Today, information about entrepreneurship is widely accessible online. Still, 75% of all startups fail, for various reasons. In 2018, HBS Dean Nitin Nohria asked Shikhar Ghosh to develop and lead a new online offering on entrepreneurship that could better prepare entrepreneurs and help them to succeed. A serial entrepreneur, investor, and advisor to hundreds of founders, Shikhar has unique observations and practical expertise.
Shikhar recruited a small team and started the journey of collecting customer requirements and building a Minimum Viable Product. We quickly discovered that a deep need exists for well-structured entrepreneurial content from a trusted source. Entrepreneurs seeking advice are flooded with content options and opinions. But, too often, readily available content is unstructured, anecdotal, contradictory, and unproven. The need for reliable, trusted information is particularly acute in areas that do not have a well-developed entrepreneurial ecosystem. This project makes HBS’s intellectual assets available and accessible to those who need it. It offers insights, relevant tips, and reflections from founders, investors, educators, and operators.
Our goal: to share HBS’s deep knowledge and expertise in entrepreneurship beyond the HBS audience.
Matt Fischer is an entrepreneur, investor, and startup advisor. He brainstormed, tested, and refined HBS Accelerate from an idea into a platform. Now Managing Partner at EF Capital and COO at ConstructTech, he continues to serve as Consultant for New Business at HBS.
Marilyn Morgan Westner is a learning designer, writer, and educator with a passion for academic startups. She helped conceptualize, create, and iterate the content HBS Accelerate produced. As a consultant, Marilyn continues to help design new learning initiatives at HBS as well as other colleges and ventures.
Dave Anderson is an engineer, entrepreneur, and investor passionate about technology. He joined the HBS Accelerate team in its second year and was instrumental in shaping and refining the platform into a viable site. Dave is currently on the investment team at Toyota AI Ventures where he invests in Seed to Series A companies in AI and robotics.
HBS & Entrepreneurship
Established in 1908, Harvard Business School launched the world’s first MBA program. A world-renowned center for learning, HBS has produced visionary entrepreneurs who have built companies around the world. Some, like Rent the Runway and Careem, have grown into unicorns. Others, like Khan Academy and Flatiron School, are working to make education more affordable and relevant. Others, like Stitch Fix, ClassPass, and Blue Apron have the mission of improving users’ quality and maximize their time. Some of the startups that HBS graduates launched, like Joro, dedicate themselves to addressing problems, like global warming and health care, that impact our world.
HBS pioneered the case-method of pedagogy, cultivating an environment of trust and mutual respect, free expression, and inquiry. While tens of thousands of successful entrepreneurs have emerged from HBS, even the best entrepreneurs sometimes struggle to apply best practices and business frameworks to their own unique situations.
As an advisor and teacher, Ghosh noticed entrepreneur’s widespread, unmet need to access to a community where they can learn from each other while applying new concepts to solve their current problems. He developed HBS Accelerate to address that problem.
HBS Accelerate Platform
HBS Accelerate builds upon the expertise of HBS faculty and world-class entrepreneurs and leaders with a deep understanding of how to test, launch, and scale new ventures share knowledge, observations, expert insights, and real experiences in entrepreneurship. We offer three ways to engage with entrepreneurship content to meet your needs.