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Lakshmi Balachandra

Assistant Professor

Academic Division: Entrepreneurship
781-239-6446

Bio

Lakshmi Balachandra is a leading expert in improvisation, negotiation and entrepreneurial pitching. She is Fellow in the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where she examines the impact of gender on entrepreneurial success in acquiring early-stage funding. Her research investigates the applications of improvisation and trust in negotiation and entrepreneurship. Her dissertation on entrepreneurial pitches and trust development in angel investors was awarded both a Graduate Research Fellowship from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and a Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Her paper on improvisation and leadership was awarded a Barry Armandi Best Student Paper award in Management Education from the Academy of Management. Her research has been published in The Journal of Business Ethics, Negotiation Journal, and Negotiation and her work has received a wide range of press including Businessweek, Chronicle of Higher Education, the Financial Times, Harvard Magazine, Inc. Magazine, India Abroad, and Reuters. Dr. Balachandra has taught courses and international programs to students and executives on entrepreneurship, negotiation, improvisation, and leadership. She consults to a wide range of companies including Goldman Sachs, Genzyme, Novartis, Shell and the CIA, and frequently guest lectures in several courses at the Harvard Business School. She teaches a course she designed on improvisation and leadership at the MIT Sloan School of Management. In her professional career, she has been intimately acquainted in multiple aspects of entrepreneurship. She has been an entrepreneur – she opened and operated a retail specialty toy store in California upon graduating from college. And she has worked in entrepreneurial finance as she spent seven years in venture capital and in mergers and acquisitions investment banking with firms in Boston, Massachusetts and San Diego, California. While working for the largest women-owned, women-focused venture capital firm in the country, she founded the Women’s Venture Capital Network, the first network of its kind in the country where she organized, created and managed numerous networking events and educational panels for women professionals in the industry. During (and in-between) her professional career in finance and entrepreneurship, Dr. Balachandra has also been a professional stand-up comedian and improvisational comedian performing in comedy clubs across the country. Prior to joining Babson College, Dr. Balachandra was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Northeastern University in Boston, MA and a Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Harvard Extension School. She has also taught at Boston College and UCSD Rady’s School of Management. She received her BA in Environmental Studies and Economics at the University of Chicago and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. She has a PhD in Management from Boston College.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph D, Boston College
  • MBA, MIT Sloan
  • BA, University of Chicago

Academic Interests

Entrepreneurship

Awards & Honors

  • 2011 - Women and Public Policy Fellowship, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • 2011 - Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • 2010 - Graduate Research Fellowship, Program of Negotiation at Harvard Law School
  • 2009 - Next Generation Research Grant, Program of Negotiation at Harvard Law School
  • 2008 - Barry Armandi Award, Academy of Management

Courses

Degree Courses 2016-2017
  • FME 1000: FOUNDATIONS OF MGMT & ENTREPRENEURS
Degree Courses 2015-2016
  • FME 1000: FOUNDATIONS OF MGMT & ENTREPRENEURS

Publications

Journal Articles

  • Eddleston, K.A., Ladge, J.J., Mitteness, C., Balachandra, L. (2014). Do You See What I See? Signaling Effects of Gender and Firm Characteristics on Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice link
  • Nielsen, R.P., Balachandra, L., Nielsen, A.L. (2013). Whistle-Blowing Methods for Navigating Within and Helping Reform Regulatory Institutions. Journal of Business Ethics, 112(3), 385-395.
  • Balachandra, L., Bordone, R., Menkel-Meadow, C., Ringstrom, P., Sarath, E. (2005). Improvisation and Negotiation: Expecting the Unexpected. Negotiation Journal

Cases and Teaching Notes

  • Stoddard, D.B., Balachandra, L. (2016). ISlide Inc..

