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Q&As and information sessions

Invention To Impact Wireside Chat

About the series

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) is pleased to invite you to webinar, “Invention To Impact Wireside Chat,” on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, from 2:00 to 3:00​​​​ p.m. ET. This virtual event will include 15-minute presentations from world-renowned scholars followed by a 30-minute panel discussion with questions from the audience.


Join the Wireside Chat, a conversation with Emily Cox Pahnke of the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business and Josh Lerner of the Harvard Business School to discuss how public and private funding influences startups and the global innovation ecosystem. Andrea Belz, Division Director of the NSF Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships, will moderate the discussion.

Read Emily Cox Pahnke’s and Josh Lerner’s presentation descriptions and bios below.

Who Takes You to the Dance? How Partners’ Institutional Logics Influence Innovation in Young Firms by Emily Cox Pahnke, Riitta Katila, and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt

Drawing on institutional theory, we examine how the institutional logics—taken-for granted norms, structures, and practices—of different types of funding partners influence young firms and their search for innovations. We test our hypotheses in a longitudinal study of a complete population of ventures in the minimally invasive surgical device industry in the U.S., supplemented by interviews with industry informants. We find that types of funding partners vary significantly from one another: they all provide resources, but their institutional logics differ. Venture capitalists (VCs) pick young firms with significant patented technologies and help firms launch products, and high-status VCs strengthen both the patenting and product innovations of young firms. Corporate venture capitalists and government agencies also select patent-intensive firms but are less effective than VCs in helping ventures during the relationship because, though these partners often have impressive technical and commercial resources for innovation, their institutional logics constrain how effectively young firms can access their resources. Relative to other types of funding partners, VCs have a closer advisor relationship with the venture; greater power, influence, and access to resources; better-paced and more-motivating milestones; and better understanding of the commercialization process. Our results extend the institutional logics literature to interorganizational relationships and suggest that the choice among types of funding partners may have unanticipated effects on firms’ innovation beyond the financial resources gained through the relationship. 

Emily Cox Pahnke is an associate professor of management and organization and the Lawrence P. Hughes Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. Her research, at the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship, and finance, focuses on how identifying and acquiring resources impact venture founding, innovation, acquisition, and initial public offerings. Professor Pahnke’s research has been published in top management journals including the Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, and Strategic Management Journal and has been funded by the National Science Foundation, a Schulze Distinguished Professorship, and the Kauffman Foundation. She was recognized as the 2017 Emerging Scholar by the Technology and Innovation Management Division of the Academy of Management. Professor Pahnke holds a Ph.D. in management science and engineering and an M.A. in sociology from Stanford University as well as M.B.A. and B.S. degrees from Brigham Young University. 

Public Entrepreneurial Finance Around the Globe by Jessica Bai, Shai Bernstein, Abhishek Dev, and Josh Lerner

Entrepreneurial finance is increasingly central to public policy: governments’ allocations to such funding programs have been comparable to global venture capital disbursements. We examined 755 government programs worldwide to finance entrepreneurial firms and relevant intermediaries between 1995 and 2019. These programs were more frequent in nations and periods with more private venture activity, a relationship that was stronger in nations with better public governance. The programs’ structures often relied on the local private sector. The involvement of the private sector was greater when government programs targeted earlier stage companies and the effectiveness of government was higher. These findings illustrated the complementarity between public and private entrepreneurial finance, which helped improve screening and enhance governance. Over the long term, these programs were associated with more private venture funding and patenting. 

Josh Lerner graduated from Yale College with a special divisional major.  He worked for several years on issues concerning technological innovation and public policy at the Brookings Institution, at  a public-private task force in Chicago, and on Capitol Hill. He then earned a Ph.D. from Harvard's economics department. His research on venture capital and private equity organizations is summarized in Boulevard of Broken Dreams, The Money of Invention, Patent Capital, and The Venture Capital Cycle;  his work on innovation is discussed in the books: The Architecture of Innovation, The Comingled Code, and Innovation and Its Discontents.  He co-directs the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Program and serves as co-editor of their publication, Innovation Policy and the Economy. He founded and runs the Private Capital Research Institute, a nonprofit devoted to encouraging access to data and research and leads projects for the World Economic Forum. He is the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at the Harvard Business School. Over the past two decades, “Venture Capital and Private Equity” has consistently been one of the largest elective courses at Harvard Business School.  The course materials are collected in Venture Capital and Private Equity: A Casebook, now in its fifth edition, and the textbook Venture Capital, Private Equity, and the Financing of Entrepreneurship.)  He also established and teaches doctoral courses on entrepreneurship, teaches in the Owners-Presidents-Managers Program, and leads executive courses on private equity.

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