By Sonia K. González, DrPH, MPH
Deepak Hegde studies how entrepreneurs and inventors in science and technology based industries overcome the challenges associated with commercializing their ideas. He is a recipient of the Kauffman Faculty Fellowship for entrepreneurship research and the Thomas Alva Edison Fellowship awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In addition, he was named one of the world’s best 40 under 40 business school professors by Poets & Quants. Prior to joining Stern’s Management and Organizations department in 2010, Professor Hegde had worked at Bosch, a large technology-based German company, and Abt Associates, a research and consulting firm for the U.S. government and business sectors. He earned his B.E. in Industrial Engineering with distinction from the Mysore University, M.S. in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.
I research and teach entrepreneurship. I started my professional life as an engineer, writing software programs and evaluating new technologies for a large German company. This work made me curious about how new technologies are invented and commercialized—a topic on which I did my dissertation work at the University of California, Berkeley. After teaching strategy and innovation at NYU Stern for several years and watching New York grow as a hub for entrepreneurship during this time, I realized that the city’s ecosystem could be further enhanced by creating a bridge between the outstanding academic institutions in the region that produce top scientific ideas and the city’s thriving investment community as well as markets. This led to the creation of the Endless Frontier Labs at NYU Stern—a program dedicated to transforming scientific breakthroughs into high-growth businesses.
We admit brilliant technical founders into the EFL program and have business leaders with great experience coach these founders. The coaching happens in a very structured fashion that keeps the founders on track. During this coaching process, we also introduce investors who get to observe the founders and invest in them. We further support the founders by matching them up with NYU Stern’s MBA students and other business related services through our corporate partners. This process accelerates the commercial success of science and technology based startups.
For science and technology based startups, it is asymmetric information—the founders may know about the technical qualities of their inventions better than investors, but have little business expertise or connections. Investors and business experts tend to be better informed about markets, but may not know much about the technical qualities of a scientific breakthrough. Building programs and ecosystems that reduce this asymmetric information problem can ease the path to commercializing novel science.
An unparalleled density of top class health care providers, academic research institutions, human capital, financial capital, and markets. NYC’s leadership is long overdue and can only get stronger.
Digital technologies over the past couple of decades have democratized access to a vast array of goods and services—ranging from banking through media and entertainment. We can hope and expect that technological disruption of the health industry will have some of the same effects in terms of improving access of marginalized communities to essential health care.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” A quote by Mark Zuckerberg that one of our mentors, Francois Nader, highlighted in a talk he gave at NYU.
Culture trumps structure.