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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2024 Grand Challenge: Business Resilience
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues



Bringing a medical device to market requires startup founders to overcome challenges they may be ill-equipped to tackle. Alliances with former employers can help, but startups must carefully choose which markets they target.

Consumers will long associate the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic with seemingly apocalyptic searches for toilet paper, hand sanitizer and PPE. But even now, amid continued surges of the Delta variant, many global supply chains continue to experience disruptions at record rates. This week’s Kenan Insight invites our experts to weigh in on the immediate impact of these disruptions for business and society, the longer term effects across industries and the roles government and emerging tech should be playing to drive solutions.

Speed is often critical for successful commercialization of a new technology, and patents help entrepreneurs secure funding, enter the market, and avoid expropriation of their ideas. In this article, we employ a recent change to U.S. patent law—the introduction of an elective program accelerating patent examination—to investigate the role of patent examination speed in strategic entrepreneurship.

This lunchtime conversation will feature sales experts Lilly Ferrick and Chris Morrison, two entrepreneurs and Scale School instructors who have each helped hundreds of entrepreneurs re-define their sales processes and create sales systems that are repeatable and scalable.

Commercial real estate is a major asset class, with an estimated value of more than $12 trillion in the U.S. alone. But the stay-at-home orders and business closures precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic have the potential to negatively – and disastrously – affect commercial properties. What will the short- and long-term impacts be, which types of properties will be hardest hit and what policies can be put in place to help stem the tide of losses? UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor and Leonard W. Wood Center for Real Estate Studies Faculty Advisor Andra Ghent and her colleagues examine these issues in this week’s Kenan Insight.

Much has been said (and rightly so) about the catastrophic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But there is another side to the crisis. It’s a story of hope, based on collaboration and innovation. As healthcare needs and economic hardships intensify, entrepreneurs around the globe are stepping up to create solutions that will not only address immediate needs, but also effect long-lasting change. A panel of Kenan Institute-convened experts discussed this surge of innovation in response to COVID-19 on April 7, 2020. The full recording of this press briefing–-along with a deeper-dive analysis on the drivers of innovation amid the crisis by UNC Kenan-Flagler Professors Mahka Moeen and Chris Bingham-–is available in this week’s Kenan Insight.

E-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, Alibaba and Flipkart, that match sellers and consumers at an unprecedented scale, operate their internal search engines to help buyers find relevant products from a large number of sellers, and also allow sellers to advertise to consumers for positions in the search listing. Determining an optimal ranking of products in response to a search query is a challenging problem for the platform because sellers have certain private information about their products that the platform does not have. Using a theoretical model, we show that sellers’ bids in ad auctions, through which sponsored slots are typically allocated, can reveal (some of) this private information to the platform (“information effect”), which it can optimally combine with information that it has about consumers to improve the placement of organic results, a practice we call “strategic listing”.

Rural Community
Aug 31, 2018

Retail Entry and Exit

This chapter summarizes recent insights on entries and exits in the retail sector. Focusing on brick-and-mortar operations, it discusses four phenomena in the global retail industry: (i) local entry, (ii) international/regional entry, (iii) local exit, and (iv) international exit. It also identifies new trends related to online retailers that are in need of more research.

We show that blockchain can be more effective than pricing strategy in eliminating the post-purchase regret and improving social welfare.

We examine firms' technological investments during an industry's incubation stage—the period between a technological breakthrough and the first instance of its commercialization. We develop stylized findings regarding knowledge evolution preceding product evolution in an industry's life cycle, and highlight the importance for managers to think about “success” and “failure” across multiple yardsticks of performance, rather than only as product commercialization.

Venture philanthropy presents a new model of research funding that is particularly helpful to those fighting orphan diseases, which actively manages the commercialization process to accelerate scientific progress and material outcomes. This paper begins by documenting the growing importance of foundations as a source of funding academic research as traditional funding from industry and government sources decline.