Josh Lerner

Josh Lerner

Scholar Title:

Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking

Department: Harvard Business School

Colleges / Universities: Harvard University


Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 214
Boston, MA 02163

Phone Number: (617) 495-6065


Josh Lerner is the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School and head of the Entrepreneurial Management unit. He graduated from Yale College with a Special Divisional Major which combined physics with the history of technology. He worked for several years on issues concerning technological innovation and public policy, at the Brookings Institution, for a public-private task force in Chicago, and on Capitol Hill. He then earned a Ph.D. from Harvard's Economics Department.

Much of his research focuses on the structure and role of venture capital and private equity organizations. (This research is collected in three books: The Venture Capital Cycle, The Money of Invention, and Boulevard of Broken Dreams.) He also examines the impact of intellectual property protection, particularly patents, on the competitive strategies of firms in high-technology industries. (His books Innovation and Its Discontents, The Comingled Code, and The Architecture of Innovation address these issues.) 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 about venture capital and private equity, and serves as vice-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Investing.

In the 1993-94 academic year, he introduced an elective course for second-year MBAs on private equity finance. Since then, “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 teaches a doctoral course on entrepreneurship, executive courses on private equity, and chairs the Owners-Presidents-Managers Program.


Ph.D. Economics, Harvard

B.A. Special Divisional Major, Yale University