Deepak Hegde

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Deepak Hegde
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Hegde in a 2023 lecture
Born(1977-11-05)November 5, 1977
Yellapur, India
CitizenshipUnited States
TitleSeymour Milstein Professor of Strategy
Professor of Management
Academic background
Alma materHaas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley
Academic work
DisciplineTechnological innovation,
Political economy and public policy
InstitutionsNew York University Stern School of Business

Deepak Hegde (born November 5, 1977) is an Indian born American business scholar and educator. He is the Seymour Milstein Professor of Strategy at the New York University, Stern School of Business. He is also the founder and director of the Endless Frontier Labs, an entrepreneurship program dedicated to accelerating the growth of science and technology based startups. His research and teaching focusses on entrepreneurship, innovation, and business strategy. He has received multiple awards for his research and innovative pedagogy.

His scholarship has yielded insights into entrepreneurial behavior and innovation policy, including that workers with skills greater than what their resumes show are undervalued by employers and gravitate towards entrepreneurship; that shared ethnic backgrounds among investors and entrepreneurs leads to superior investment returns; that speedy approval of a startup's first-time patent application greatly bolsters its growth and success; that earlier publishing of patent applications leads to earlier licensing, accelerated knowledge diffusion, and innovation; that increased complexity in the patent approval process can put large firms at an advantage over small firms; and that more bankruptcy protections for debtors leads to shrinking investments and innovation.


Early life and education

Hegde was born in Yellapur in Karnataka, India.He graduated from the National Institute of Engineering in Karnataka in 2000 with a Bachelors degree in industrial engineering. In 2004 he earned a masters degree in public policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology,and in 2010 he completed his PhD in Business and Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Hegde has expressed that he was influenced by professors David C. Mowery, Bronwyn Hall, and Bhaven Sampat, all of whom mentored him.

Academic career

Hegde joined the New York University's Stern School of Business as Professor of Management in 2010,received tenure in 2016, and became a full professor in 2020.In 2023 he was appointed to the chaired professorship Seymour Milstein Professor of Strategy.

Hegde has taught courses on business strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

He has researched how entrepreneurs and innovators bring their ideas to market. His work focuses on science and technology intensive industries and has been published in journals including Science, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Finance, Management Science, and Review of Financial Studies.

Hegde serves or has served in editorial positions at academic journals including the Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Organization Science, Management Science, and Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal.

Hegde has also been a visiting scholar at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and subsequently was also named Thomas Alva Edison Scholar to study how past policies have affected the USPTO patent quality metrics and the patent examination quality.

Practical entrepreneurship programs

Since 2017 Hegde has worked on and launched multiple practical entrepreneurship programs at NYU. These programs aim to transform ideas into commercially viable startups by bringing together science and technology-based ideas, business management talent, and venture capital funding.Through these programs MBA students can gain practical experience in entrepreneurship.

In 2019 Hegde launched the NYU Endless Frontier Labs (EFL), as a nine-month program that helps entrepreneurs from all over the world bridge the gap between science-based ideas and markets. Admitted startup founders at the EFL receive structured advice from mentors and investors. Through the EFL, MBA students at Stern gain practical experience in entrepreneurship.

Hegde is also the academic director of NYU's Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship, which provides education, coaching, and funding for startups and their leaders.

Awards and accolades

In 2012 Hegde was named a Kauffman Junior Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship Research – an award that recognized scholars who exhibit the potential to make significant contributions to the body of research in the field of entrepreneurship.

In 2015 Hegde was listed among the top 40 MBA professors under the age of 40 by Poets & Quants.

For his teaching Hegde has received awards including the 2022 NYU Stern School of Business Distinguished Teaching Award for Pedagogical Innovation,and the 2022-23 New York University Distinguished Teaching Award.

For his innovative pedagogy and impact on the practice of entrepreneurship with the Endless Frontier Labs program, he received the 2018 NYU Stern School of Business Faculty Leadership Award,and the 2022 Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award by the Academy of Management.

Research contributions

Hegde has studied the consequences of business practices and public policy on innovation and entrepreneurship.

Individuals with skills greater than what their resumes show are undervalued by employers and gravitate towards entrepreneurship

Hegde and his coauthor argue that entrepreneurship is a consequence of information frictions (asymmetry) in labor markets. In particular, they hypothesize that employers assess potential workers based on their educational qualifications, especially early in their careers when there is little direct information on their work accomplishments and productivity. This leads those who correctly believe that they are better than their résumés show to become successful entrepreneurs.This not only applies to high-tech entrepreneurs, but everyone who chooses to be self-employed.

The authors conclude that entrepreneurs have higher ability scores, lower levels of educational attainment, as well as greater and more variable earnings, which may explain why several groups with less credible ability signals, such as immigrants, gravitate toward entrepreneurship.

