Meet Laurie Barkman

My mission is guiding entrepreneurs to achieve clarity so their ideas can take flight

My Purpose

My purpose is to use my skills to enable entrepreneurs to achieve their vision for improving the world.

I launched SmallDotBig to work with entrepreneurs, closely held companies, and family businesses to develop innovations that create enterprise value and transition plans to achieve their long-term goals.

My Values

  • Clarity - I help people move forward in challenging times.

  • Grounded - I'm a grounding force by being measured and knowing the why.

  • Amplify - I admire creativity, kindness, and cleverness. I look, listen, and identify value to create messages worth spreading.

  • Motivated - I reach for the top, inspire others, and support their stretch.

  • Resilient - There’s no such thing as a problem, it’s an opportunity to be solved.

 CEO + Innovation 


  • More than 25 years in leadership roles:

    • technology startups 

    • privately-held and family owned businesses

    • public companies

    • corporate startups 

  • Former CEO of a closely-held company $100M subsidiary with a successful exit

  • Award-winning B2C and B2B marketer and strategist

  • Managing partner of a private equity firm focused on early-stage technology companies


Technology, Professional Services, Retail, eCommerce, Education, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Industrial and Consumer Products, Supply Chain Logistics, Non-Profit

Board Service

  • Advisory Board Member, Safety io, subsidiary of MSA Safety Inc.

  • Board Member, The Pittsburgh Promise, Marketing Committee Chair

  • Co-Chair, Women for Economic Leadership and Development Pittsburgh Chapter

  • Former President, CMU Tepper School of Business Alumni Board

Credentials + Awards

  • ​​MBA Carnegie Mellon University

  • BS Cornell University

  • Business Transition and Exit Planning Certificate, Exit Planning Institute

  • Pittsburgh Business Times Women of Influence Award

  • National Diversity Council Most Powerful and Influential Leader Award

  • American Marketing Association Pittsburgh Chapter Marketer Award 

Passion for Entrepreneurship

  • Startup Mentor: Alpha Lab, McGinnis Competition, Randall Big Idea 

SmallDotBig is a strategic growth advisory firm providing a Strategy as a Service model for business owners and entrepreneurs to increase the value of their company.

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