William R. Kerr
Associate Professor of Business Administration
William Kerr is an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School. Bill teaches Launching Global Ventures for second-year MBA students; Launching New Ventures and Owners, Presidents and Managers for executive students; and Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on Entrepreneurship for doctoral students. Bill was previously co-chair of the first-year course The Entrepreneurial Manager at HBS. He has received Harvard's Distinction in Teaching award and was designated the HBS Marvin Bower Fellow.
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 the subsequent diffusion of new innovations to the immigrants’ home countries. A second research strand considers agglomeration 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.
Bill is a Research Fellow of the NBER and Bank of Finland, has received several awards for his research papers, and serves as an editor of the Journal of Economic Geography. Bill has worked extensively with the World Bank, Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, and the National Science Foundation. Bill received his Ph.D. in Economics from MIT and his B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Bill has worked with firms worldwide. Past projects include business plan development for start-up ventures in Hong Kong, establishing a corporate entrepreneurship and CVC unit within a Korean chaebol, and evaluating the acquisition of early-stage communications companies for a US multinational entering the Asian market. He also advised the governments of South Africa and Singapore on the economic benefits from telecom market deregulation.
Bill and his family live in Lincoln, 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.
Released working papers are provided under the "Publications" tab
Examples of current projects
- Entrepreneurship, innovation and growth
- High-skilled immigration and the structure of US firms
- Agglomeration forces and cluster structure
- Global on-line labor markets