Daniel Isenberg

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Isenberg during the World Economic Forum 2013

Daniel Isenberg is a Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice at Babson College Executive Education where he established the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project (BEEP[1]). He is the author of the recent best seller "Worthless, Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value"[2] (Harvard Business Press, 2013). Isenberg was an entrepreneur himself for 16 years and was also a venture capitalist. He is an angel investor in several ventures.

Academic career[edit]

In 1981 Isenberg was awarded his Ph.D in Social Psychology from Harvard University. Isenberg taught at the Harvard Business School from 1981-1987 in the Organizational Behavior unit and from 2005-2009 in the Entrepreneurial Management unit. Isenberg designed and led HBS’s new India and Israel International Immersion Programs on entrepreneurship. He has been a visiting or adjunct professor at Babson College, Columbia, INSEAD, Reykjavik, and the Technion. At Technion he created and taught the first graduate course in entrepreneurship in 1987-1989, co-founded the Tefen Entrepreneurs Program with Stef Wertheimer, and directed the Technion Entrepreneurial Associates with Professor Ed Roberts from MIT. Isenberg has been a consultant to or conducted executive education for Dow Chemical, ABB, Garanti Bank (Turkey), Digital Equipment Corporation, Ford Europe, Mitsubishi, Omron, Mitsui, and others.

Publishing and Speaking Engagements[edit]

Isenberg is the author of the recent best seller, "Worthless, Impossible and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value"[2] published by Harvard Business Press (2013), which was reviewed by the Financial Times, The Economist, Wall Street Journal and other major media outlets.

At the Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management unit, Isenberg published over three dozen cases on entrepreneurship, as well as numerous seminal articles in the Harvard Business Review, includingThe Global Entrepreneur (2008),[3] Entrepreneurs and the Cult of Failure (2011)[4] and How to Start an Entrepreneurial Revolution (2010)[5] that was published as the Big Idea feature article.

During his first period at HBS in the 1980s, Isenberg conducted research programs in two areas, human interaction in small groups, and managerial cognition, which resulted in publications in top-tier journals such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the Academy of Management Journal. He also published two seminal HBR articles: How Senior Managers Think (1984)[6] and The Tactics of Strategic Opportunism (1987).[7]

His Harvard Business Review blog posts[8] have been read by over 100,000 people. In addition Isenberg is a frequent blogger for The Economist,[9] Forbes,[10] The Huffington Post[11] and other media outlets.

Isenberg has delivered two keynote speeches at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summits in Mexico and France. He is also a frequent speaker and panel moderator at World Economic Forum events in Davos and other places, where he has conducted workshops, panel discussions, and studios on fostering entrepreneurship ecosystems, innovation, talent mobility, creativity, and related topics. Isenberg speaks and consults frequently on global entrepreneurship. He has also been quoted in Fortune, The Economist, Boston Globe, Success, Yomiuri Shimbun, Il Mondo, Haaretz, Nikkei, Business Week, and USA Today.


In 2012, Isenberg was awarded the Pio Manzu[12] Gold Medal[13] for “pioneering and innovative work in economic development”, signed by Mikhail Gorbachev.

The Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project[edit]

Isenberg launched the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project (BEEP) to help societies around the world create the policies, structures, programs and climate that foster high growth entrepreneurship. In this capacity, he has piloted entrepreneurship programs or advised senior policy groups in numerous countries, including Puerto Rico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Spain, Ireland, South Africa, China, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Israel. He also advised the White House on its Startup America program, a program he has since criticized for its exclusive focus on early stage ventures.

Isenberg is the principal advisor on two ongoing entrepreneurship ecosystem projects – Scale Up Milwaukee[14] in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Manizales Mas[15] in Manizales, Colombia

Business leadership[edit]

In 1990 Isenberg founded Triangle Technologies in Israel, which he ran as CEO until 2005. He helped established two venture capital funds and from 1997-2001 Isenberg was a general partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners, and since has personally invested in over a dozen startup ventures, including Cyota and My Basis, both of which were acquired. Isenberg has served as director of several private and NASDAQ-listed companies.


  1. ^ "Home > Scale Up". Scale Up. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value ^ 11143". HBR Store. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  3. ^ "The Global Entrepreneur ^ R0812J". HBR Store. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  4. ^ Isenberg, Daniel (April 1, 2011). "Column: Entrepreneurs and the Cult of Failure". Retrieved October 17, 2019 – via hbr.org.
  5. ^ "How to Start an Entrepreneurial Revolution ^ R1006A". HBR Store. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  6. ^ Isenberg, Daniel (November 1, 1984). "How Senior Managers Think". Retrieved October 17, 2019 – via hbr.org.
  7. ^ Isenberg, Daniel (March 1, 1987). "The Tactics of Strategic Opportunism". Retrieved October 17, 2019 – via hbr.org.
  8. ^ "Daniel Isenberg – Harvard Business Review". web.archive.org. September 13, 2014. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  9. ^ "A critical comment on The Economist's special report on tech startups". January 23, 2014. Retrieved October 17, 2019 – via The Economist.
  10. ^ "Daniel Isenberg - Leading an Entrepreneurial Revolution". Forbes. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  11. ^ "Daniel Isenberg | HuffPost". www.huffpost.com. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  12. ^ "Pio Manzù Centre". web.archive.org. October 17, 2014. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  13. ^ "Page not found > Scale Up". Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  14. ^ "Scale Up Milwaukee – AN INITIATIVE OF THE GREATER MILWAUKEE COMMITTEE". Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  15. ^ "Manizales + | En alianza público privada y académica estamos haciendo de Manizales una ciudad modelo en educación y emprendimiento!!". Retrieved October 17, 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Daniel Isenberg at Wikimedia Commons