08 Feb 2010
Professor Josh Lerner Wins Major Entrepreneurship Prize
Prestigious award recognizes impact of his research<br /> in venture capital and private equity
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Professor Josh Lerner

BOSTON, Feb. 8, 2010 — Harvard Business School (HBS) professor Josh Lerner has been named the 2010 winner of the Global Award for Entrepreneurship, widely regarded as the world's most prestigious prize in entrepreneurship research. The annual award was established in 1996 by the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, and Sweden's Research Institute of Industrial Economics. Lerner will formally receive the award and deliver a lecture at a ceremony in Stockholm in May.

Lerner was recognized by the members of the award committee of Swedish academics for his influential, extensive, and "pioneering research into venture capital and venture capital-backed entrepreneurship. Among his most important contributions is the synthesis of the fields of finance and entrepreneurship. He has also made several important contributions in the area of entrepreneurial innovation, spanning issues relating to alliances, patents, and open-source project development."

According to Pontus Braunerhjelm, a professor at Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology who chaired the award committee, "Professor Lerner's research has served to extend and improve our understanding of one of the engines of economic growth. These insights have also had considerable impact on the design of public policies" that help nurture the development of ventures that create new jobs, products, and services and thus improve the quality of people's lives.

"This is an extraordinary honor, and I am most appreciative of the committee's recognition of my work," said Lerner, Harvard Business School's Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking. "Research in entrepreneurship has made great strides in recent years, and I am fortunate to be part of the HBS Entrepreneurial Management Unit, whose more that 30 faculty members have led Harvard Business School to a preeminent position in this field."

A member of the HBS faculty since 1991, Lerner has authored or coauthored numerous articles and five books, including The Venture Capital Cycle and The Money of Invention (which focus on the structure and role of venture capital and private equity organizations), Innovation and Its Discontents (a comprehensive study of the US patent system and its effect on innovation), and the recently published Boulevard of Broken Dreams (the first in-depth examination of the failed efforts of governments around the world to support entrepreneurship). A fourth edition of Venture Capital and Private Equity: A Casebook is forthcoming.

At Harvard Business School, Lerner developed and teaches a popular elective for second-year MBA students called Venture Capital and Private Equity. In addition, he teaches a doctoral course on entrepreneurship and is a faculty member in the Owner-President Management Program, the School's executive education program for entrepreneurs. He also organizes and teaches an annual executive course on private equity in Boston and Beijing.

A research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Lerner founded research groups there to study entrepreneurship and the impact of innovation policy on the economy. He is a member of several other NBER groups as well and serves as coeditor of the NBER publication Innovation Policy and the Economy.

For the past few years, on behalf of the World Economic Forum, Lerner has led an international team of scholars examining the global economic impact of private equity.

Lerner graduated from Yale College in 1982, where he completed a special divisional major that combined physics with the history of technology. He then worked for several years on technological innovation and public policy at Washington's Brookings Institution, a public-private task force in Chicago, and on Capitol Hill before earning a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1992.

At Harvard Business School, Lerner is based at the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, which supports the School's mission to educate leaders who make a difference in the world by infusing this leadership perspective with an entrepreneurial point of view.

Founded in 2003 as the result of a donation by pioneering venture capitalist Arthur Rock (MBA 1951), the Center supports a wide array of faculty research, fellowships for MBA and doctoral students, an annual business plan contest, and numerous symposia and conferences.