Jennifer Walske

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Jennifer Walske
Born Honolulu, Hawaii
Nationality American
Education BA in Communication Studies, MBA (Marketing), DBA in Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Alma mater University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Clara University
Boston University

Jennifer M. Walske is an American academic, professor, author and entrepreneur. She is a Visiting Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies and an Assistant Professor at University of San Francisco. She is also a Social Impact Fellow at Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.[1]

Walske's research focuses on emergent firms with an emphasis on how human capital, social capital, and strategy aids new firm success.[2] She serves on the boards of many non-profit and for-profit enterprises.

Early life and education

Walske was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii until she was seven years of age. She then relocated with her family to the San Francisco Bay Area.[3] Walske attended University of California, Santa Barbara for a BA in Communication Studies, which she completed in 1986 and joined Santa Clara University for an MBA, which she completed in 1991.[4] She returned to school in 2002, and completed her doctorate in strategy in 2009.


Walske was originally a buyer and department manager for Macy’s as part of their management training program. From there she was recruited to a fast track program as Pacific Bell (now AT&T). Walske was at Intergraph electronics as a product line manager, then joined Synopsys as a product marketing manager in 1993. At Synopsys, she created the partnership program "in-Sync", which allowed the firm to work across and within the EDA industry. She left Synopsys after working there for four years and joined Robertson Stephens and Company as partner in equities research. Walske created a technical software practice at the company, which was ranked second globally by Institutional All American. After leaving Robertson Stephens and Company in 1999, she worked at Dain Rauscher Wessels as the Managing Director and head of Global Software Equity research. Her research was focused on next generation operating systems, micro-computing systems and supply chain management. While working at Dain Rauscher Wessels, she was a weekly market strategist on CNN’s Market Wrap and appeared on CNBC and other print publications regularly.[5]

In 2000, Walske left Dain Rauscher Wessels and founded Myriad Investments, a venture capital firm which she co-manages with her husband, Steve Walske. Myriad investments predominately in software.[6] She enrolled for Doctoral Studies in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Boston University while still serving as the Managing Director of Myriad Investments. During her Doctoral Studies she taught entrepreneurship and business planning for two years at Babson College and Boston University.[7]

Upon the completion of DBA in 2009, she joined Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley as a senior fellow and redesigned the course curriculum for all undergraduate courses. In 2011, she was made the Director of Social Entrepreneurship at the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at the Haas School of Business.[8] While at Berkeley-Haas, she co-wrote a paper on venture philanthropy that won a best paper award at NYU's conference on social entrepreneurship.[9] She remains a social impact fellow now at Berkeley-Haas. She served on the advisory boards of the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) and Haas Impact Investing Network which she was instrumental in founding while at Berkeley-Haas.[10]

In 2013 Walske joined University of San Francisco as an assistant professor and program director of the Global Entrepreneurial Management masters.[11]

In June 2016, Walske took a one-year sabbatical from the University of San Francisco and became a fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies.

Walske is a trustee of the San Francisco Ballet, reprising her contribution as trustee emeriti for the Boston Ballet.[12] She also serves on the boards of both non-profit and for-profit enterprises, including the National Net Impact Board and House of RS.[13] At Myriad Investments, she manages the social investments for the firm including Uclass, Legworks, Localwise and SunFunder. She is also an advisory board member of Better Ventures.

Awards and honors

  • 1999 – Ranked second in research excellence by Institutional All American
  • 2000 – Ranked second in research excellence by Institutional All American
  • 2008 to 2011 – Research ranked on the “top ten” list in Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
  • 2011 – Recipient, Cheit Award for Outstanding Teaching, Berkeley-Haas
  • 2012 – Recipient, "Best Paper" award, NYU Stern Conference in Social Entrepreneurship
  • 2015 – Faculty Academic Excellence Award by University of San Francisco

Selected publications

  • Effect of venture capital syndication networks on entrepreneurial success Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. (2007)
  • Genetically engineered: Why some venture capital firms are more successful than others. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. (2009)
  • Applying Human Capital Theory to Venture Philanthropy. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. (2011)
  • The role of human capital and strategy in resource acquisition for nascent venture capital firms. The Oxford Handbook of Venture Capital. (2011)
  • Social Entrepreneurs: Say Yes. What we can learn from the exceptional life of the late Priya Haji. Stanford Social Innovation Review. (2014)[14]
  • Built to Scale; A Comparative Case Analysis, Assessing Why Some Social Enterprises Scale. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. (2015)


  1. "Applying Lean Startup Methodology in Developing Countries". 
  2. "Harvard Business Review". 
  3. "Tuesdays with T4A: Jennifer Walske (01/28/14)". 
  4. "Faculty and Executive Leadership Directory". 
  5. "Curriculum Vitae – JENNIFER M. WALSKE". 
  6. "Director of Social Entrepreneurship, Haas School of Business, U.C. Berkeley". 
  7. "Professors". 
  8. "Relationship Science". 
  9. "Fair Trade for the Holidays". 
  10. "Leading Experts Convene for NYU Stern’s Eighth Annual Conference on Social Entrepreneurship". 
  11. "Recyclebank and Waste Management on Partnering with a Competitor". 
  12. "The Provocative and the Pirouette at the Ballet Opening Night Gala". 
  13. "Jennifer Walske". 
  14. "Social Entrepreneurs: Say Yes". 

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