William R. Kerr

Professor of Business Administration

William Kerr is a Professor at Harvard Business School. Bill teaches in the MBA, executive education and doctoral programs at HBS. He is the faculty chair of HBS’ Launching New Ventures program, and he recently created an MBA course entitled Launching Global Ventures. He has received Harvard's Distinction in Teaching award.

Bill's research focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation. One research strand examines the role of immigrant scientists and entrepreneurs in US technology development and commercialization, as well as their  impact for the global diffusion of new innovations and ideas. A second research strand considers clusters and entrepreneurship, with special interest in how government policies aid or hinder the entry of new firms, cluster formation, and growth. A final interest area is entrepreneurial finance and angel investments.

In 2013, Bill received the Ewing Marion Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship, awarded annually to one scholar under age 40 whose research has made a significant contribution to the literature in entrepreneurship.

Bill has worked with companies worldwide on projects related to entrepreneurship and launching new ventures, with particular emphasis on innovation and global dynamics. Bill has also advised several governments about deregulation processes and their investments in the innovative capacities of their nations.

Bill and his family live in Lexington, MA. They enjoy outdoor sports and trail running, are active members of their local church, and maintain close ties to his wife's home country of Finland. Bill grew up in Alabama and remains a passionate college football fan.

Disclosure of potential conflict of interests

This is a voluntary disclosure of financial interests. This is recommended but not currently required of faculty members at Harvard Business School. During the past three years, I have received material compensation (>$5,000) from the following organizations outside of Harvard University:

  • Bank of Finland
  • Kauffman Foundation
  • Keystone Consulting
  • Linkage Asia
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation
  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • National Bureau of Economic Research
  • Oxford University Press
  • Real Colegio Complutentense
  • West Wood International Education
  • Workplace Intelligence
  • World Bank