Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a featured research topic and an initiative at Harvard Business School
 
Our long tradition of research in Entrepreneurship goes back to the 1930's and 1940's with the “the father of venture capitalism,” General Georges Doriot, and Joseph Schumpeter’s theory of innovation as a process of “creative destruction.” Building on our intellectual roots, our scholars come from disciplines including economics, finance, sociology, strategy, business history, management, and social entrepreneurship. A number of our faculty come from practice as venture capitalists and start-up founders. We focus our research on the identification and pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities; domestic and international funding of entrepreneurial endeavors; innovation, particularly technological innovation in international ventures; the environments in which entrepreneurs make decisions; and social entrepreneurship. As our research contributes new insights, we are advancing the world’s understanding of complex entrepreneurial issues and helping to increase the entrepreneurial success of our students and practitioners worldwide. 
  1. The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

    Since its opening in Beijing in November 2007 as the first non-profit art center in China, UCCA had been operating with the mission to “promote the continued development of the Chinese art scene, foster international exchange, and showcase the latest in art and culture to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.” For the past six years, UCCA had worked with more than 100 artists and designers to present 87 art exhibitions and 1,826 public programs to over 1.8 million visitors, including many important leaders from all over the world. Given the context of the economic and political environment in the rapidly changing Chinese art market, the founders and senior management of UCCA wondered what they could do to achieve growth and financial viability while continuing to realize their mission.

    Keywords: art world; art gallery; art market; Arts; Nonprofit Organizations; Entrepreneurship; China;

    Citation:

    Khaire, Mukti, and Nancy Hua Dai. "The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art." Harvard Business School Case 815-022, September 2014. View Details
  2. Advanced Leadership Pathways: Raymond Jetson's MetroMorphosis and the Effort to Transform Baton Rouge

    Raymond Jetson, an inner-city pastor, former Louisiana state legislator, and 2010 Harvard University Advanced Leadership Fellow, has embarked on a new career as a social entrepreneur. The case charts Jetson’s career in public life and the ministry, his experience as an Advanced Leadership Fellow, and his efforts to establish and grow a nonprofit organization, MetroMorphosis, with a mission “to develop and mobilize a critical mass of citizens in inner-city neighborhoods to design and implement sustainable solutions to persistent community challenges.” As he approaches 60 and contemplates his future and that of his organization, Jetson must consider how to position MetroMorphosis for maximum impact now and over the long term.

    Keywords: MetroMorphosis; Raymond Jetson; Advanced Leadership Initiative; ALI; social entrepreneurship; Louisiana; Baton Rouge; Social Entrepreneurship; Nonprofit Organizations; Louisiana; North America; United States;

    Citation:

    Kanter, Rosabeth M., Rakesh Khurana, and Daniel Penrice. "Advanced Leadership Pathways: Raymond Jetson's MetroMorphosis and the Effort to Transform Baton Rouge." Harvard Business School Case 315-013, September 2014. View Details
  3. Fast Ion Battery

    John Davidson, a partner at Ware Street Capital (WSC) and a board member at Fast Ion Battery, had just received a phone call from Don Lerner at Bluelock Ventures telling him that Bluelock would not participate in the $ 5 bridge financing for Fast Ion Battery. Lerner’s call could not have come at a worse time. Fast Ion was running out of cash and needed another round of financing urgently to continue developing its revolutionary battery. Davidson faced a real dilemma. On the one hand, the company was finally gaining traction with developing its technology and the search to replace the current CEO had yielded two prospective candidates who were extremely well-suited to drive the company forward with a more capital efficient business model. On the other hand, Ware Street Capital and the two other investors had already invested $10 million into a company that had not performed up to investors' expectations. Would they be throwing more good money after bad by providing the bridge financing? Moreover, would other, later stage, investors be willing to provide the significant amounts of capital required to get the company to an exit event given the changing climate for clean tech investments? These questions became more pressing following Lerner’s call that Bluelock had chosen not to continue backing Fast Ion. Was Fast Ion Battery worth saving?

