Steven S. Rogers - Faculty & Research - Harvard Business School
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Steven S. Rogers

MBA Class of 1957 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

General Management

Steven Rogers is the MBA Class of 1957 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration. He teaches Entrepreneurial Finance and a new course titled Black Business Leaders and Entrepreneurship. He taught FIELD 3, which is the practicum on entrepreneurship where 150 teams of students create companies each year.  His teams placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th over a three year period. A 1985 graduate of the school, Professor Rogers holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College. Prior to teaching at HBS, he taught for 17 years at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, in the MBA, PhD and Executive programs in the U.S., Toronto, Germany, and Hong Kong. He received the Outstanding Professor Award for the Executive Program 26 times and the MBA Lawrence Levengood Outstanding Professor of the Year award twice. He was the first professor in the school’s history to receive the latter award more than once.

Before joining the Kellogg Faculty, he owned and operated two manufacturing firms and one retail operation. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Professor Rogers worked at Bain and Company Consulting firm, Cummins Engine Company and UNC Ventures, a venture capital firm.

In 2016 Professor Rogers was a volunteer Visiting Professor at the United States Military Academy for the Army at West Point where he taught Entrepreneurial Finance.

Professor Rogers was selected to give a speech on the topic of Entrepreneurship at the United Nations in 2013 as part of the TEDxUNPlaza Program. In 2011, he joined Chicago Mayor Emmanuel’s Supplier Diversity Task Force. In 2009, Ebony Magazine named him one of the top 150 influential people in America. In 2006, he was selected as one of the “100 Men Impacting Supplier Diversity.”  In 2005, he received the ‘Bert King Award for Service’ from the African American Student Union at Harvard Business School.  In 2000, he received the ‘Bicentennial Medal for Distinguished Achievement’ by an alum from Williams College. In 1998, he was selected as Entrepreneur of The Year (supporter category) by Ernst & Young.  In 1997 BusinessWeek named him one of the 14 “New Stars of Finance.” In 1996, BusinessWeek named him one of the top 12 entrepreneurship professors at graduate business schools in the U.S.

Professor Rogers currently serves on the Advisory Board of Private Equity Firm OCA Ventures. He also serves on the Board of Directors of SC Johnson Wax, W.S. Darley & Company and Oakmark Mutual Funds. He is a former member of the Board of Directors at SuperValu (NYSE) and JP Morgan Chase’s Capital Investment Committee. His non-profit work includes board membership for the A Better Chance Program and Urban Prep High School. He is a former Trustee of Williams College and a member of the Harvard Business School Visiting Committee.

He has often been quoted in many publications, including Black Enterprise, Crain’s Business Journal, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Fortune, Monarch and BusinessWeek, NPR, the Tom Joyner Show and Life-Changing Quotes from the World’s Best Business Schools, a 2013 Japanese publication. In 2002 Professor Rogers published his first book, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finance and Business. The second edition was published in 2008. The 3rd edition was published in 2014. Professor Rogers has also published five case studies. He has been a guest speaker at the New York University – Stern School of Business, University of Chicago – Booth School of Business, Harvard Kennedy School, University of Vienna, University of Illinois, YPO in Australia, and the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines.

He has completed five Triathlons.

He is part owner of the Chicago Sky in the WNBA.
  1. Entrepreneurial Finance: Finance and Business Strategies for the Serious Entrepreneur

    Steven Rogers and Roza Makonnen

    Whatever business you run or plan to launch, Entrepreneurial Finance provides the essential tools and know-how you need to build a sturdy foundation that will support it for many years to come.
    Entrepreneurial Finance, Third Edition, offers potent methods for keeping firm financial control of your enterprise and insightful tips for avoiding the multitude of financial barriers that may block your entrepreneurial dream.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Financial Strategy; Business Strategy;


    Rogers, Steven, and Roza Makonnen. Entrepreneurial Finance: Finance and Business Strategies for the Serious Entrepreneur. 3rd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2014.  View Details
Cases and Teaching Materials
  1. John Rogers, Jr. – Ariel Investments Co.

