Lakshmi Balachandra

  • Assistant Professor
Academic Division: Entrepreneurship
781-239-6446

Bio

Lakshmi Balachandra is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Babson College. her research examines the impact of trust, gender and other entrepreneurial characteristics in acquiring early-stage funding. She has been a Fellow in the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government focusing on the impact of gender biases on women entrepreneurs. She was awarded fellowships for her research on VC decision-making from the Kauffman Foundation and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

She was a co-author of the Diana Report, 2014, the 1st comprehensive analysis of venture capital investments in women entrepreneurs since 1999. Her research has been published in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, The Journal of Business Ethics, and Negotiation Journal, and her work has received a wide range of press including the AP, USA Today, Harvard Business Review, Businessweek, the Financial Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc. Magazine, 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 and organizations including the Angel Capital Association, Novartis, Shell and the CIA, and frequently guest lectures in several courses at the Harvard Business School. She taught a course she designed on improvisation and leadership at the MIT Sloan School of Management for 10 years.

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.

Academic Degrees

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

Academic Interests

Entrepreneurship, Gender, Pitching, Decision-Making

Awards & Honors

  • 2018 — Research Fellow, International Diana Institute
  • 2018 — Academic Excellence Award; Finalist, Woman of the Year , India New England News
  • 2018 — Research Award, Babson Faculty Research Fund
  • 2017 — Research Award, Babson Faculty Research Fund
  • 2016 — Research Award, Babson Faculty Research Fund
  • 2015 — Research Award , Babson Faculty Research Fund
  • 2011 — Women and Public Policy Fellowship, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • 2011 — Kauffman Foundation 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
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Courses

  • Degree Courses 2019

    • EPS 3501 ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND OPPORTUNITY
    • FME 1001 FOUNDATIONS OF MGMT & ENTREPRENEURS
  • Degree Courses 2018

    • EPS 3501 ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND OPPORTUNITY
    • FME 1000 FOUNDATIONS OF MGMT & ENTREPRENEURS
    • FME 1001 FOUNDATIONS OF MGMT & ENTREPRENEURS

Publications

Journal Articles

  • Balachandra, L., Briggs, T., Eddleston, K., Brush, C.S. (2019). Don't Pitch Like a Girl!: How Gender Stereotypes Influence Investor Decisions. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. Vol: 43, Issue: 1, Page: 116-137.
  • Balachandra, L., Stoddard, D.B. (2018). Rahama Wright and Shea Yeleen. Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy.
  • Balachandra, L. (2018). The improvisational entrepreneur: Improvisation training in entrepreneurship education. Journal of Small Business Management.
  • Balachandra, L., Brush, C.S., Briggs, T., Eddleston, K. (2017). Don't pitch like a girl! How gender stereotypes influence investor decisions. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.
  • Brush, C.S., Greene, P.G., Balachandra, L., Davis, A. (2017). The Gender Gap in Venture Capital-Progress, Problems and Perspectives . Venture Capital: An International Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance. Taylor Francis. link
  • Eddleston, K.A., Ladge, J.J., Mitteness, C., Balachandra, L. (2016). Do You See What I See? Signaling Effects of Gender and Firm Characteristics on Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. Vol: 40, Issue: 3, Page: 489-514.
  • 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. Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.. 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. Vol: 112, Issue: 3, Page: 385-395. Springer.
  • Balachandra, L. (2011). Pitching Trustworthiness: Cues for Trust in Early-Stage Investment Decision-Making. Available at SSRN 2205965.
  • Jones, C., Livne-Tarandach, R., Balachandra, L. (2010). Rhetoric that wins clients: Entrepreneurial firms’ use of institutional logics when competing for resources. Research in the Sociology of Work. Vol: 21, Page: 183–218.
  • Balachandra, L., Briggs, A.R. (2009). The Secrets of Success: The Role of Idea Sharing In Early Stage Entrepreneurship (Interactive Paper). Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. Vol: 29, Issue: 4, Page: 16.
  • Balachandra, L. (2005). An Introduction. Negotiation Journal. Vol: 21, Issue: 4, Page: 411–413. Wiley Online Library.
  • Balachandra, L., Barrett, F., Bellman, H., Fisher, C., Susskind, L. (2005). Improvisation and Mediation: Balancing Acts. Negotiation Journal. Vol: 21, Issue: 4, Page: 425-434. Wiley Online Library.
  • Balachandra, L., Bordone, R.C., Menkel-Meadow, C., Ringstrom, P., Sarath, E. (2005). Improvisation and Negotiation: Expecting the Unexpected. Negotiation Journal. Vol: 21, Issue: 4, Page: 415–423. Wiley Online Library.
  • Balachandra, L., Crossan, M., Devin, L., Leary, K., Patton, B. (2005). Improvisation and Teaching Negotiation: Developing Three Essential Skills. Negotiation Journal. Vol: 21, Issue: 4, Page: 435-441. Wiley Online Library.

Cases and Teaching Notes

  • Stoddard, D.B., Balachandra, L. (2016). ISlide Inc. Babson College.
  • Stoddard, D.B., Balachandra, L. (2016). ISlide Inc. - Teaching Note. Babson College.

Book Chapters

  • Balachandra, L. (2018). Dealing with union negotiations. Edward Elgar.
  • Balachandra, L. (2014). Exercises to practice empathy: Negotiation for resource acquisition: Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach. Page: 146-151. Edward Elgar Pub.
  • Balachandra, L. (2014). Exercises to practice play: Improvisation for creativity: Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach. Page: 118-124. Edward Elgar Pub.

