Welcome to the 2010 Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference at IMD and EPFL!

In its four decades of existence, EPFL has established itself among the world’s best technical institutions. After a rapid growth EPFL now counts more than 7000 students and 3000 faculty & staff. With more than 110 nationalities represented on campus and more than 50% of the faculty coming from abroad, EPFL is one of the world’s most international universities.

An important role of academic institutions like EPFL is to educate the entrepreneurs and decision makers of tomorrow. New competences are needed, marrying knowledge of science and technology with competences in management, entrepreneurship and social sciences. EPFL lives and promotes the entrepreneurial spirit through many research partnerships with companies at the cutting edge of innovation, through its Innovation Square, a venue for exchanges between the scientific research sector and companies, through start-up facilities and through various initiatives stimulating innovation. To attract the best young entrepreneurs and companies, EPFL steadily explores new scientific domains and increases its visibility through excellence in research and education. Moreover, EPFL has a unique campus stimulating the exchange between students, researchers and entrepreneurs.

I welcome all participants of the BCERC 2010 conference to our campus and hope you enjoy your stay!

Patrick Aebischer
President of EPFL

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you on behalf of IMD to Lausanne and to the 2010 Babson College Entrepreneurial Research Conference (BCERC), which we are co-hosting with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

On the shores of Lake Geneva with splendid views of the Alps, Lausanne is a small but world-class city. Part of that world-class stature is due to its being home to both IMD, a leading international business school and executive education center, and EPFL, a renowned institution for science and technology. On many occasions over the years, IMD and EPFL have leveraged our respective strengths in fruitful collaboration. This conference is a perfect example of this.

Considered to be the premier research conference on entrepreneurship, the BCERC brings together some 350 of the world’s leading entrepreneurship researchers to share work that pushes the frontiers of the discipline. Likewise, IMD has long been at the forefront of the field, promoting the entrepreneurial spirit through cutting-edge research and innovative teaching. Indeed, entrepreneurship is a core feature of our degree and non-degree offerings, including our MBA program.

At IMD, we are acutely aware of the growing importance of entrepreneurship and innovation in a changing world. This is why we are proud to host the BCERC, where, we are certain, you will encounter a dynamic fusion of ideas that will help shape the future of entrepreneurial theory and practice.


John R. Wells
IMD President & Nestlé Professor

On behalf of IMD and EPFL we are pleased to welcome you to the 2010 Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference from June 9-12, 2010 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

After three years, the conference is coming back to Europe, and it is a great pleasure for us to host this distinguished event. We are proud to have you as our guests and we are looking forward to show you the vibrant entrepreneurial and academic community that has developed in the heart of Europe. Switzerland is not only home to some of the highest ranked cities worldwide when it comes to quality of life, it also boasts an ever growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and has created some of the most interesting high-tech projects as of recent times. The Swiss are known for world-class fundamental research, and micro-engineering precision technologies. Paired with a newly blossoming entrepreneurial spirit, great things are happening here. Future-proof technologies are developed and ultimately commercialized. A case in point as we are writing this welcome note is Solar Impulse, the first airplane designed to fly day and night without fuel, which has just left the ground for the first time.

Lausanne, located in the French speaking part of Switzerland, offers a particularly inspiring environment which, we are sure, is reflected in the conference program. While you have worked hard on packaging your cutting-edge research into interesting conference contributions, we have made extensive efforts to make this conference one of the best you have ever attended. You will not only get to know two premier schools in their respective fields, with EPFL and IMD each ranked at the top of their leagues on a global level, but you will also experience a part of the ‘art de vivre’ that makes Lausanne a perfect place for one of our field’s most important conferences.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to the “Swiss Riviera” for the 2010 BCERC.

Benoît Leleux, IMD
Stephan Schmidheiny Professor of Entrepreneurship
and Finance
Marc Gruber, EPFL
Associate Professor for Entrepreneurship and
Technology Commercialization

Babson College is pleased to co-sponsor the 2010 Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC) with two outstanding institutions of higher learning, The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Our thanks go to both for hosting this year’s forum.

Babson founded BCERC almost thirty years ago and, since then, this conference has been the largest and the most significant contributor of intellectual input to the field of entrepreneurship pedagogy and practice. Now more than ever, entrepreneurship is at the forefront of addressing the world’s social and economic problems in a myriad of ways — and policymakers, as well as teachers and scholars, have become reliant on the advances in research and their potential impacts.

The agenda of this year’s conference demonstrates why it continues to be the leading forum for sharing significant and timely new contributions in the field of entrepreneurship and for promoting new areas of research. I hope that you will be able to join us for this year’s conference, and know that you will find it an event well worth attending.

Leonard A. Schlesinger
Babson College

The 2010 Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference promises to be exciting and picturesque. A first for the Babson conference is to have not only one, but two co-hosts. The International Institute for Management Development, (IMD), and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, (EPFL), preeminent Universities in Switzerland and beyond, are teaming to bring you a conference built on leading edge research in the scenic setting of Lausanne. The natural beauty will surely inspire us all to reach our scholarly potential. I’m especially pleased to be working with fellow Co-Directors Benoit Leleux from IMD and Marc Gruber from EPFL. Both have been long time participants in the BCERC and both have enviable publication records in the field of entrepreneurship. Benoit and Marc will also be heading up the Doctoral Consortium Program and have gathered leading scholars to work with our Doctoral Consortium. I’m looking forward to an exciting intellectual and social experience in Lausanne. Hope to see you in Lausanne.

Andrew Zacharakis
2010 BCERC Director
Babson College