Karen Lauter Utgoff Consulting

Karen Lauter Utgoff earned an A.B. from Oberlin College and her M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Originally, Karen's focus was working with technology-driven venture teams to integrate market, customer, and competitive considerations into their technology and venture development efforts. At that time, she quickly discovered opportunities to help small businesses and research organizations as well.

Today Karen brings her background as a market-oriented business strategist to fundamental new venture and small business challenges such as finding product-market fit, troubleshooting existing marketing and sales programs, and accelerating technology commercialization.

Motivated by early experiences, Karen is passionate about the importance of innovation and growth as drivers of healthy organizations and economies. Growing up in Detroit, MI, she saw the auto industry slide from global leadership as innovative competitors disrupted the industry. Working at Conrail Corporation early in her career, she saw the value of innovative products, services, and business processes in building a profitable company.

In addition to her consulting work, Karen has been part of faculty teams at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Olin College of Engineering preparing engineering and business students to succeed in innovative ventures and changing industries. Karen’s volunteer work includes serving as a National Science Foundation I-Corps™ team mentor, MassChallenge mentor, judge, and speaker; and Cleantech Open Northeast lead mentor.

See Karen’s LinkedIn profile.


Market-Oriented Business Strategy

A market-oriented approach to business strategy enables an organization to focus on healthy markets and receptive customers consistent with its priorities, capabilities and values.

To that end, market-oriented business strategy tools allow leaders to systematically integrate customer needs and market ecosystem dynamics into product, services and business model development decisions. This minimizes the risk of falling into the “if we build it they will come” trap of investing heavily only to find out too late that there are no customers.

In addition to these practical considerations, research indicates that organizations that value and focus on markets and customers are more likely to be successful.

Read more at Utgoff & Breitner and Succeeding in Small Business.

Contact Karen today to discuss your organization’s situation.

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