You can’t disrupt any industry without dislodging its incumbents. And no incumbent goes down without a fight. Sometimes those fights happen in court. But usually, they take place in the halls of government: in city councils, state legislatures, municipal regulatory agencies, even local community boards. For 90% of technology startups, not understanding how to anticipate, handle and solve your coming regulatory problems is just as problematic as not being able to hire engineers or raise venture funding. Failure to anticipate politics can be fatal. However, there is a playbook for startups to disrupt and thrive. This class is designed to teach its students exactly how. Working in groups, students pilot new industries through the regulatory process, navigating the halls of power and the economics of disruption by analyzing the regulatory and political obstacles in their way. Students will figure out how to properly assess their opponents, develop and execute the right narrative in the media, build a grassroots movement, effectively lobby elected officials, regulators and political staffers, overcome entrenched interests standing in their way, and ideally, not only win legality for their idea, but build a regulatory moat to box out potential competitors.
Adjunct Assistant Professor