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

  • Balachandra, L., Fischer, K., Brush, C.S. (2017). Words Matter: Men, Women and the Power of the Spoken Word in Entrepreneurial Pitching: Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. Vol: 2016. Babson College. link
  • Balachandra, L., Sapienza, H.J., Kim, D. (2015). Investor mentor: Evaluating the entrepreneur as protege: Academy of Management Proceedings. Vol: 2015, Issue: 1, Page: 17605.
  • Brush, C.S., Greene, P.G., Balachandra, L., Davis, A. (2015). Venture capital investing: Are women perceived as riskier investments: Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research.
  • Balachandra, L., Sapienza, H., Kim, D. (2014). How critical cues influence angels' investment preferences: Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. Vol: 34, Issue: 1. link
  • 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. Vol: 33, Issue: 8. Babson College. link
  • Balachandra, L., Welter, C., Greene, P.G. (2013). Women of business or the business of women: Projecting dollar appeal (SUMMARY): Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. Vol: 33, Issue: 8. Babson College. link

Articles - Circular or newsletter (e.g., Babson Insight)

  • Balachandra, L. (2018). How to get the best deal for yourself: Tips for negotiating as a woman in a world of implicit gender bias. James Beard Foundation.
  • Balachandra, L. (2018). Investors punish entrepreneurs for stereotypically feminine behaviors. Harvard Business Review.
  • Balachandra, L. (2016). The Improvisational Entrepreneur. Babson College.
  • Balachandra, L. (2013). How Food Improves Negotiations: Build Magazine. The Build Network.
  • Balachandra, L. (2013). Should you eat while you negotiate?: Harvard Business Review . Harvard Business Publishing. link

Presentations

  • Measuring Social Value: How Entrepreneurs offer “impact” returns to VCs Balachandra, L. Stoddard, D. USASBE, St. Petersburg, Florida (2019)
  • How non-financial unconscious biases drive investor interest in ventures - and how to get past them Balachandra, L. WEBos Women's Entrepreneurship More Than Brunch Speaker Series, Boston, MA (2018)
  • Ask and she shall receive: Exploring how high growth women entrepreneurs’ opportunity to ask influences outcomes Balachandra, L. Randolph, A. Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Waterford, Ireland (2018)
  • Separating the Wheat form the Chaff: A Configurational Analysis of Entrepreneurs' Pitches to Angel Investors Balachandra, L. George, B. Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Waterford, Ireland (2018)
  • Can entrepreneurs have a life and a venture: A model of the entrepreneurial process from an enrichment perspective Greenberg, D. Balachandra, L. Work Family Research Network Conference, Washington DC (2018)
  • How non-financial unconscious biases drive investor interest in ventures-and how to get past them Balachandra, L. Angel Capital Association, Boston, MA (2018)
  • The improvisational entrepreneur Balachandra, L. USASBE, Los Angeles, CA (2018)
  • Men, women and the power of the spoken word in entrepreneurial pitching Balachandra, L. Fischer, K. Brush, C. Academy of Management Conference, Atlanta, GA (2017)
  • Revisiting the female under-performance hypothesis in venture funded businesses Brush, C. Greene, P. Balachandra, L. Asis, A. Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Norman, OK (2017)
  • Perception of Opportunity Novelty and New Venture Creation Randolph, A. Balachandra, L. Bailey, J. United States Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (USASBE), Philadelphia, PA (2017)
  • Rahama Wright and Shea Yeleen Balachandra, L. Stoddard, D. USASBE, Philadelphia, PA (2017)
  • Bridging the Funding Gap Balachandra, L. Angel Capital Association, Boston, MA (2016)
  • Men, women and the power of the spoken word in entrepreneurial pitching Balachandra, L. Fischer, K. Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference , Bodo, Norway (2016)
  • Pitching trustworthiness: How trust impacts early-stage investment decision-making Balachandra, L. Brush, C. Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference , Bodo, Norway (2016)
  • Can entrepreneurship close the gender gap? Balachandra, L. FINCA International Women's Day Event, Washington, DC (2016)
  • ISlide USA Stoddard, D. Balachandra, L. USASBE , San Diego, CA (2016)
  • Angel investor mentor: Evaluating the entrepreneur as protege Balachandra, L. Sapienza, H. Kim, D. Academy of Management Conference, Vancouver, Canada (2015)
  • Man to "man:" Masculinity and family business succession Byrne, J. Salma, F. Balachandra, L. 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. 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. , . Diana Conference, Babson College (2015)
  • What investors notice and value in a pitch Balachandra, L. Boston Women's Venture Summit, Boston, MA (2015)
  • Improvisation and Negotiation Master Class Balachandra, L. Negotiation, Harvard Business School (2015)
  • What makes a pitch a hit: What investors value in a pitch Balachandra, L. Burton T. Morgan Foundation Library Distinguished Speaker Series, Hudson, OH (2015)
  • Improvisational Leadership: Thinking on your feet Balachandra, L. Harvard University Leadership Institute, Harvard University (2015)
  • How critical cues influence angels’ investment preferences Balachandra, L. Sapienza, H. Kim, D. 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. Entrepreneurship Research Exemplars Conference, Keystone, CO (2014)
  • Negotiation Workshop Balachandra, L. ICIC , Boston, MA (2014)
  • Improvisational Negotiation Balachandra, L. Global Summit on Negotiation & Trust, Phoenix, XZ (2013)
  • Just Trust Me! Negotiating Trust Between Entrepreneurs and Investors Balachandra, L. 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. 33rd Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Wellesley, MA (2013)
  • The Women of Business or the Business of Women: Projecting Dollar Appeal Balachandra, L. 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. Women’s Leadership Institute, (2012)
  • Entrepreneurial Women? Exploring the Role of Gender in Short-Term and Long-Term Entrepreneurship Balachandra, L. Women and Public Policy Program, Cambridge, MA (2012)
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