Peter Cohan

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Peter S. Cohan[1] is an American businessman, author, venture capitalist, and financier.[2]


Cohan earned a BA in art history in 1979 and a BS in electrical engineering in 1980 from Swarthmore College. He did graduate work in computer science at MIT and earned an MBA from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


Prior to 1994, when he started Peter S. Cohan & Associates, a management consulting and venture capital firm, Cohan worked for Index Systems, an information technology management consulting firm started by several MIT professors; and at The Monitor Company, a strategy consulting firm co-founded by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter, an expert on competition and strategy.

His management consulting practice has conducted over 150 projects for companies seeking to identify, evaluate, and profit from growth opportunities created by changing technology and governments that want to spur start-ups that commercialize their local universities' intellectual property. He has invested in six private companies, three of which were sold for a total of $2 billion.

Cohan is the author of 11 books including Hungry Start-up Strategy: Creating New Ventures with Limited Resources and Unlimited Vision (BK Business, 2012), Export Now: Five Keys to Entering New Markets (Wiley, 2011), co-authored with Frank Lavin, Capital Rising (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010), co-authored by U. Srinivasa Rangan, You Can't Order Change (Portfolio, 2009), Value Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 2003) and Net Profit (Wiley, 2001). He has contributed to six compendiums of modern management.

He has taught at Stanford University, MIT, the University of Hong Kong, and the Olin College of Engineering. He is a visiting professor at EADA in Barcelona and since May 2002 has been an executive-in-residence at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Since September 2005, he has taught business strategy to undergraduate and MBA students at Babson where he created and leads the Hong Kong/Singapore Start-up Strategy and Israel Start-up Strategy offshore elective courses.

From September 2004 to September 2008, Cohan served on the board of the Alzheimer's Association, Massachusetts Chapter.

He has appeared as a guest on ABC's Good Morning America, CBS's Early Show and Evening News, CNN, and CNBC and has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, TIME, Fortune, and Business Week.

Cohan writes the Start-up Economy column for and The Hungry Start-up column for Wall and Main, his Worcester Telegram & Gazette column, helped its Business Matters section win the 2012 New England Newspaper and Press Association award for the best Business page for papers over 30k circulation. And he is a member of the Wharton Blog Network that received the Gold Award in the 2013 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II Accolades Awards program.

He is the brother of William D. Cohan.