that technology can create, and can solve, are infinite and bringing great, diverse minds together will strengthen our world for all citizens.

Author : Matt Hampton