Reports

  • Brush, C.S., Balachandra, L., Davis, A., Greene, P.G. (2014). Investing in the Power of Women: Progress Report on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative. Babson College link
  • Brush, C.S., Balachandra, L., Davis, A., Greene, P.G. (2014). The Diana Report - Bridging the Gap for Women Entrepreneurs

Conference Proceedings

  • Brush, C.S., Greene, P.G., Balachandra, L., Davis, A. (2015). Venture capital investing: Are women perceived as riskier investments. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research,
  • Balachandra, L., Sapienza, H., Kim, D. (2014). How critical cues influence angels’ investment preferences. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, Wellesley, MA,
  • Balachandra, L., Briggs, A.R., Eddleston, K., Brush, C.S. (2013). Pitch like a Man: Gender stereotypes and entrepreneur pitch success. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, Wellesley, MA,

Others

  • Balachandra, L. (2013). How Food Improves Negotiations: The Build Network
  • Balachandra, L. (2013). Should you eat while you negotiate?: Harvard Business Publishing link

Presentations

  • ISlide USA
    Stoddard, D., Balachandra, L. ISlide USA USASBE , San Diego, CA (2016)
  • Angel investor mentor: Evaluating the entrepreneur as protege
    Balachandra, L., Sapienza, H., Kim, D. Angel investor mentor: Evaluating the entrepreneur as protege Academy of Management Conference, Vancouver, Canada (2015)
  • Man to "man:" Masculinity and family business succession
    Byrne, J., Salma, F., Balachandra, L. Man to "man:" Masculinity and family business succession Academy of Management Conference, Vancouver, Canada (2015)
  • Venture capital investing: Are women entrepreneurs perceived as riskier investments?
    Brush, C., Greene, P., Balachandra, L., Davis, A. Venture capital investing: Are women entrepreneurs perceived as riskier investments? Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Babson College (2015)
  • Gender in venture capital: Does homophily matter in investment decisions?
    Brush, C., Balachandra, L., Davis, A., Greene, P., , Gender in venture capital: Does homophily matter in investment decisions? Diana Conference, Babson College (2015)
  • What investors notice and value in a pitch
    Balachandra, L. What investors notice and value in a pitch Boston Women's Venture Summit, Boston, MA (2015)
  • Improvisation and Negotiation Master Class
    Balachandra, L. Improvisation and Negotiation Master Class Negotiation, Harvard Business School (2015)
  • What makes a pitch a hit: What investors value in a pitch
    Balachandra, L. What makes a pitch a hit: What investors value in a pitch Burton T. Morgan Foundation Library Distinguished Speaker Series, Hudson, OH (2015)
  • Improvisational Leadership: Thinking on your feet
    Balachandra, L. Improvisational Leadership: Thinking on your feet Harvard University Leadership Institute, Harvard University (2015)
  • How critical cues influence angels’ investment preferences
    Balachandra, L., Sapienza, H., Kim, D. How critical cues influence angels’ investment preferences 34th Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference and Doctoral Consortium, London, Ontario (2014)
  • Pitching altered visions of success: How entrepreneurs shift opportunities based on investor feedback
    Balachandra, L., Sapienza, H., Kim, D. Pitching altered visions of success: How entrepreneurs shift opportunities based on investor feedback Entrepreneurship Research Exemplars Conference, Keystone, CO (2014)
  • Improvisational Negotiation
    Balachandra, L. Improvisational Negotiation Global Summit on Negotiation & Trust, Phoenix, XZ (2013)
  • Just Trust Me! Negotiating Trust Between Entrepreneurs and Investors
    Balachandra, L. Just Trust Me! Negotiating Trust Between Entrepreneurs and Investors Global Summit on Negotiation & Trust, Phoenix, AZ (2013)
  • Pitch Like a Man: Gender Stereotypes and Pitch Success
    Brush, C., Balachandra, L., Briggs, A., Eddleston, K. Pitch Like a Man: Gender Stereotypes and Pitch Success 33rd Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Wellesley, MA (2013)
  • The Women of Business or the Business of Women: Projecting Dollar Appeal
    Balachandra, L. The Women of Business or the Business of Women: Projecting Dollar Appeal 33rd Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC), Lyon, France (2013)
  • Entrepreneurial Women? Exploring the Role of Gender in Short-Term and Long-Term Entrepreneurship
    Balachandra, L. Entrepreneurial Women? Exploring the Role of Gender in Short-Term and Long-Term Entrepreneurship Women’s Leadership Institute(2012)
  • Entrepreneurial Women? Exploring the Role of Gender in Short-Term and Long-Term Entrepreneurship
    Balachandra, L. Entrepreneurial Women? Exploring the Role of Gender in Short-Term and Long-Term Entrepreneurship Women and Public Policy Program, Cambridge, MA (2012)