    Keywords: Venture Capital, Entrepreneurial Finance, Real Options, Term sheets, Clean Technology; Entrepreneurship; Venture Capital;

    Citation:

    Nanda, Ramana, and Sid Misra. "Fast Ion Battery." Harvard Business School Case 815-025, September 2014. View Details
  4. Peter Guber: The 'Me' vs. 'We' Brand

    Well-known film producer Peter Guber must decide whether to commit to a time-consuming personal project. He is about to sign a contract for a business book in which he will share what he has learned in his long career. At the same time, he is keenly aware of problems and uncertainties affecting Mandalay Entertainment, a privately-owned company in which he is principal. Mandalay produces movies and television content, owns minor league baseball teams, and is pushing into digital content. Mandalay is trying to reinvigorate its core movie and television businesses, maintain growth in the sports business, and be prepared for the opportunity to buy a major league professional sports franchise. Does Guber eliminate all personal projects and stay tightly focused on guiding his company? On the other hand, there may never be a good time to write a book. He also has to consider the potential impact of a book project on his personal brand and the Mandalay company brand.

    Keywords: X:\Greyser\Greyser-recovered\Greyser\Greyser2\Cases\Peter Guber; Work-Life Balance; Entrepreneurship; Brands and Branding; Entertainment and Recreation Industry;

    Citation:

    Greyser, Stephen A., William Ellet, and Nelson Gayton. "Peter Guber: The 'Me' vs. 'We' Brand." Harvard Business School Case 915-401, August 2014. View Details
  5. Husk Power

    In late 2013, Husk Power Systems found itself falling further and further behind plan. The founding CEO had decided to resign. His co-founder is faced with the decision of quitting his corporate job in the US to head to India and help form a new management team. Husk is an Indian startup founded in 2007 with the goal of global rural electrification. The company has decided to pivot from operating biomass gasification plants towards developing solar microgrids in India and East Africa.

    Keywords: Plant-Based Agribusiness; Business Model; Business Startups; Energy Generation; Renewable Energy; Social Entrepreneurship; Foreign Direct Investment; International Finance; Globalized Markets and Industries; Crime and Corruption; Employee Relationship Management; Independent Innovation and Invention; Employment; Leadership Style; Leading Change; Management Practices and Processes; Management Style; Management Succession; Management Skills; Emerging Markets; Social Psychology; Culture; Business Strategy; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Energy Industry; Green Technology Industry; Utilities Industry; Africa; India; United States;

    Citation:

    Lassiter, Joseph B., III, and Sid Misra. "Husk Power." Harvard Business School Case 815-023, August 2014. (Revised August 2014.) View Details
  6. Advancing Research on Hybrid Organizing—Insights from the Study of Social Enterprises

    Hybrid organizations that combine multiple organizational forms deviate from socially legitimate templates for organizing and thus experience unique organizing challenges. In this paper, we introduce and develop the concept of hybrid organizing, which we define as the activities, structures, processes, and meanings by which organizations make sense of and combine multiple organizational forms. We propose that social enterprises that combine the organizational forms of both business and charity at their cores are an ideal type of hybrid organization, making social enterprise an attractive setting to study hybrid organizing. Based on a literature review of organizational research on social enterprise and on our own research in this domain, we develop five dimensions of hybrid organizing and related opportunities for future research. We conclude by discussing how insights from the study of hybrid organizing in social enterprises may contribute to organization theory.

    Keywords: hybrid organizations; social enterprise; Organizational Structure; Social Entrepreneurship;

    Citation:

    Battilana, Julie, and Matthew Lee. "Advancing Research on Hybrid Organizing—Insights from the Study of Social Enterprises." Academy of Management Annals 8, no. 1 (2014): 397–441. View Details
  7. Building an Infrastructure for Empirical Research on Social Enterprise: Challenges and Opportunities

    Keywords: Social Entrepreneurship;

    Citation:

    Lee, Matthew, Julie Battilana, and Ting Wang. "Building an Infrastructure for Empirical Research on Social Enterprise: Challenges and Opportunities." In Social Entrepreneurship and Research Methods. Vol. 9, edited by Jeremy C. Short, David J. Ketchen, and Donald D. Bergh, 241–264. Research Methodology in Strategy and Management. Emerald Group Publishing, 2014. View Details
  8. Entrepreneurship as Experimentation

