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. From Start-Up to Grown-Up Nation: The Future of the Israeli Innovation Ecosystem

    Elie Ofek and Margot Eiran

    In June 2016, Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, wrestled with how to sustain Israel’s strong innovation track record and the country’s reputation as the ‘startup nation.’ Despite the economic miracle the county had wrought since its founding, he knew he could not be complacent.

    Keywords: Israel; Israeli Start-up Nation; Innovation economy; entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial mindset; venture capital; scaling-up; Unicorns; Innovation clusters; High-tech; innovation management; Multinational Corporation R&D Centers; Social equality; Two-tier economy; Liberalizing an economy; education; resource allocation; foreign investment; Military service; Quality of human capital; Socioeconomic gaps; labor force participation; Government initiatives; globalization; Innovation and Management; Entrepreneurship; Business Startups; Government and Politics; Israel;


    Ofek, Elie, and Margot Eiran. "From Start-Up to Grown-Up Nation: The Future of the Israeli Innovation Ecosystem ." Harvard Business School Case 517-066, December 2016. View Details
  2. Pete & Gerry's

    Jose Alvarez and Natalie Kindred

    Keywords: "Pete & Gerry's; " eggs; egg industry; avian flu; cage free; free range; Agribusiness; Agriculture; industry structure; industry evolution; price volatility; small business; strategy formulation; branding; marketing; premium brand; Growth; consumer; consumer behavior; animal welfare; retail; grocery; food; food labeling; Animal-Based Agribusiness; Advertising Campaigns; Business Model; Change; Change Management; Disruption; Transition; Trends; Volatility; Customer Value and Value Chain; Entrepreneurship; Food; Ethics; Health; Problems and Challenges; Operations; Sales; Risk and Uncertainty; Quality; Public Opinion; Value; Strategy; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Retail Industry; United States;


    Alvarez, Jose, and Natalie Kindred. "Pete & Gerry's." Harvard Business School Case 517-048, November 2016. View Details
  3. reMarkable: e-Writing the Future

    Elie Ofek and Curtis Hsu

    Magnus Wanberg is the creator of reMarkable, a breakthrough e-writer device set apart from similar products on the market by having solved the frustrating “slow ink” problem typically experienced on pen-based electronic devices, thus providing a “pen and paper” like experience. Moreover, the device allowed for the convenient and non-eye-straining reading of typical documents. Though enthusiastically received by several investors, there was still a long way to go before the prototype could reach a final commercial product. Wanberg and his team narrowed down the relevant market to three main segments: creative professionals, working professionals and students. However, these segments were seemingly at odds with each other in terms of which product attributes would most appeal to each. The young company therefore had to choose which group to target as this would dictate future product development efforts. With the planned launch date quickly approaching, the target market selected also impacted communication, channels, and pricing decisions. reMarkable had to resolve these matters while juggling limited time, effort and funds.

    Keywords: entrepreneurial marketing; innovation management; go to market strategy; marketing strategy; marketing plan; target market; product development; digital devices; consumer electronics; Forecasting; Technology; Marketing Strategy; Innovation and Management; Marketing Channels; Entrepreneurship; Forecasting and Prediction; Product Marketing; Product Development; Electronics Industry;


    Ofek, Elie, and Curtis Hsu. "reMarkable: e-Writing the Future." Harvard Business School Case 517-018, November 2016. (Revised December 2016.) View Details
  4. Augmedix

    Frank V. Cespedes and Alexandra N. Rachlin

    In April 2015, Ian Shakil and Pelu Tran, co-founders of Augmedix, are discussing how to grow their emerging health care startup. The company’s sole product, also called Augmedix, streams video of doctor-patient interactions to remote medical scribes, thus freeing doctors from the burden of having to manually input information into an electronic medical record (EMR) and giving them additional time to focus on patients. Shakil and Tran had grown the company by allowing any qualified doctor or health system to use the service, but are now discussing whether they should segment the market and focus on a particular type of client. They also wonder whether Augmedix’s current pricing appropriately reflects the value their service provides. Lastly, the two want to discuss how to staff and structure the company’s nascent sales function as Augmedix grows.

    Keywords: entrepreneurial management; sales management; marketing strategy; scaling; hiring; pricing; Entrepreneurship; Marketing; Marketing Strategy; Product Marketing; Sales; Technology; Health Industry; United States;


    Cespedes, Frank V., and Alexandra N. Rachlin. "Augmedix." Harvard Business School Case 817-048, November 2016. View Details
  5. Anthology: Pivoting the Business Model

    Shikhar Ghosh and Christopher Payton

    In July 2014, after 18 months and eight unsuccessful product launches, the CEO of Yabbly has agreed to sell his company to a larger, well-funded startup, providing a return of capital for his investors and a home for his team. Two weeks prior to the scheduled closing, the team launches a final experiment based on the results of a customer interview. After creating a quick landing page and announcing the product launch through social media channels, the company finds significant customer interest. With only two weeks of promising data, the CEO must decide whether or not to abandon the planned sale to pursue the new product, and if so, what terms he should offer new and existing investors to finance the next phase of product development.

