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.




The Interdisciplinarian, Episode 4: Zach Mayo (RelishMBA) on Taking a Project From Idea to Tested Business Model

December 20, 2016

In this interview, you'll hear how RelishMBA co-founder Zach Mayo took his project from idea to tested business model. If you have a new idea and you're just dying to get some software built, don't listen to this interview because that's not what happened. Zach and his co-founder put their idea through the paces with minimum viable product (MVP) vehicles like PowerPoint and curated emails. Their idea changed substantially during the process and so did (ultimately) their software. If you want to hear about a lean, disciplined approach to new product development, tune in!


Ground Control’s Kim Morrish: A Journey to Leadership

December 7, 2016

Kim Morrish (MBA’93), Owner and Director of Ground Control Ltd. joins us as part of Darden's Leadership Speaker Series. Kim and her husband are directors and majority shareholders of Ground Control Ltd., the UK’s largest landscaping company with over £100 million in annual turnover. In 2016, Ground Control received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation for their leading edge technology that enables a rapid response to evolving customer demands. Additionally, Kim has launched several start-ups, acquired five businesses and enjoys backing promising entrepreneurs in new ventures. Kim holds a BA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Darden School of Business.


The Interdisciplinarian, Episode 3: Oren Root (VMware) on Managing Customer Product Value

December 1, 2016

Cultivating successful relationships between enterprise software vendors and their customers is a challenge- you know if you've been there! The customer has a lot of moving parts and your job is to listen, consider, and deliver them a good outcome. That's why they came to you in the first place. In this episode, Oren talks about his process at Socialcast (a VMWare company), balancing customer input with data and purposeful experimentation to get the customer great outcomes. 


Leadership in Global Consulting: A Darden “Fireside Chat” with Deloitte’s Jim Moffatt

November 17, 2016

Senior Associate Dean and Chief Strategy Officer Mike Lenox moderates a fireside chat with Jim Moffatt, CEO, Global Consulting, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and Deputy CEO, Deloitte LLP, as part of Darden's Leadership Speaker Series.

Since joining the Deloitte U.S. practice in 1987, Jim has earned a long-standing reputation for serving clients with distinction from strategy through execution and developing the next generation of leaders. He has served in various senior positions in Deloitte U.S., including serving as Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting LLP from 2011-2015. Additionally, Jim has authored multiple articles on leadership, innovation, talent management, and mentoring in top tier media outlets including Bloomberg Business Week, Fox Business, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Forbes,, Huffington Post, and Consulting magazine.

Recorded 15 November 2016.


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.


C-Suite Insights, Episode 5: “The Four Trends Impacting McKinsey Clients” McKinsey’s Dominic Barton

October 13, 2016

McKinsey & Co. Global Managing Partner Dominic Barton sat down with University of Virginia Darden School of Business Dean Scott Beardsley during a recent visit to the School for a Darden Ideas to Action C-Suite Insights interview where the two discussed the four key trends impacting McKinsey’s clients around the world. Barton explained how business model redesign, organizational change, the introduction of advanced technology and business resilience were burning issues for many companies, regardless of where they operate. Beardsley and Barton also discussed new models of leadership given vast global change for employees, MBA students and McKinsey clients.


Darden Speaker Series: “Leadership in the 21st Century and Global Forces” Dominic Barton, McKinsey

October 13, 2016
The Darden Leadership Speaker Series kicks-off its 2016-17 season with Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company.

In his 30 years with the firm, Dominic has advised clients in a range of industries including banking, consumer goods, high tech and industrials. Prior to his current role, Dominic was based in Shanghai as McKinsey’s Asia Chairman from 2004 to 2009 and led the Korea office from 2000 to 2004. 

For a full bio, visit

Introduction by Dean Scott Beardsley. Recorded 8 September 2016.

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.


C-Suite Insights, Episode 4: “Saving Children From Crisis in Syria” Save the Children CEO Carolyn Miles

August 4, 2016

More than 10 million Syrians are currently refugees in other countries or displaced from their homes within Syria, and more than five million of those people are children, according to Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles. University of Virginia Darden School of Business Dean Scott Beardsley sat down with Miles, a 1988 Darden graduate, to discuss the biggest issues facing the safety and wellbeing of children in the world today as well as how organizations like Save the Children and Darden can inspire people to take on the world’s biggest challenges. Miles told Beardsley of her travel around the world to more than 80 countries where she has seen families disrupted by everything from war in Syria to poverty in Ethiopia to natural disasters in Nepal, but said she remains inspired by meeting children and the parents who want a better world for them.