Meet the Lang PhD Fellows

Each year, the Lang Center awards fellowships to PhD students whose research relates to entrepreneurship. Congratulations to the 2017 recipients: Kylie Jiwon Hwang PhD ’20, Zachary Brown PhD ’20, Natalie A. Carlson PhD ’19.

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Kylie Jiwon Hwang PhD '20

Kylie Jiwon Hwang

I am interested in answering the question of who becomes an entrepreneur based on individual or social characteristics, and how these features influence entrepreneurial outcomes. Specifically, my research focuses on how individual characteristics, such as educational attainment or breadth of experience, change an individual's likelihood of entering into, succeeding in, and committing to entrepreneurship. My research further explores how social and organizational environments may be designed to optimize an individual's successful engagement in entrepreneurship.

Zachary Brown PhD '20

Zachary Brown

My academic interests focus on impression management, or techniques we use to give others the impression that we are wealthy, social, knowledgeable, competent, and happy. I explore how entrepreneurs use specific impression management strategies (in how they talk, dress, tell stories about themselves, etc.) to bias stakeholders into investing time, money, and energy with them. Through this research, I hope to provide a better understanding to founders on how to present themselves to be most convincing, and to give VC funders an awareness of any biases inherent in their own personal judgment that might affect their investment choices.

Natalie A. Carlson PhD '19

Natalie A. Carlson

I am interested in how entrepreneurs acquire resources, particularly in developing and emerging economies. I also study social entrepreneurs, and the ways in which they use language to communicate competing social and commercial objectives. My work draws on a variety of methodologies, with a focus on new computational methods and text as data. In one recent working paper, I found that rewards-based crowdfunding ventures are more likely to be successful if their project description has an emphasis on social impact—possibly because the backers have greater trust in the project creators, as our evidence suggests.

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