Exploring Entrepreneurship

Information on entrepreneurial studies and activities at Harvard Business School is available on the Internet, where a single site (www.entrepreneurship.hbs.edu) provides access to faculty and course web pages; a description of the California research center and list of cases created there; links to research tools at Baker Library and elsewhere; and a description of the 2001 business-plan contest and past winners. A separate address (www.hbs.edu/mba/ experience/learn/curriculum/index.html) brings up the M.B.A. curriculum, with options for examining course offerings; within the elective section, links make it possible to search by course or professor and to connect to faculty members' biographies and descriptions of their research interests.

A visit to the Harvard Business School Publishing website (www.hbsp.harvard.edu) yields a daunting 541 items under the "entrepreneurship" heading. Lay readers might want to explore three recent titles, using the site's search tools. The Entrepreneurial Venture, a collection of readings edited by William A. Sahlman, Howard H. Stevenson, Michael J. Roberts, and Amar Bhidé, is a broad survey containing the classic articles by Sahlman and Stevenson referred to in the main text. Done Deals: Venture Capitalists Tell Their Stories, edited by Udayan Gupta, a former Wall Street Journal writer, explores this branch of start-up financing through interviews with the principals, including such prominent alumni as Arthur Rock, M.B.A. '51, creator of the first venture-capital fund, and John Doerr, M.B.A. '76, of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, perhaps the preeminent firm today. For a general strategic and management perspective, applied both to businesses and to communities generally, consult Evolve! Succeeding in the Digital Culture of Tomorrow, the new book by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Arbuckle professor of business administration.

The entrepreneurial companies described in this article maintain informative websites: www.polishedinc.com; www.UPromise.com; and www.zoots.com.

Although venture-capital firms serve pension funds and other institutional clients, individuals frequently engage in "angel" investing. Most angels operate locally, pooling funds and reviewing proposals from a metropolitan area or similar market. For those interested in exploring angel investing on a wider scale, UniversityAngels.com (www.universityangels.com), founded in 1999 by M.B.A. '94 classmates James Marcus, Charles Sanford, and Rick Sasner, serves as a sort of electronic midwife, matching alumni entrepreneurs and investors with each other through several dozen school-based networks.

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