Explore Innovation Research

Our Philosophy

When it comes to understanding innovation and entrepreneurship, rigorous, first-class scholarly research is key. Boston University is centrally located within one of the top 5 entrepreneurial ecosystems in the world and Innovate@BU is dedicated to furthering an understanding of what makes our city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem a creative and vital one. The initiative strives to cultivate, support, and disseminate faculty and student research on innovation and entrepreneurship, focusing on entrepreneurial ecosystems like the City of Boston.

We support all types of research that further an understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in which we are embedded: from large-sample data to cases, experiments, and detailed ethnographic fieldwork.


Current Research Projects


Solving the systematic, regulatory, and bureaucratic challenges that entrepreneurs face when innovating in health often requires collaboration and coordination across a myriad of both private and public institutions. In response to these challenges, the State of Massachusetts, the City of Boston, MassChallenge, and a host of private enterprises launched Pulse@MassChallenge, a digital health accelerator in 2016. The Pulse program is an annual, six-month program and competition which matches payers, providers, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, etc., with qualified early-stage digital health ventures, in efforts to improve and accelerate innovative outcomes. In concert with Pulse, Innovate@BU has initiated an embedded field research program where Boston University PhDs and faculty conduct scientific exploration and experimentation on the ground with Pulse and the entrepreneurs who cycle through the program. This program has the potential for expansion to other departments within the University. Boston University and Pulse have also collaborated to create a select MBA fellows program. Fellows are invited to join the Pulse team during the program to help entrepreneurs meet their goals and accelerate progress.

Currently, Rebecca Karp, a doctoral candidate in the strategy and innovation department of Questrom, is conducting ethnographic research with Pulse. Her research queries how collaboration and competition shape community learning, entrepreneurial idea refinement, and progress. Rebecca has been embedded at Pulse over the last year and will continue her study over the next few years.

Learn more about Pulse on the Mass Challenge website