Technology Entrepreneurship: Lab to Market

Explore how entrepreneurs move technology from lab to market.

Taught by Harvard Business School faculty, this course teaches a systematic process for technology commercialization to bring innovations to the world.

Featuring faculty from:
5 weeks
2-4 hours a week
Certificate Price
Program Dates
Start Technology Entrepreneurship: Lab to Market today.

What You'll Learn

Universities, government labs, and private companies invest billions of dollars in the research and development of breakthrough technologies that have the potential to transform industries and lives—but very few of these technologies ever leave the lab. Those that do often fail to find compelling market applications. So what determines success? How does an invention become an enduring innovation?

In this introductory course, developed in collaboration with the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard and the University of California San Diego, you’ll explore how entrepreneurs match promising technology with customer needs to launch successful new businesses. Using real-world examples, you’ll apply critical thinking to commercialize technologies, and you’ll learn about the venture creation process from founders, funders, and industry experts.

The course will be delivered via edX and connect learners around the world. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Develop a systematic approach to technology entrepreneurship
  • Generate new use scenarios by matching customer needs with promising technology seeds
  • Align business and operating models
  • Evaluate a technology for readiness and market fit
  • Position opportunities to secure funding

Your Instructors

Karim R. Lakhani is a Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and one of the Principal Investigators of the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH). He specializes in the management of technological innovation in firms and communities. His research is on distributed innovation systems and the movement of innovative activity to the edges of organizations and into communities. He has extensively studied the emergence of open source software communities and their unique innovation and product development strategies.

He has also investigated how critical knowledge from outside of the organization can be accessed through innovation contests. Currently, Professor Lakhani is investigating incentives and behavior in contests and the mechanisms behind scientific team formation through field experiments on the Topcoder platform and the Harvard Medical School. Professor Lakhani’s research on distributed innovation has been published in Harvard Business Review, Innovations, Management Science, Nature Biotechnology, Organization Science, Research Policy and the Sloan Management Review.

He is the co-editor of Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software (MIT Press), a book on community-based innovation. He has also published teaching cases on leading organizations practicing distributed innovation including:, InnoCentive, Google, Myelin Repair Foundation, SAP, Threadless, TopCoder and Wikipedia. His research has been featured in publications like BusinessWeek, The Boston Globe, The Economist, Fast Company, Inc., The New York Times, The New York Academy of Sciences Magazine, Science, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Wired. Professor Lakhani was awarded his PhD in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds an MS degree in Technology and Policy from MIT, and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and Management from McMaster University in Canada.

He was a recipient of the Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship and a four year doctoral fellowship from Canada's Social Science and Humanities Research Council. Prior to coming to HBS he served as a Lecturer in the Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship group at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Professor Lakhani has also worked in sales, marketing and new product development roles at GE Healthcare and was a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group. He was also the inaugural recipient of the TUM-Peter Pribilla Innovation Leadership Award.

Professor Vish Krishnan is an accomplished scholar and world-renowned consultant who has worked with the senior leadership at companies such as Nissan, Zeiss, Amylin Pharma, Motorola, and Sony on organizational, cultural, and digital transformation. He is currently Chaired Professor at the University of California, San Diego’s Rady School of Management and a faculty affiliate at the Harvard Business School. Vish Krishnan received his doctorate degree in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has co-authored some of the most cited articles on the topics of innovation and product development/management.

He has also been asked to serve in editorial roles of prestigious management journals. His work with Dell Computer and other companies has been documented as a Harvard Business School case study and taught at a number of top universities. His work with 3M resulted in an appearance on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Professor Krishnan worked with Nissan and Sony on the transformation and growth of their international businesses, including India and South Asia. Dr. Krishnan is the winner of several major teaching and research awards including the Most Valuable Professor award.

Ways to take this course

When you enroll in this course, you will have the option of pursuing a Verified Certificate or Auditing the Course.

A Verified Certificate costs $149 and provides unlimited access to full course materials, activities, tests, and forums. At the end of the course, learners who earn a passing grade can receive a certificate. 

Alternatively, learners can Audit the course for free and have access to select course material, activities, tests, and forums. Please note that this track does not offer a certificate for learners who earn a passing grade.

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