    Steven Rogers and Greg White

    John Rogers Jr., the founder and CEO of Ariel Investments, an enormously successful finance firm with $12 billion of invested capital, is one of the few African Americans in the asset management industry. As one of the high profile leaders in the black business community, John has decided to encourage Fortune 500 companies and major foundations to increase the volume of business that they do with black and other minority-owned companies. His encouragement comes in the form of public criticism of these organizations. He challenges them to stop paying “lip service” to inclusion, diversity, and fair business opportunity and sincerely commit to these ideals through action and results. A member of John’s Board of Directors has advised him to cease his leadership of this effort because it could be detrimental to Ariel Investments. Is the board member right? Is John being reckless? Is there a model that can be created to determine if and when John and other leaders should publicly express their opinions?

    Keywords: advocacy; diversity; investment management; Affirmative Action; Disruption; Cost vs Benefits; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Fairness; Moral Sensibility; Values and Beliefs; Corporate Accountability; Leading Change; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Problems and Challenges; Financial Services Industry; Chicago;


    Rogers, Steven, and Greg White. "John Rogers, Jr. – Ariel Investments Co." Harvard Business School Case 318-099, January 2018.  View Details
  2. Amanda and Kristen: Mented Cosmetics

    Steven Rogers and Alterrell Mills

    The case highlights the two co-founders (black HBS alumnae) of a black-owned beauty startup and the unmet needs within the beauty industry. This case study examines the entrepreneurial opportunities that come from identifying an underserved market, specifically within the black community. Students learn approaches to product ideation/innovation, marketing strategies for the social media age and launching a startup for a targeted audience. Students learn to analyze macro and micro economic data of an industry, synthesize consumer demographics and purchase behavior data, and create pro forma financial documents to determine the potential economic opportunity that is unmet in a market and the requisite fundraising to launch a new business. Mented co-founders became the 15th and 16th African-American women to raise over $1 million in startup funding.

    Keywords: Business Startups; For-Profit Firms; Disruption; Customers; Macroeconomics; Entrepreneurship; Disruptive Innovation; Brands and Branding; Marketing Channels; Marketing Communications; Marketing Strategy; Product Launch; Product Positioning; Social Marketing; Demand and Consumers; Distribution Channels; Product Design; Product Development; Supply Chain; Mission and Purpose; Strategic Planning; Sales; Luxury; Social Issues; Culture; Business Strategy; Competition; Advertising Industry; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Chemical Industry; Manufacturing Industry; Retail Industry; United States;


    Rogers, Steven, and Alterrell Mills. "Amanda and Kristen: Mented Cosmetics." Harvard Business School Case 318-093, December 2017.  View Details
  3. Corey Thomas and the IPO

    Steven Rogers and Derrick Collins

    Corey Thomas, the African American CEO of the company Rapid7, must decide if it is the right time to take the 15-year-old company public, as it stood poised to capitalize on what appeared to be the next frontier for digital technology markets—cybersecurity. In spite of positive industry trends, there were some nagging concerns that this might be a risky time in the public capital markets. The company had just completed an acquisition, and he had additional concerns that the public markets may not tolerate the inevitable early losses involved with the new acquisition. Moreover, the company’s principal financiers were venture capital investors, and an IPO or sale would represent an investment exit for them, and their goal is return maximization.

    Keywords: business finance; capital markets; private equity; Capital Markets; Private Equity; Online Technology; Initial Public Offering; Decision Making; Financial Services Industry; Technology Industry; Web Services Industry; United States;


    Rogers, Steven, and Derrick Collins. "Corey Thomas and the IPO." Harvard Business School Case 317-082, March 2017.  View Details
  4. John Rogers and Ariel Investments

    Steven Rogers and Greg White

    The strong, public advocacy of a highly successful African American CEO has the potential to negatively impact his company. The CEO is deciding if he should listen to the advice of others who are urging him to “tone it down”.

    Keywords: advocacy; diversity; investment management; Affirmative Action; Disruption; Cost vs Benefits; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Fairness; Moral Sensibility; Values and Beliefs; Corporate Accountability; Leading Change; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Problems and Challenges; Financial Services Industry; Chicago;


    Rogers, Steven, and Greg White. "John Rogers and Ariel Investments." Harvard Business School Case 318-015, September 2017. (Revised November 2017.)  View Details
  5. Dr. William Carson — Intrapreneurial Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry

    Steven Rogers and Alyssa Haywoode

    Dr. William Carson is an African-American psychiatrist who grew up in South Carolina. He had a thriving career in academic medicine as a professor and he also treated patients. After a decade in academic medicine he moved into the pharmaceutical industry where he ran drug trials. As the Group Director of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Carson worked on the drug Aripiprazole, an antipsychotic drug that is more famously known as Abilify. Abilify had been developed by Otsuka, a Japanese pharmaceutical company, and it was being co-marketed in the United States by Otsuka and Bristol Myers-Squibb.

