New Research on the Region

  • May 2020
  • Case

M-Lab: Enabling Innovation at Mitsubishi Corporation

By: Krishna Palepu and Allison M. Ciechanover

M-Lab’s founding goals were to infuse an innovation mindset into Mitsubishi Corporation; to catalyze new business opportunities; and to enable a dialogue between Japanese business and Silicon Valley. M-Lab housed representatives from each of Mitsubishi Corporation’s verticals who were joined by executives from other prominent Japanese corporations. While M-Lab was still early in its history, its leader, Tsunehiko Yanagihara, was pleased with its progress: the ecosystem was fertile with research on cutting edge technology; resident executives collaborated across industries on a daily basis; several investments and proof of concept projects were underway; staff had launched an innovation learning program; and soon, an on-site retail-tech accelerator would welcome its first participants. As some of the projects born out of M-Lab now evolved to commercial businesses, Yanagihara saw yet a new role for M-Lab – that of startup advisor. How might he harness Silicon Valley insights on scaling technology ventures and feed them back to the young ventures made possible by M-Lab? And how might he help those now responsible for implementing and executing at these new businesses apply these learnings to the hurdles they faced?

  • May 2020
  • Teaching Material

San Francisco Ballet: On "Pointe" for the Future

By: Rohit Deshpandé and Nicole Tempest Keller

An examination of the strategic challenges facing the SF Ballet in 2019 due to changes in demographics, lifestyles, and the city of San Francisco itself

  • March 2020
  • Case

Zoom Video Communications and COVID-19

By: Scott Kominers and George Gonzalez

When a global pandemic forced people around the world to stay home and work remotely, Zoom became the video conferencing tool of choice for many organizations. The case explores Zoom's strengths and weaknesses as a platform, role in society, and emergent use cases. The case then examines how the company can maintain its users and momentum once the crisis subsides.

  • March 2020
  • Case

Poppy (B)

By: Thomas R. Eisenmann, Scott Duke Kominers, Jeff Huizinga and Allison Ciechanover

Avni Patel Thompson, founder and CEO of Poppy, an online marketplace for on-demand childcare, revisits the venture's final months, and discusses the steps she took in the wake of the shutdown. This case explores experiments the company conducted to refine its original business model, as well as how Patel Thompson rekindled her entrepreneurial ambitions. It is part two of an A and B case, the A case being: Poppy: A Modern Village for Childcare Case 818 075, November 2017.

  • March 2020
  • Case

Opportunity Insights: Research and Policy for Social Mobility

By: Scott Kominers, Jeffrey Huizinga and Allison Ciechanover

Opportunity Insights -- a non-profit that researches drivers of economic opportunity and develops policy solutions to help families achieve better life outcomes -- seeks to expand its impact.

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California Research Center Team

Allison Ciechanover
Executive Director
George Gonzalez
Senior Researcher
Jeffrey Huizinga
Senior Researcher
Nicole Keller
Senior Researcher