    Keywords: Mergers & Acquisitions; Business Startups; business model; entrepreneurship; Business Model; Business Plan; Business Startups; Entrepreneurship; Innovation Strategy; Mobile Technology; Online Technology; Mergers and Acquisitions; Business Exit or Shutdown; Fairness; Valuation; Technology Industry; Consumer Products Industry; North America; United States; Seattle;


    Ghosh, Shikhar, and Christopher Payton. "Anthology: Pivoting the Business Model." Harvard Business School Case 817-066, November 2016. (Revised November 2016.) View Details
  6. The Black List

    Henry McGee and Sarah McAra

    Franklin Leonard founded The Black List in 2005 as an innovative approach to identifying potential hit movie scripts via crowdsourcing. As the annual Black List proved to hold the scripts of some of Hollywood’s most successful films, from Slumdog Millionaire to Spotlight, it became widely respected and highly anticipated throughout the industry. In 2012, Leonard uses the momentum to bring The Black List online as a database where unproduced screenplays can be reviewed and discovered by industry experts. Now in 2016, Leonard is considering other avenues for supporting great screenwriters, including launching a film fund to finance low-budget productions. He reflects on the movie-making business and on the numerous barriers to entry he may face in entering the competitive motion picture business.

    Keywords: screenwriting; independent production; Hollywood; film development; film distribution; film financing; manging uncertainty; Barriers to entry; globalization; digitalization; Film Entertainment; Entrepreneurship; Marketing; Media; Strategy; Motion Pictures and Video Industry; United States;


    McGee, Henry, and Sarah McAra. "The Black List." Harvard Business School Case 317-027, November 2016. View Details
  7. IguanaFix

    Frank V. Cespedes, Thomas R. Eisenmann, Maria Fernanda Miguel and Laura Urdapilleta

    IguanaFix is a rapidly scaling Latin American startup that provides an online platform that connects consumers with home improvement contractors. The founders have acquired customers through both B2C and B2B methods. But in seeking to grow and scale the business, they now must make decisions about the relative emphasis on building their consumer brand or its B2B partnerships, and the implications for product offerings and marketing methods ranging from search engine marketing and Facebook ads to sales and account management.

    Keywords: Sales; entrepreneurial marketing; Online Advertising; marketing; home improvement services; marketing management; scaling; Entrepreneurship; Marketing; Sales; Latin America;


    Cespedes, Frank V., Thomas R. Eisenmann, Maria Fernanda Miguel, and Laura Urdapilleta. "IguanaFix." Harvard Business School Case 817-056, November 2016. View Details
  8. ShotSpotter

    Mitchell Weiss and Sarah McAra

    SST offered a subscription-based gunfire detection service, ShotSpotter Flex, to cities across the United States, and a few abroad. Over its 20-year history, SST had mostly honed a reliable business to government sales model, and the company had been focused on expanding to new cities. But Ralph Clark, President and CEO, was also interested in investigating new services. Mass shootings, in U.S. schools to cities abroad, were consistently followed with calls to his office: “Do you have a solution for us?” Could a ShotSpotter Flex-like service be sold to college campuses and other venues concerned with shootings? Should SST adapt the hardware and the software for indoor applications, like shopping malls and movie theaters? Was the next step in the company’s growth a move towards city-wide deployments through smart cities, even to detect gunfire during terrorist attacks? Clark had been cautious about moving the company into new services. However, he was also aware, as were his investors, that the market of U.S. cities with gun-violence problems would eventually cap out. Entering new markets posed a great opportunity, but also significant technical and operational challenges. Now in 2016, Clark weighed the implications.

    Keywords: ShotSpotter; SST; Internet of Things; IoT; smart cities; public entrepreneurship; Sales; Enterprise Sales; Scaling and Growth; government; public sector; innovation; Ralph Clark; entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurship; Sales; Innovation and Invention; Public Administration Industry; California; United States;


    Weiss, Mitchell, and Sarah McAra. "ShotSpotter." Harvard Business School Case 817-034, November 2016. View Details
  9. Radial Analytics Probes Post-Acute Care

    Richard G. Hamermesh and Olivia Hull

    Thaddeus Fulford-Jones and Eric Weiss, founders of healthcare technology startup Radial Analytics, have been busy developing a software program designed to save hospitals money and improve patient outcomes by producing customized care plans for patients leaving the hospital. Having piloted the program at an urban hospital in Massachusetts, they’re ready to disseminate the software to other accountable care organizations and bundled-payment hospitals. The case explores the issues the two entrepreneurs consider as they pursue the funding, clients, and business strategy that will allow them to scale their company and cut waste in Medicare spending.

    Keywords: electronic medical records; electronic health records; data science; Entrepreneurship; Health Care and Treatment; Business Model; Business Startups; Innovation and Invention; Growth Management; Marketing Strategy; Product Launch; Product Positioning; Science-Based Business; Business Strategy; Health Industry; Technology Industry; Cambridge; Massachusetts;


    Hamermesh, Richard G., and Olivia Hull. "Radial Analytics Probes Post-Acute Care." Harvard Business School Case 817-029, November 2016. (Revised November 2016.) View Details
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