Home » Daniel J. Isenberg

Daniel J. Isenberg


Former or present entrepreneur, professor, venture capitalist, angel investor, policy advisor, change agent and researcher.

Daniel Isenberg taught for 11 years at the Harvard Business School, and is currently Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School and Babson Executive Education Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice and founding director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project. In July 2013 his first book, Worthless Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value, was published by Harvard Business Review Press (order here). In June 2010 Harvard Business Review (HBR) published his “How to Start an Entrepreneurial Revolution,” as the “Big Idea” feature article, following his seminal HBR piece, “The Global Entrepreneur” (2008), and followed by “Entrepreneurs and the Cult of Failure” (April, 2011).  His HBR blog on entrepreneurship has attracted hundreds of thousands of readers, and he blogs for the Economist, Huffington Post, and QZ. With Babson Executive Education Dan is inaugurating the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Development Program.

Dan has taught at Harvard, Columbia, Insead, Reykjavik, and the Technion. He has been an entrepreneur and venture capitalist and is an active angel investor. Dan has addressed or advised senior policy groups in over a dozen countries, including Brazil, Israel, Denmark, Colombia, United States, Mexico, and Canada. Dan has worked on entrepreneurship policy with the G20 YES, World Economic Forum, and advised the White House on the initial concept of StartUp America. Dan teaches in the Harvard Kennedy School executive program on Innovation for Economic Development. In 2012 he was awarded the Pio Manzu Gold Medal for “pioneering and innovative work in economic development” signed by Mikhail Gorbachev.

Prior to July 2009, Dan served for eleven years on the Harvard Business School faculty: From 2005-2009 he taught in the Entrepreneurial Management unit, where he developed the popular course, International Entrepreneurship, publishing 27 cases on global entrepreneurs. Dan also taught in the required first year course, The Entrepreneurial Manager, and designed and led HBS’s new India and Israel International Immersion Programs on entrepreneurship. From 1981-1987, Dan taught Organizational Behavior and Managing Organizational Effectiveness at HBS, when he conducted research programs on human interaction in small groups and managerial cognition, resulting in his first feature HBR article, How Senior Managers Think,” (1984), and “The Tactics of Strategic Opportunism.” (1987), as well as scientific publications in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology etc. Dan is on the advisory board of Fundacion Chile.

Between 1972-1976, and 1987-2004, Dan was an entrepreneur and venture capitalist in Israel where he founded Triangle Technologies, which executed cross-border transactions with technology companies, concluding over 100 deals with $100s of million in value. Dan helped establish two Israeli venture capital funds and was general partner in one of them. From 1987-1989 he created a course at the Technion called Technology-Based Entrepreneurship, directed the Tefen Entrepreneurs Program with Stef Wertheimer, and also directed the Technion Entrepreneurial Associates with MIT Professor Ed Roberts. Dan has served as director of several private and NASDAQ-listed companies. Dan speaks and consults frequently on global entrepreneurship and is often quoted in the Economist, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Financial Times, Forbes, etc., and has been interviewed on CNN, Bloomberg, WGBH, and the BBC. Dan is on the advisory boards of the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship, TutuDesk, and Heritage Link Brands.

In 1981 Dan received the Ph.D. degree in Social Psychology from Harvard University under the mentorship of Robert Freed Bales. Dan maintains homes in Boston and in his home town of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is divorced with 4 grown children. Dan enjoys salsa dancing (On2), jazz, cooking, collecting wine, and not-catching-fish (at which he excels); nevertheless, he is most passionate about spending time with his kids (two of whom are entrepreneurs), new granddaughter, and being surprised by what entrepreneurs around the world can accomplish.


A.B., University of Oregon,
 Ph.D., Harvard University

Areas of Expertise

Entrepreneurship Ecosystems; Entrepreneurship; Venture Capital


+1-508-274-0837 (m)