Can Your Startup Compete in the Market?

October 5, 2021 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm ET | Online Webinar

Speaker Slides

Competing for Capital – Are You Fundable?

Sibylle Hauser, Strategic Advisor – Life Science, Richtr Financial Studio

How to Make Customers

Karen Utgoff, Principal, Karen Lauter Utgoff Consulting; UMass Amherst I-Corps Site Director

Creating a Marketing Strategy

Alicia Williams, Founder & Creative Director, Aliste Marketing

Competition is a fact of life – it isn’t good or bad, it just is. For an entrepreneur, trying to succeed with a shiny new startup, competition can be a driving force for success, or the makings of an existential crisis. Success as an entrepreneur requires an understanding of the target market and the competitive landscape within that market. And the market can be wildly dynamic, with competing companies (and their products/services) emerging and departing. The market might be local, regional, national, or global, and the competition can include players from other startups to multinational corporations. Even when launching a completely new product for a new market, there are competitors. For example: whatever did people do before your start-up came along?

How can your startup compete in the market?  Determining what is the market you’re competing in is good to know, as is a thorough understanding of what other company offerings you would have to displace to succeed.  Is the market highly saturated? Is it ready for a massive (or even minor) disruption? How will you make money (a key – not to be underestimated – aspect of operating a business)? Who will be buying what you’re selling?  Please join our panel of experts on these topics, and more, to learn how to make your startup competitive, and to increase the odds of success.


October 5, 2021
6:00 pm ET
Networking on Zoom
7:00 pm ET
ENET Chairperson's announcements
7:10 pm ET
eMinute Pitch - Up to 3 Startup companies’ presentations
7:25 pm ET
expert speakers on the night's topic
8:10 pm ET
Moderator and Audience Q & A with the speakers
8:30 pm ET
Networking on Zoom (meet with speakers & moderator)


Karen Utgoff 1

Karen Utgoff

Principal, Karen Lauter Utgoff Consulting; UMass Amherst I-Corps Site Director

Karen Utgoff has worked with technology startups, small businesses, and non-profit research organizations on market-related challenges and research commercialization opportunities for over 20 years. Her expertise includes market-oriented business strategy, business planning, entrepreneurial/start-up marketing, strategic marketing, startup funding plans, and new venture development. She has helped startups and non-profit research organizations raise over $7 million in investment and grant funding to support venture development and innovation programs.

Karen’s experience includes customer discovery and business model development for concept and early prototype stage startups/companies as well as going concerns. She is a long-time volunteer for MassChallenge and the Cleantech Open Northeast. She earned her MBA from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.

Currently Karen leads Venture Development at the UMass Amherst Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) and the campus I-Corps (Innovation Corps) Site. She also serves as an adjunct instructor in the New England Regional Innovation Node  Spark Program @ MIT and and the NSF National I-Corps Teams Program.

Alicia Williams

Alicia Williams

Founder & Creative Director, Aliste Marketing

Alicia Williams is the Founder & Creative Director of Aliste Marketing, a boutique marketing agency.  Alicia helps clients’ transformations from unseasoned startups into unfettered successes.

Her impressive personal accomplishments and passion for helping fellow entrepreneurs realize their own dreams have garnered her numerous accolades, including the 2016 Outstanding Women of Family Business award, recognition as one of Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty, and the honor of being the Spotlight Entrepreneur for Capital One Spark.

Shortly after graduating in 2008, Alicia launched her new venture from her laundry room during an economic recession when entrepreneurship was highly discouraged. Alicia refused to believe that her creativity and passion were limited to the 9-5 corporate realm, and more than a decade later, she continues to break the status quo as an industry leader.

Alicia’s gift for out-of-the-box creative strategies with real metrics to show ROI have won her a dedicated client base as well as the attention of branding giants like Microsoft and Staples, both of whom have invited Alicia to present her take on marketing strategy. She’s also a Certified
Women Owned Business, Certified Green Business, HubSpot Partner Certified, and Constant Contact Certified Authorized Local Expert. As a valued media commentator and published author, Alicia has been featured on USA Weekly, Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, CMS Wire, and CBS
Radio The Sports Hub.

Sibylle Hauser

Sibylle Hauser

Strategic Advisor – Life Science, Richtr Financial Studio

Sibylle Hauser’s international professional career spans over 25 years in global Pharma incl. Boehringer Mannheim/Roche for 9 years, emerging Biotech and global contract manufacturing at Vetter Pharma with a successful track record in corporate business development, licensing, fundraising, strategic planning and international marketing including a US biopharmaceutical product launch. In 2003 she moved from Germany to San Diego, CA and is well connected within the Life Science Community today.

As Strategic Advisor – Life Science at Richtr Financial Studio she supports innovative founders and companies in the life science space. One of the expert niches is “Positioning for Capital”.

In 2014 she joined the SOCAL Chapter of Women in Bio and started a local female founders’ group in 2018. As national Chair of Women in Bio-Entrepreneur Center with 90+ associated female founders in the life sciences across the US she supports the organizations mission to “move the needle” in funding $$ for female (Co-)founders in the life sciences.

Since 2020 she serves as member of BIOCOM Capital Committee as well as the Scientific Investment Advisory Committee at the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine, University of Colorado. She also serves on the Member Advisory Board at CrowdSmart, a SaaS investment diligence platform using AI and collective intelligence to improve prediction science of investment success while reducing bias.

Sibylle holds a graduate degree in business administration from Friedrich-Alexander-University in Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.


roger frechette

Roger Frechette

Life Science Business Executive / Entrepreneur / Mentor

My daily purpose is to exercise an innate drive to transform ideas and projects into life-changing commercial assets. In the life science business, this is the long game, requiring boundless energy and creativity, coupled with knowledge, experience, and patience. Consulting services include advisory and fractional executive engagements in operations, strategic planning and business development.

In my work, I leverage an extensive global network and insights derived from >20 years of experience in business development, calibrated with an extensive science background. My career has encompassed success as a business executive, project/alliance manager and entrepreneur, and also as a scientist, including leadership of discovery/preclinical development teams resulting in a new drug candidate – NDAs for omadacycline submitted by Paratek in early 2018.

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