Karen Utgoff serves as Director of IALS Venture Development Programs and the Site Director for I-Corps @ UMass Amherst, bringing more than 25 years of experience to these roles. As a market-oriented business strategist she has helped numerous pre-startups, startups, and established small businesses to focus on the “right” customer segments and markets as a foundation for growth, and collaborated with non-profit research organizations on Innovation & Entrepreneurship programs. Her work has helped raise more than $6 million in grant and equity funding. She has extensive experience as a mentor, including for an NSF I-Corps national team, and many Cleantech Open Northeast, MassChallenge, and Valley Venture Mentors participants. In 2018, she was recognized as Mentor of the Year by the Cleantech Open Northeast. Karen has taught Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Olin College and UMass Amherst. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.