Karin O'Connor
Karin O'Connor

INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Clinical Assistant Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

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Karin O'Connor is the founder of Perimeter Advisors, an advisory firm that assists owners of promising mid-market companies with planning and execution of value enhancement strategies, and is also an active investor in and advisor to early-stage companies and entrepreneurs.

Since beginning her career at Continental Bank in the 1980's, Karin has invested in and advised entrepreneurs in a variety of industries that includes financial services, business services, software, technology distribution, health care, manufacturing, and consumer services. She has invested at all levels of the capital structure - from senior debt to mezzanine, venture leasing, and equity - and in companies ranging from early stage to mature. She served as an independent director on the boards of several mid-market companies, including Trust Company of Illinois and Laurus Technologies, Inc., and is currently on the advisory board of Aaron Equipment Company.

Karin recently served as Managing Director of Hyde Park Angels, Chicago's largest angel investor network. She has invested in 15 early-stage companies and served as HPA'a representative on the boards of portfolio companies FeeFighters, which was acquired by Groupon, Inc. in 2012, and Moxie Jean, which was acquired by Schoola in 2015. She currently serves as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Illinois Research Park, where she provides advice, counsel and training to start-up companies and prospective technology entrepreneurs, including university faculty and students.

Karin received her BA in Finance from the University of Illinois, where she graduated magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, where she was an F.C. Austin Scholar and was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma. Karin received a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charter in 2007.



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Education
Master of Business Administration, 1989, Finance and Management Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Bachelor of Arts, 1982, Finance, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Academic Positions
Clinical Assistant Professor of Innovation and Entreprenuership, Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2016-present

Other Professional Experience
Entrepreneur in Residence, Research Park at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, 2014-present
Advisory Board Member, Aaron Equipment Company, 2011-present
President, Perimeter Advisors, 2004-present
Advisory Board Member, Cadent Resources, Inc, 2003-present
Director and Investor, Moxie Jean, Inc, 2014-2015
Member and Managing Director, Hyde Park Angels, 2009-2015
Board Member, Neighborhood Capital Institute, 2009-2014
Board Member, FeeFighters, 2010-2012
Director, Laurus Technologies, 2007-2009
Director, Trust Company of Illinois, 2004-2009
Board Member, Anixter Center, 1999-2004
Consultant, BMO Nesbitt Burns Equity Partners (US), 2000-2001
Principal and Co-Founder, SBC Equity Partners, 1997-1999
Vice President and Group Head, ABN AMRO Bank, 1996-1996
Vice President, LINC Capital Management, 1991-1993
Senior Consultant, Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), 1989-1990
Second Vice President, Continental Bank, 1982-1989

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Print Teaching
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
New Venture Launch (KIEI-466-5)

**This course was formerly known as KIEI-942-5**

This experiential course is targeted to students who have business concepts that have been tested to determine that there is a compelling product-market fit. New Venture Launch will focus on fine-tuning the business model, building out financial projections and preparing investor pitches. A significant portion of the workload for this course will occur outside of the classroom. Students must be prepared to test and validate their business model hypotheses by engaging with potential customers and industry experts. Within the classroom, students will be encouraged to share learning experiences and help other student teams. The course work will be supplemented by guest speakers who are experts in functional areas related to the business model canvas. In addition, students will have access to a pool of alumni and local mentors who can assist in the development of their businesses.
Student teams can be composed of students from other parts of the university, but at least one member of the team must be enrolled at Kellogg.
Acceptance into the course is by application only.

If you are not currently registered for New Venture Development, KIEI 940-0 and you are interested in this class, please contact Linda Darragh



Executive MBA
Growth Strategy Practicum (STRTX-940-0)