This article builds on the research of Nobel laureate George Akerlof who examined how imperfect information affects the quality of goods and services traded in a market.The authors' research came from analyzing the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and the U.K. National Child Development Study 1958, following 20,000 people over more than 30 years.

Shared ethnic backgrounds among investors and entrepreneurs leads to more success

Also, Hegde found that venture capitalists (VCs) are more likely to invest into startups with executives from the same ethnic background, and that when VCs and entrepreneurs shared the same ethnicity, startups were more successful, This is likely not discrimination against others but instead reflect the benefits from closer VC-entrepreneur communication and coordination when they share the same ethnic background.

Speedy approval of a startup's first-time patent application greatly bolsters its growth and success

Hegde and coauthors found that contrary to a popular perception that patents mostly serve entrenched large firms to the detriment of small ones, startups can also greatly benefit from the patent system. Startups which received rapid approval of first-time patent applications experienced much greater growth in revenue, employment, investor funding, and subsequent patent approvals. Conversely, the research also showed that when ultimately-approved patents experienced protracted review processes, those growth rates were significantly dampened. These findings were the result of analyzing USPTO data on both approved and rejected patent applications.

Hegde and his coauthors posited that patents facilitate information sharing between potential investors and startups and generate more investments to fuel their growth; entrepreneurs can more openly share inventions without fear of being misappropriated, and investors can more confidently invest in firms that hold patents as those serve as indicators of greater quality and potential success.

Disclosure of inventions through patents accelerates innovation

Hegde and coauthors studied whether patent disclosures matter by leveraging the passage of the U.S. American inventor’s Protection Act of 1999 (AIPA) which required patent applications filed at the U.S. Patent Office to be published 18 months from application date. Before AIPA’s enactment U.S. patent applications were only published upon grant – typically 3-4 years from application date on average.

They concluded that AIPA increased the magnitude and the pace of knowledge spillovers; increased overlap between technologically distant patents and decreased overlap between similar patents; lowered inventive steps and patent scope; decreased patent abandonments; and increased patenting. Thus, policies that expedite disclosure increase the speed and magnitude of innovation by enhancing the efficiency of follow-on inventors’ R&D decisions.

Earlier publishing of patent applications leads to earlier licensing

Using internal U.S Patent and Trademark Office data his research into the behavior of inventors showed that contrary to common belief, a majority chose to opt out of secrecy and publicly reveal their patent applications while they were still pending, to reap the benefits of informing potential investors and licensees. On the flip side Hegde found consistent evidence that the least-valuable and least-impactful patents were those that opted for pre-grant secrecy. Further, using data on the biomedical industry, Hegde found that after the enactment of the U.S. American Inventors Protection Act (AIPA), which mandated publication of patent applications 18 months after filing, a greater number of patent licenses were issued faster than historically, suggesting that disclosure facilitates sales and transactions in the market for ideas.

Increased complexity in the patent approval process leads to fewer approvals and puts large firms at an advantage over small firms

In studying patent approval rates from 1996 to 2005, Hegde found a trend of decreasing approval rates, likely due to the changes in the approval process have made it more costly and lengthy (prompted by earlier complaints that the process had been hitherto too lax). The research showed that applications filed by large firms were more likely to emerge as patents than those filed by small firms, suggesting it was getting more difficult for small companies to get patents, while large companies had both the financial resources and time to wait out the lengthy and costly approval process.

More bankruptcy protections for debtors leads to shrinking investments and innovation

Hegde also found a that higher levels of bankruptcy exemptions (debtor protections where some assets cannot be used to repay creditors in a bankruptcy), meant greater risks for investors, in turn lowering their levels of capital investment, making firms (especially small ones and in industries with high costs of innovation) to cut back on innovation expenditures, resulting in lower number of patents and lower overall patent quality.

Independent government agencies making research funding decisions can still be influenced by politics

Hegde also tested the supposedly political independence of the grant-making activities of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), tasked with funding disease research, through an independent and non-political peer-review system. Hegde nevertheless found that despite its merit-based aims, the NIH grant decisions were skewed towards greater funding to rare disease research advocated by constituencies from states that had more members on the U.S House subcommittee conducting oversight on the NIH.

The U.S. Congress aimed to curb the power of lobbyists through a 2010 ban on setting aside money in bills for specific projects, known as earmarks. In response lobby groups shifted strategies, seeking to steer funds using ‘soft’ earmarks: language in spending bills that encourages or urges an agency to perform some action, such as funding Alzheimer’s research, rather than setting aside funds for it.

Short essays

  • Hegde, Deepak (August 6, 2019). "America's economic future hinges on this overlooked educational skill". CNBC.
  • Hegde, Deepak; Cabral, Luis (April 26, 2020). "The PPP isn't working. Here's an idea — get paychecks to people, directly". CNBC.


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