    After a series of “Appleby’s” conversations held during dinner meetings with a colleague from Otsuka at Appleby’s restaurant, Carson was invited to join Otsuka’s fledgling Princeton, N.J., office. Carson was then asked to take on the considerable task of running clinical trials for Abilify in Japan.

    The project would require a deft cultural touch as well as a plan for how to run the trials. Should the trials be run in-house or outsourced? Should Carson hire employees who might eventually be laid off – an unpopular option in Japan – or could he find a company with enough cultural sensitivity to run the trials in Asia? Carson would have to rely on his intrapreneurial skills to find the answers.

    Keywords: Dr. Williams Carson; Otsuka America Pharmaceutical; Harvard; Abilify; Aripiprazole; Health Testing and Trials; Globalized Firms and Management; Globalized Markets and Industries; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Decision Choices and Conditions; Pharmaceutical Industry; Japan;


    Rogers, Steven, and Alyssa Haywoode. "Dr. William Carson — Intrapreneurial Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Industry." Harvard Business School Case 318-005, September 2017.  View Details
  6. Joel L. Dawson: Eta Devices

    Steven Rogers and Derek G. Abrams

    After a successful career in research and academia, Joel Dawson decided to pursue entrepreneurship in the semiconductor industry. Together with several others, Joel Dawson co-founded Eta Devices in 2014 based on new technology developed at MIT to improve the efficiency of radio transmitter devices.

    Keywords: Joel Dawson; Eta Devices; Semiconductor entrepreneurship; decision theory; Decision Making; Finance; Engineering; Entrepreneurship; Semiconductor Industry; Boston;


    Rogers, Steven, and Derek G. Abrams. "Joel L. Dawson: Eta Devices." Harvard Business School Case 318-009, July 2017.  View Details
  7. Eve Hall: The African American Investment Fund in Milwaukee

    Steven Rogers and Alterrell Mills

    The case highlights the role of minority chambers of commerce and the background of Eve Hall, a well-regarded multi-sector leader asked to revive Wisconsin's African-American chamber. This case study examines the lending options that a minority chamber of commerce considers when seeking to maximize value to its constituency. Students learn the challenges minority small business owners and entrepreneurs face, the role of non-financial institutions/community-based organizations in addressing those challenges, and the financial tools available to lenders and borrowers in this segment. Students learn how to analyze financing opportunities by assessing the value propositions of chambers of commerce, developing the risk-reward profile of each party involved, and deliberating as members of a board to reach a final lending decision. Teaching Note for HBS No. 317-076.

    Keywords: business organization; Business Plan; change management; Decision Choices and Conditions; demographics; Diversity characteristics; ethnicity characteristics; race characteristics; investment fund; cost of capital; banks and banking; Financing and Loans; Micro Finance; interest rates; Business or company management; management styles; management succession; mission and purpose; organizational culture; Leadership Style; leadership change; business and community relations; nonprofit organizations; Wealth and Poverty; Organizations; Diversity; Ethnicity; Race; Small Business; Entrepreneurship; Financing and Loans; Decision Choices and Conditions; Employment Industry; Public Administration Industry; Financial Services Industry; Service Industry; United States; Wisconsin;


    Rogers, Steven, and Alterrell Mills. "Eve Hall: The African American Investment Fund in Milwaukee." Harvard Business School Case 317-076, February 2017.  View Details
  8. Earl Gordon - Eastern Circle

    Steven Rogers and Greg White

    This case follows an African-American entrepreneur through the process of sourcing a potential acquisition, valuing a company, and securing the funding to purchase the company. This entrepreneur must decide if he should close the deal and which financing term sheet to accept.

