Ralph E. Grabowski - marketingVP - fact-gathering, analytical Marketing to steer the enterprise



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Ralph E. Grabowski
  Professional Practice  




Jump-start technology-based enterprises

As the first VP of Marketing, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), or startup CEO, I assist your startup in the achievement of your entrepreneurial goals.  My frequent tasks are upstream Primary Market Research to define the product and the market, help compel investment, and ramp the company up quickly.  I bring the Marketing tools, methods, and processes developed from entrepreneurial experience and results, enabling early-stage companies to:

  • Attract additional capital
  • Validate the business opportunity to compel investment
  • Create new markets and pioneer new fields
  • Capture leadership position in a developing market
  • Reach breakeven cash flow

I jump-start new enterprises, usually less than fifteen people in size, often while the entrepreneur is still in the basement.  The typical Consultant duty is to write a report, but not to execute the recommendations.  Startups don't need reports - they need prompt and decisive action.  My assignment is a line manager role requiring leadership, management skills, decision-making, and plan execution:

  • Guide engineering to the right technology, developing products which deliver benefits that customers wish to spend money to receive, and which result in decisive, defensible competitive advantage
  • Steer the enterprise
  • Write the Marketing section of the business plan
  • Develop the financial and strategic goals
  • Create the Marketing budget and staffing plan 
  • Make the first hires and get them productive
  • Build the organization
  • Lead in concert with the management team

At the same time, a surprising amount of fact-gathering, analytical work is required:

  • Quantify customer needs, payback, buying behavior, and perceptions to furnish detailed, unbiased input and direction for the Marketing, promoting, and selling processes; and for management decisions 
  • Define, refine, and launch new products
  • Develop competitive analysis, pricing, and positioning 
  • Establish the segmentation, food chain, and distribution channels

A special challenge for startups is to articulate the value of the technology:

  • to potential investors, 
  • to customers to compel early orders, 
  • as the selling message, 
  • to the industry, and
  • to ourselves


Forty-seven years of startup marketing experience

I bring forty-seven years of startup Marketing experience to your team; supporting the launch of new products, new companies, and new fields, nationally and internationally, which have become worth more than ten Billion dollars.

  • Helped create the Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) and Electronic Design Automation fields (EDA, also called Computer-Aided-Engineering or CAE) as Applicon's first marketing and sales manager.
  • Established Octek in machine vision as their first VP of Marketing.
  • Cytyc - Startup to $6.2 Billion market capitalization
  • Phoenix Controls - a new firm dominating their market and a new field
  • Acugen Software - world market dominance in 18 months


Co-founded MIT's Entrepreneurship Program

A special experience was being part of the team who co-founded MIT's entrepreneurship program.  Out of more than a thousand teams and several thousand Mentors, I taught or Mentored four of the first sixteen MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition Grand Prize Winners.


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