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

  • 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

Courses

Degree Courses 2017-2018

  • FME 1001: FOUNDATIONS OF MGMT & ENTREPRENEURS

Degree Courses 2016-2017

Publications

Journal Articles

  • 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 link
  • 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. (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, 21, 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, 29(4), 16.
  • Balachandra, L. (2005). An Introduction. Negotiation Journal, 21(4), 411–413.
  • Balachandra, L., Barrett, F., Bellman, H., Fisher, C., Susskind, L. (2005). Improvisation and Mediation: Balancing Acts. Negotiation Journal, 21(4), 425-434.
  • Balachandra, L., Bordone, R.C., Menkel-Meadow, C., Ringstrom, P., Sarath, E. (2005). Improvisation and Negotiation: Expecting the Unexpected. Negotiation Journal, 21(4), 415–423.
  • Balachandra, L., Crossan, M., Devin, L., Leary, K., Patton, B. (2005). Improvisation and Teaching Negotiation: Developing Three Essential Skills. Negotiation Journal, 21(4), 435-441.

Articles

  • Balachandra, L. (2016, September) The Improvisational Entrepreneur.: Babson College
  • Balachandra, L. (2013, February) How Food Improves Negotiations. Build Magazine: The Build Network
  • Balachandra, L. (2013, January (1st Quarter/Winter)) Should you eat while you negotiate?. Harvard Business Review : Harvard Business Publishing. link

Cases and Teaching Notes

  • Stoddard, D.B., Balachandra, L. (2016). ISlide Inc.
  • Stoddard, D.B., Balachandra, L. (2016). ISlide Inc. - Teaching Note.
  • Balachandra, L., Stoddard, D.B. (2017). Rahama Wright and Shea Yeleen.

Book Chapters

  • Balachandra, L. (2014). Exercises to practice empathy: Negotiation for resource acquisition. In Heidi Neck, Patricia Greene and Candida Brush (Ed.), Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach. Northampton: Edward Elgar Pub
  • Balachandra, L. (2014). Exercises to practice play: Improvisation for creativity. In Heidi Neck, Patricia Greene and Candida Brush (Ed.), Teaching Entrepreneurship: A Practice-Based Approach. Northampton: 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: Women and the power of the spoken word in entrepreneurial pitching. Proceedings of the 77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management,
  • 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, Wellesley, MA, USA
  • Balachandra, L., Fischer, K. (2016). Men, women and the power of the spoken word in entrepreneurial pitching.
  • Balachandra, L., Sapienza, H.J., Kim, D. (2015). Investor mentor: Evaluating the entrepreneur as protege. Academy of Management 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,
  • 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,
  • Balachandra, L., Welter, C., Greene, P.G. (2013). Women of business or the business of women: Projecting dollar appeal (SUMMARY). Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research,

Presentations

  • Separating the Wheat form the Chaff: A Configurational Analysis of Entrepreneurs' Pitches to Angel Investors
    Balachandra, L., George, B. Separating the Wheat form the Chaff: A Configurational Analysis of Entrepreneurs' Pitches to Angel Investors 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. Can entrepreneurs have a life and a venture: A model of the entrepreneurial process from an enrichment perspective Work Family Research Network Conference, Washington DC (2018)
  • Men, women and the power of the spoken word in entrepreneurial pitching
    Balachandra, L., Fischer, K., Brush, C. Men, women and the power of the spoken word in entrepreneurial pitching 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. Revisiting the female under-performance hypothesis in venture funded businesses Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Norman, OK (2017)
  • Perception of Opportunity Novelty and New Venture Creation
    Randolph, A., Balachandra, L., Bailey, J. Perception of Opportunity Novelty and New Venture Creation United States Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (USASBE), Philadelphia, PA (2017)
  • Rahama Wright and Shea Yeleen
    Balachandra, L., Stoddard, D. Rahama Wright and Shea Yeleen USASBE, Philadelphia, PA (2017)
  • Bridging the Funding Gap
    Balachandra, L. Bridging the Funding Gap Angel Capital Association, Boston, MA (2016)
  • Men, women and the power of the spoken word in entrepreneurial pitching
    Balachandra, L., Fischer, K. Men, women and the power of the spoken word in entrepreneurial pitching Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference , Bodo, Norway (2016)
  • Pitching trustworthiness: How trust impacts early-stage investment decision-making
    Balachandra, L., Brush, C. Pitching trustworthiness: How trust impacts early-stage investment decision-making Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference , Bodo, Norway (2016)
  • Can entrepreneurship close the gender gap?
    Balachandra, L. Can entrepreneurship close the gender gap? FINCA International Women's Day Event, Washington, DC (2016)
  • 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)
  • Negotiation Workshop
    Balachandra, L. Negotiation Workshop ICIC , Boston, MA (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)