SPEAKER

Carol Kraus Lauffer

Principal
Business Cluster Development
Palo Alto, CA

Since joining Business Cluster Development (BCD) as a Principal in 2002, Carol has helped 60 clients across the U.S. to plan and create successful strategies and programs that support entrepreneurship, create new businesses, move innovative products to market, and build strong ecosystems, resulting in economic diversification, job creation, business engagement, technology commercialization, and economic growth. Prior to joining BCD, Carol was Managing Director of Panasonic’s corporate, venture-backed incubator in Cupertino, California and a Principal in its $100 million venture fund. Carol has more than 30 years of experience in economic development and management. As a dedicated member of the industry, Carol has served on association boards, including the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA, formerly NBIA) and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). She held the post of Chair of the Board of Directors of InBIA in 2010-11. Carol is a course instructor for both organizations’ certification programs, and a frequent speaker on best practices for business acceleration/incubation, entrepreneurial support organizations and targeting technology clusters for economic development. In April 2015, InBIA honored Carol with the President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement, recognizing her significant contributions to the association and the industry. Carol earned a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Northwestern University. You can find more information on Carol and BCD at http://www.clusterdevelopment.com.