    Keywords: acquisition; valuation; negotiations; manufacturing; LBO; Leveraged Buyout; entrepreneurship; term sheets; deal structuring; Financial Statements; Acquisition; Leveraged Buyouts; Business Model; Forecasting and Prediction; Cost vs Benefits; Cash Flow; Borrowing and Debt; Cost of Capital; Private Equity; Negotiation Deal; Negotiation Offer; Negotiation Process; Valuation; Value Creation; California;


    Rogers, Steven, and Greg White. "Earl Gordon - Eastern Circle." Harvard Business School Case 317-061, January 2017. (Revised August 2017.)  View Details
  9. Carmichael Roberts: To Create a Private Equity Firm?

    Steven Rogers and Kenneth J. Cooper

    Carmichael Roberts, a rare African-American venture capitalist, considered leaving his general partnership in a private equity firm near Boston and setting up his own in 2015. He weighed whether the timing was right, with the economy still not fully recovered from the Great Recession of 2007–2009. Where to base such a firm was another factor in his decision-making. A member of the board of the National Venture Capital Association, Roberts knew the industry was gravitating to the San Francisco Bay area, to invest in the social media and software startups centered there. His specialty and passion was bringing to market new products made from advanced materials that help people solve problems in their daily lives. That investment focus on manufacturing would go against the private equity trend, another factor he considered. But he knew few, if any, general partners at major private equity firms were focused singularly on the kinds of businesses in which he wanted to invest. Roberts also took into account the possible impact on his mutually respectful relations with his fellow partners. From a housing project in Brooklyn, New York, Roberts became a scientist who did advanced study at Duke and Harvard, capped off with an MBA from MIT. He had experience as a developer of technical products for Fortune 500 companies, an executive of cutting-edge startups, and a venture capitalist for eight years. This case study also reviews how private equity investment works, the private equity spectrum, the history of venture capital, stages of venture capital funds, and their locations.

    Keywords: Capital; venture capital; equity; private equity; Innovation and Invention; technological innovation; investment; investment return; ownership; going public; ownership stake; Science; science bassed business; markets; Market timing; marketplace matching; relationships; Partners and Partnerships; Capital; Private Equity; Technological Innovation; Investment Return; Going Public; Ownership Stake; Science-Based Business; Market Timing; Marketplace Matching; Partners and Partnerships; Financial Services Industry; Technology Industry; Manufacturing Industry; United States; Massachusetts; Boston; California; San Francisco; New York (city, NY);


    Rogers, Steven, and Kenneth J. Cooper. "Carmichael Roberts: To Create a Private Equity Firm?" Harvard Business School Case 317-079, January 2017. (Revised December 2017.)  View Details
  10. Ebony Magazine

    Steven Rogers and Derrick Jackson

    For nearly 75 years, the Johnson Publishing Company has been the most successful African American magazine publisher. Its flagship Ebony magazine was an iconic coffee table fixture for decades in black households of all classes, making founder John H. Johnson the first African American to make the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans. But the privately held company was now in the hands of his daughter, and it faced the bracing, debilitating winds besetting the entire magazine and newspaper industry. Linda Johnson Rice now had to decide what to do with the company’s publications and brands.

    Keywords: Business restructuring; Decisions; media; race characteristics; corporate entrepreneurship; business history; social history; contemporary history; Innovation and Management; fairness; brands and branding; crisis management; culture; adaptation; consolidation; Fairness; Race; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Adaptation; Consolidation; Culture; Brands and Branding; Journals and Magazines; Decisions; Business History; Restructuring; Innovation and Management; Crisis Management; Media and Broadcasting Industry; Journalism and News Industry; Publishing Industry; Chicago;


    Rogers, Steven, and Derrick Jackson. "Ebony Magazine." Harvard Business School Case 317-043, December 2016.  View Details
  11. United Housing—Otis Gates

    Steven Rogers and Mercer Cook

    Otis Gates, the only African-American in his HBS graduating class, is an entrepreneur from greater Boston area and has built a successful affordable housing firm. Along the way, he and his partners have contributed countless hours of community service to the neighborhoods in which they own properties. Now 80 and ready to retire, Gates is creating a request for proposal for his firm. In doing so, he has to evaluate his firm’s total value and decide whether their social-good mission is helping or harming their bottom line.