    Entrepreneurship research is on the rise but many questions about its fundamental nature still exist. We argue that entrepreneurship is about experimentation: the probabilities of success are low, extremely skewed and unknowable until an investment is made. At a macro level experimentation by new firms underlies the Schumpeterian notion of creative destruction. However, at a micro level investment and continuation decisions are not always made in a competitive Darwinian contest. Instead, a few investors make decisions that are impacted by incentive, agency and coordination problems, often before a new idea even has a chance to compete in a market. We contend that costs and constraints on the ability to experiment alter the type of organizational form surrounding innovation and influence when innovation is more likely to occur. These factors not only govern how much experimentation is undertaken in the economy, but also the trajectory of experimentation, with potentially very deep economic consequences.

    Keywords: entrepreneurship; experiments; innovation; Entrepreneurship; Innovation and Invention;

    Citation:

    Kerr, William R., Ramana Nanda, and Matthew Rhodes-Kropf. "Entrepreneurship as Experimentation." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 15-005, July 2014. View Details
  9. Entrepreneurship as Experimentation

    Entrepreneurship research is on the rise, but many questions about its fundamental nature still exist. We argue that entrepreneurship is about experimentation: the probabilities of success are low, extremely skewed, and unknowable until an investment is made. At a macro level, experimentation by new firms underlies the Schumpeterian notion of creative destruction. However, at a micro level, investment and continuation decisions are not always made in a competitive Darwinian contest. Instead, a few investors make decisions that are impacted by incentive, agency, and coordination problems, often before a new idea even has a chance to compete in a market. We contend that costs and constraints on the ability to experiment alter the type of organizational form surrounding innovation and influence when innovation is more likely to occur. These factors not only govern how much experimentation is undertaken in the economy, but also the trajectory of experimentation, with potentially very deep economic consequences.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Innovation and Invention;

    Citation:

    Kerr, William R., Ramana Nanda, and Matthew Rhodes-Kropf. "Entrepreneurship as Experimentation." Journal of Economic Perspectives 28, no. 3 (Summer 2014): 25–48. View Details
  10. Kathy Giusti and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

    What do you do when your rising professional career is cut short by an unexpected cancer diagnosis? Kathy Giusti shifted careers, built a new organization that transformed how cancer research is done, and now faces the challenge of sustaining the organization and its funding for its newest venture. Since she was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM) in 1996, Giusti had led an effort to better understand and treat the disease. She had co-founded the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), helped form the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC), and brought together a diverse body of academics, researchers, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, physicians, and patients to combine their efforts around the disease. The MMRF had helped facilitate clinical trials for promising drugs, sponsored research, and raised a substantial amount of money for these purposes. In 2014, the MMRF was in the midst of its CoMMpass program; a multi-year effort to collect tissue samples from 1,000 patients at key junctures in their disease, sequence these samples to better understand the genetic underpinnings of MM and its many sub-types, and thus enable researchers to study a comprehensive sampling of patients. CoMMpass also had a patient-facing element which allowed the patient community to communicate with one another and with professional moderators. By mid-2014, some 550 patients were enrolled and 85 hospitals were participating. As a non-profit, the MMRF had historically relied on donations to fund its research operations. Giusti wanted to find a way to ensure a reliable revenue stream for the organization and give it greater financial stability. The MMRF had historically given away its resources and knowledge for free in order to speed research; Giusti worried if charging for some of its functions would be at odds with its mission and historical practices. She worked with her executive team to examine potential sources of revenue, and to decide if this was the right thing to do.

    Keywords: leadership; philanthropy; philanthropy funding; entrepreneurship; health care; management styles; management skills; personalized medicine; health care outcomes; cancer; Cancer care in the U.S.; personal care; Leading Change; Social Entrepreneurship; Giving and Philanthropy; Health Care and Treatment; Leadership Style; Management Style; Growth and Development Strategy; Business Strategy; Health; Health Industry; United States; Canada; Spain;

    Citation:

    Hamermesh, Richard G., Joshua D. Margolis, and Matthew G. Preble. "Kathy Giusti and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation." Harvard Business School Case 814-026, June 2014. View Details
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