You want your new business, idea, or initiative to succeed. That's why you need the Start It Up Advantage.
Start It Up (SIU) is ready to empower your enterprise to succeed. Established in 2011, Start It Up was started to help entrepreneurs launch their business venture. We expanded our team and services in 2016 to support established companies, government contractors, and organizations to plan and execute new ideas, initiatives, and technologies. Our team has extensive start-up and business management experience, spanning all business disciplines and multiple industry sectors, including technology, government, financial management, home services, and many others. We've launched our own businesses, raised millions in funding for start-ups, and have a proven track record generating results for clients.
We’ll help you realize your goals and vision.
It is difficult to plan and execute any new initiative outside of core competencies and capabilities. SIU understands what it takes to create a business, rev up revenues, turn around declining sales, launch a new idea / solution, expand into new markets, and deploy robust CRM, marketing, and other business solutions. SIU can help you quickly address risks and challenges, keeping new initiatives on target so financial goals and enterprise objectives are achieved. Working with SIU can help businesses generate early success and achieve long-term growth.
An experienced team you can trust.
SIU’s leader and team of consultants have held executive leadership positions at leading global corporations, start-ups, government contractors, marketing and consulting agencies, publishers, and nonprofits, and we can bring different talents to each client's project to provide unparalleled industry and business expertise.
SIU offers comprehensive services and technology solutions through our network of strategic partners. Instead of spending time managing multiple agencies, vendors, and contractors, and coordinating project timelines and responsibilities, SIU manages the entire project from planning through execution to ensure projects are completed on time.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Karen launched Start It Up in 2011 to address the gap in the market to support start-ups and new initiatives with experienced entrepreneurial talent. Karen guides the overall vision and strategy for the company, as well as oversees client project management.
Karen brings 30 years of experience launching new companies, divisions, and initiatives, and leading branding, marketing, sales, and customer management areas for global corporations, government contractors, small businesses, technology / media start-ups, and marketing agencies. She has exceptional business acumen and entrepreneurial skills, and a proven track record driving revenue growth, establishing new brands and solutions in competitive markets, rapidly expanding sales in new markets, and empowering leaders to achieve their long-term visions.
Karen was the first employee and part of the executive leadership team that launched b-there, one of the first event registration and housing SaaS applications in the event industry. She led the early branding and marketing efforts to establish b-there as the most recognizable tech brand in the crowded event technology space, and led the go-to-market strategies to expand into the association and trade show sectors. She was instrumental in helping the founder and CEO raise $40+ million and secure key corporate and association clients, leading to an acquisition of the company.
After b-there, Karen launched an event consulting and management company, working with corporations and associations to improve event results and achieve corporate goals via innovative event strategies. Clients included Gartner, JP Morgan Chase, US Able Life, and Covidien. She raised $1+ million for a new event concept she created, The Women’s Congress, including a conference, trade show, venture fair, corporate executive summit, and online community for entrepreneurs and corporate executives from around the world.
Karen has held executive management roles at Citicorp POS, Reed Exhibitions (division of Reed Elsevier), as well as leading marketing agencies, including an Ogilvy Direct agency (formerly Einson Freeman). She led the account management group at Visual Mining, a data analytics software provider, turning around declining business and improving revenues, customer software adoption, and satisfaction. As Vice President of Marketing & Sales for Binary Group, a woman-owned small business government contractor, she led the repositioning of the company to expand capabilities in high-growth areas and supported the business development efforts to close millions in new government contracts with DoD, Intel, and civilian agencies.
Karen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Arizona State University, and a Certification in Exhibition Management from International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE).
Anne Herbster, Strategic Business Development and Marketing Consultant
Anne brings 30+ years of marketing and sales experience in financial and insurance services and affinity marketing. Anne has created and managed innovative multi-channel programs targeting both customers and partners. She has an extensive background in product and program development, building organizations from the ground up, and identifying innovative methods to expand solution scope, revenue, influence, and customer engagement.
Developing enhanced customer experience programs is Anne’s passion, ensuring customers and partners are provided excellent customized experiences. Throughout her career, Anne has demonstrated her commitment to working with organizations to clarify, understand, and enhance the customer and partner journey, producing programs and initiatives that have consistently driven revenue and improved satisfaction and retention.
Holding leadership positions in Arrow Electronics and Progressive, Anne worked internally to build teams and externally with customers to create new strategies and launch new divisions and programs. At Liberty Mutual, she managed a $2 billion business unit, increasing revenue by 10%+ annually. Anne was behind creating the right tools, services, and support demonstrating Liberty Mutual’s commitment to their customers which enhanced the customer experience and grew new sales, retention, and revenue.
Anne joined AARP, the largest nonprofit organization in the US, initially in a corporate marketing leadership position. She was part of the initial executive team that was tapped by AARP senior leaders to launch AARP’s start-up venture, Life Reimagined. She was responsible to build and manage the online and in-person engagement experience for customers and partner companies.
Anne earned a Bachelor of Science in Math from Jacksonville University and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Columbia University.
Judy Berman, Strategic Marketing Consultant
Judy brings 20+ years of sales, marketing and operations experience across multiple industries including energy, utilities, publishing, and home services sectors. She held executive management roles with Jones/The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, and most recently the Baltimore Sun Media Group (BSMG). As the Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing at BSMG, she was responsible for advertising and consumer revenue, as well as business and consumer marketing for a diverse portfolio of print and digital products. She also led and mentored a team of sales, marketing and creative services staff and was an expert at guiding employees through times of company and industry change.
She developed and executed marketing strategies and programs for Direct Energy to promote the utility and its protection plan offerings to consumers, ServiceLive to enable the salesforce to generate quality leads at trade shows, including the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and American Water, to promote their home services to consumers across the US. She also supports Carroll Community College in MD with marketing and PR support.
Judy has expertise in all facets of sales and marketing, including sales force development, brand marketing, digital marketing, direct marketing, CRM, creative development, sales force support and market research. She is known for her deep operational experience and her ability to collaboratively develop strategies, communicate them effectively, and expertly execute them with urgency.
Judy holds an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA and a BA in Psychology from Bryn Mawr College. She is also an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coaching Federation, having completed her postgraduate studies at the College of Executive Coaching.
Cindy Brook, Government Contracts Management Consultant
Cindy has 20+ years of experience in business operations, contracts management, and the customization and implementation of sales and marketing technologies. She founded a consulting firm, Night Stone, in 2011 to provide exceptional market research, contracts management and strategies, and CRM implementation services to commercial and government contractor clients.
Prior to starting her own consulting firm, Cindy was Contracts Manager, FSO, and Business Operations Manager for Binary Group, a woman-owned small business government contractor. She was instrumental in implementing Salesforce and training the sales team on new processes developed in the CRM. Prior to Binary Group, Cindy worked at Savi Technology, a government contractor focused on supply chain solutions, for 13 years where she held the positions of Sales Operations Director and then promoted to Business operations Director. She was also the senior trainer & systems administrator of Salesforce at eBay, Inc./PayPal where she supported and trained dozens of sales professionals to better leverage the CRM system.
She has exceptional technology skills, and can rapidly gather requirements, develop customized workflows, processes, and reporting, and train teams to better leverage leading CRM solutions, including HubSpot, Salesforce, and Dynamics. She recently managed the implementation of Dynamics CRM for a government contractor and is currently supporting HubSpot CRM / Sales / Marketing / Service module implementations for several Start It Up clients.
Cindy earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Western Governors University.