    Keywords: affordable housing; real estate; community engagement; social-good; request for proposal; diversity; entrepreneurship; Social Entrepreneurship; Moral Sensibility; Fairness; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Housing; Business and Community Relations; Real Estate Industry;


    Rogers, Steven, and Mercer Cook. "United Housing—Otis Gates." Harvard Business School Case 317-059, January 2017. (Revised March 2018.)  View Details
  12. Vicki Fuller: Chief Investment Officer of New York State's $150+ Billion Employee Pension Fund

    Steven Rogers and Valerie Mosley

    Vicki Fuller traveled from a four-room tenement bordering Chicago’s infamous Cabrini-Green housing projects to speaking at conferences around the world and typically holding court wherever she went. As a teenager, she helped raise her siblings. As a Wall Street executive, she navigated the investment management world to generate attractive investment results for clients. And as the Chief Investment Officer of New York State’s Employees’ Common Retirement Fund (CRF), she helped manage the third-largest state pension fund in the United States. Fuller’s 5’2” height understated her reputational stature, as audiences where she was featured anxiously awaited hearing her market outlook, innovative investment allocations, and industry insights for effective state pension fund strategies.

    Keywords: Change Management; Transformation; Public Sector; Investment Return; Investment Portfolio; Governance; Government Administration; Employee Relationship Management; Compensation and Benefits; Selection and Staffing; Leading Change; Mission and Purpose; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Experience and Expertise; Asset Management; Financial Strategy; Financial Management; Investment Funds; Recruitment; Organizational Culture; Performance Improvement; Attitudes; Trust; Financial Services Industry; Public Administration Industry; United States; New York (state, US); New York (city, NY);


    Rogers, Steven, and Valerie Mosley. "Vicki Fuller: Chief Investment Officer of New York State's $150+ Billion Employee Pension Fund." Harvard Business School Case 317-044, May 2017.  View Details
  13. Frank Baker: Siris Capital Group and Titan Systems

    Steven Rogers and Derrick Collins

    Private equity firm, Siris Capital Group, must decide if they should raise their offer to take Titan Telecom private by acquiring its publicly traded stock. Siris’ decision to pay a premium for Titan must be made in the context of their unique (and somewhat complex) investment strategy that focuses on investment targets that have both mission-critical products or services that are approaching obsolescence but producing predictable cash flows as well as new products or services on the horizon with strong growth potential. Further complicating the decision is the fact that Siris is in the midst of raising its second private equity fund and seeking to secure co-investment capital from many of the same investors they are pursuing as limited partners for their new fund.

    Keywords: acquisition; leveraged buyouts; mergers and acquisitions; private equity; mobile technology; Acquisition; Leveraged Buyouts; Mergers and Acquisitions; Private Equity; Mobile Technology; Financial Services Industry; Communications Industry; Telecommunications Industry; United States;


    Rogers, Steven, and Derrick Collins. "Frank Baker: Siris Capital Group and Titan Systems." Harvard Business School Case 317-036, February 2017. (Revised February 2018.)  View Details
  14. A Brief History of African American Leaders in Unions and the Labor Movement

    Steven Rogers and Mercer Cook

    This historically focused background note highlights the role of African American Labor Leaders in both the Labor Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. In doing so, it attempts to both highlight these noteworthy individuals and demonstrate the innate connection between the labor and civil rights movements.

    Keywords: Labor unions; Wages; Working Conditions; political history; social history; Economic History; business history; fairness; moral sensibility; rights; leading change; labor and management relations; Civil Society or Community; social issues; culture; equality and inequality; Rights; Leading Change; Race; Civil Society or Community; Labor Unions;


    Rogers, Steven, and Mercer Cook. "A Brief History of African American Leaders in Unions and the Labor Movement." Harvard Business School Background Note 317-004, September 2016.  View Details
  15. Gilbert Lumber Company

    Steven Rogers and Kenneth Cooper

    The Gilbert Lumber Co. is faced with a need for increased bank financing due to its rapid sales growth and low profitability. Students must determine the reasons for the rising bank borrowing, estimate the amount of borrowing needed, and assess the attractiveness of the loan to the bank. A rewritten version of an earlier case. Allows students to practice ratio analysis, financial forecasting, and evaluating financing alternatives.

    Keywords: Commercial Banking; Financial Crisis; Borrowing and Debt; Financial Strategy; Financing and Loans; Capital Structure; Forecasting and Prediction;


    Rogers, Steven, and Kenneth Cooper. "Gilbert Lumber Company." Harvard Business School Case 315-137, June 2015. (Revised July 2016.)  View Details