BOSTON—Harvard Business School has named Jodi Gernon (MBA 1991) as the new Director of its Rock Center for Entrepreneurship.
Gernon assumes her leadership role at the Center after more than 25 years of marketing and leadership experience and expertise in areas such as consumer healthcare, e-commerce, and mobile. She has been involved with a number of successful startups, including Physicians Online and Mediconsult.com (both sold to WebMD), Mothernature.com (which had its initial public offering in 1999), and Revenio (which was sold to Vignette, a web content management company). She has also worked with multinationals like PepsiCo, GE, and CR Bard.
“We are all excited to have the opportunity to engage Jodi’s commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation, along with the strategic and operational skills she will bring to the Rock Center,” said Laura Moon, managing director of Harvard Business School’s portfolio of interdepartmental Initiatives.
“The Rock Center is a focal point of all things entrepreneurial at Harvard Business School,” added Tom Eisenmann, the School’s Howard H. Stevenson Professor of Business Administration and faculty co-chair of the Center. “It adds extraordinary value to the experience of the large number of Harvard MBA candidates and alumni who want to pursue new opportunities and launch new ventures. My faculty colleagues and I are delighted to welcome Jodi back to HBS to help with this effort.”
Most recently, Gernon worked as a mentor at Harvard University’s Innovation Lab (i-lab) and Healthbox Boston (whose goal is to promote innovation and collaboration in the healthcare industry), while also consulting to a variety of early-stage companies in the Boston and Toronto areas. She focused principally on helping founders develop strong value propositions and create go-to-market strategies to refine product attributes and accelerate the adoption of their products and services among target audiences.
She has also has considerable experience in helping firms create an overall market strategy that includes business plan development, brand definition, problem and solution statements, digital and traditional marketing plans, and sales strategies for building a customer base.
In addition to her Harvard MBA, Gernon holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and biomedical engineering from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
The Rock Center for Entrepreneurship was made possible by the generosity and vision of pioneering venture capitalist Arthur Rock (MBA 1951), who helped launch, among many other enterprises, Apple and Intel Corporation.
The Rock Center offers a broad array of programs to encourage and support the pursuit of entrepreneurship by HBS students and alumni, including an annual New Venture Competition, the Rock Accelerator program to facilitate and financially support the execution of new ideas, The Rock Summer Fellowship program to support founders pursuing business ideas and internships with new ventures, a loan reduction program to help ease the burden of recent graduates starting their own enterprises, and access to an array of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence who offer advice and counsel throughout the school year.
The Rock Center is closely affiliated with the School’s Entrepreneurial Management Unit which includes some 35 HBS faculty members dedicated to research, teaching, and course development in the field of entrepreneurial management. Harvard Business School’s first-year curriculum requires a full-semester course in Entrepreneurial Management and a module in which every first-year student works in small teams to create and launch a mini-business. The second-year curriculum provides students with a wide selection of electives. The lessons learned serve students well after they have earned their degrees. Ten to fifteen years after graduation, fifty percent of Harvard Business School alumni describe themselves as entrepreneurs.