The Human Transporter

After several setbacks, how might an entrepreneur realize his goals for an innovative transportation device?
Jeffrey Harris  | Fall 2009
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Inventor Dean Kamen unveiled the Segway in 2001 to great fanfare, billing it as a transformative low-cost, non-polluting transportation device. Kamen believed the Segway would sell several hundred thousand units in its first year. Influential investors bought into his vision, with Kamen attracting famed Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers senior partner John Doerr, who had invested in successful companies such as Google. Nevertheless, the Segway hit some speed bumps, including recalls in 2003 and 2006. In this case students consider Kamen's financing of the Segway's development, the device's market opportunity, why Doerr invested, and whether the Segway has a future as a profitable product entrant.

Case ID: 090313

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