Research and Relevance, Episode 5: Decarbonizing the Automobile Industry

November 28, 2017

Scientists assert that global warming must be kept below two degrees Celsius to avoid insurmountable global disruption. Getting there will require near total decarbonization of economic activity by 2060. Transportation accounts for a quarter of GHG emissions in the U.S. but with the help of electric technologies we believe that we can decarbonize the passenger car sector by this deadline. The first part of the podcast tells the story of the electric car and the market conditions and innovations that have paved the way for electric cars today. We then follow the story with an interview with Darden Professor Mike Lenox (, an expert in business innovation and strategy and co-author on the report titled Path to 2060: Decarbonization of the Automobile Industry.



Research and Relevance, Episode 4: Visualizing the Startup Genome

January 24, 2017

What makes startups successful? Professors Raul Chao from Darden and Batten Fellow Rahul Basole from Georgia Tech discuss their research project, Visualizing the Startup Genome. This study brings together innovation science and computational toolkits to understand how the core elements of startup activities such as recruitment and financing, as well as the sequence of these events, relate to performance. Their project analyzes structured and unstructured data, as well as other forms of data such as images and video, to gain insights useful for innovation leaders. They also discuss the importance of data visualization for effective communication with a variety of stakeholders. Hosted by Erika Herz from Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.




Research & Relevance, Episode 3: The Economic Impact of Entrepreneurial Alumni - A Case Study of the University of Virginia

October 13, 2016

How can universities be a significant engine for economic growth in their local communities and beyond? In The Economic Impact of Entrepreneurial Alumni: A Case Study of the University of Virginia, researchers Michael Lenox, Andrew King and Asif Mehedi from Darden, along with Batten Fellow Charles Eesley from Stanford, look at the pathways by which universities help generate economic growth and create jobs. They examine–based on a survey undertaken in 2013–the entrepreneurial efforts of U.Va. alumni who have founded new ventures, been one of the first five employees, served on the governing or advisory board, or provided capital to the venture. Carefully extrapolated, the responses to the survey suggest that entrepreneurially active alumni have created approximately 65,000 companies, 2.3 million jobs, and estimated annual global revenues of $1.6 trillion. The researchers discuss the methodology, data visualization, and ramifications of their work. Hosted by Erika Herz of Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. For an overview, read the Darden News.


Research & Relevance, Episode 2: New Ways of Financing Early Stage Entrepreneurs

September 1, 2016

What are the best ways to motivate socially-minded entrepreneurs to persevere in their quest to take on the world’s most pressing challenges? Using the tools of decision analysis and certainty equivalents, Darden professor and Batten Fellow Sam Bodily compared various backer financing mechanisms that encourage founders to launch a startup that has unacceptable risk although positive expected payout. These mechanisms include three traditional models: equity, incentive gifts, and insurance against downside loss. He also looked at two new ideas: swap hedges and revenue contracts, calculating the comparative risk-adjusted attractiveness of each mechanism to the entrepreneur for a similar level of expected cost to the backer. These efficient new ideas eliminate moral hazard and leave ownership in the hands of the entrepreneur. Hosted by Erika Herz of Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. To learn more, read Darden Ideas to Action.


Research & Relevance, Episode 1: Dividend Buybacks, What are the Facts?

August 4, 2016

Corporate buyback activity has been a hot topic for investment analysts and market watchers.  Companies have bought back trillions of dollars of their own stock since the financial crisis.  Is buyback activity propping up the stock market?  Are buybacks a function of the broader economic environment?  What’s next?  Jake DuBois and Frank Coughlin, two Darden Capital Management student leaders spent a semester looking at the academic and industry research to gain a better understanding.  A research course from the Mayo Center for Asset Management helped them to explore the topic.