Karl T. Ulrich is Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the CIBC Professor of Entrepreneurship and eCommerce at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds an appointment as Professor of Mechanical Engineering. His research is focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, and product development.
He is the coauthor of Product Design and Development (5th Edition, McGrawHill, 2011), a textbook used by a quarter of a million students worldwide. His most recent book is Innovation Tournaments (Harvard Business Press, 2009). He is the winner of many teaching awards, including the Anvil Award, the MillerSherrerd Award, and the Excellence in Teaching Award at The Wharton School. At Penn, he cofounded the Weiss Tech House and the Integrated Product Design Program, two institutions fostering innovation in the university community.
In addition to his academic work, Professor Ulrich has led dozens of innovation efforts for medical devices, tools, computer peripherals, food products, webbased services, and sporting goods. As a result of this work, he holds more than 20 patents. Professor Ulrich is a founder of Terrapass Inc. which the New York Times identified as one of the most noteworthy ideas of 2005, and he is a designer of the Xootr scooter, which Business Week recognized as one of the 50 coolest products of the 21st Century. Professor Ulrich holds bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT.
Karl Ulrich, Would Graduate School Work Better if You Never Graduated from It?.
Karl Ulrich, Business School, Disrupted in The New York Times.
Karl Ulrich, A Tool for Finding the Best Employees in The Wall Street Journal.
Karl Ulrich, Three Ways Customers Could Gain from Small Data in The Wall Street Journal.
Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich (2014), Will Video Kill the Classroom Star? The Threat and Opportunity of Massively Open Online Courses for Fulltime MBA Programs , William and Phyllis Mack Institute for Innovation Management.
Karl Ulrich, Young Entrepreneurs' Secret Weapon: SocialNetworking Savvy in The Wall Street Journal.
Karl Ulrich and Laura J. Kornish (2014), The Importance of the Raw Idea in Innovation: Testing the Sow's Ear Hypothesis , Journal of Marketing Research, 51, pp. 1426.
Karl Ulrich, It Pays for Entrepreneurs to Have Rich Friends in The Wall Street Journal.
Karl Ulrich, For Capitalism to Work, Everyone Has to Think It's Fair Game in The Wall Street Journal.
Karl Ulrich, Most Colleges Aren't All That Expensive in The Wall Street Journal.
The course is designed to meet the needs of future managers, entrepreneurs, consultants and investors who must analyze and develop business strategies in technologybased industries. The emphasis is on learning conceptual models and frameworks to help navigate the complexity and dynamism in such industries. This is not a course in new product development or in using information technology to improve business processes and offerings. We will take a perspective of both established and emerging firms competing through technological innovations, and study the key strategic drivers of value creation and appropriation in the context of business ecosystems. The course uses a combination of cases, simulation and readings. The cases are drawn primarily from technologybased industries. Note, however, that the case disucssions are mainly based on strategic (not technical) issues. Hence, a technical background is not required for fruitful participation.
This course provides tools and methods for creating new products. The course is intended for students with a strong career interest in new product development , entrepreneurship, and/or technology development. The course follows an overall product design methodology, including the identification of customer needs, generation of product concepts, prototyping, and designformanufacturing. Weekly student assignments are focused on the design of a new product and culminate in the creation of a prototype, which is launched at an endofsemester public Design Fair. The course project is a physical good but most of the tools and methods apply to services and software products. The course is open to any Penn sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student.
The course is first and foremost an intensive, integrative, project course in which student teams create one or more real businesses. Some businesses spun out of the course and now managed by alumni include Terrapass Inc. and Smatchy Inc. The project experience is and exciting context in which to learn key tools and fundamentals useful in innovation, problem solving, and design. Examples of these tools and fundamentals are: problem definition, identification of opportunities, generating alternatives, selecting among alternatives, principles of data graphics, and managing innovation pipelines. The course requires a commitment of at least 10 hours of work outside of class and comfort working on unstructured, interdisciplinary problems. Students with a strong interest in innovation and entrepreneurship are particularly encouraged to enroll. Please read carefully the syllabus posted online before registering for this course.
Elective Teaching Award – Wharton Executive MBA Program, 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award – Undergraduate Division, 2010 Teaching Commitment and Curricular Innovation Award – MBA Program, 2010 Excellence in Teaching Award – The Wharton School, 2007 Distinguished Fellow – POMS College of Product Innovation and Technology Management, 2006 Anvil Award – The Wharton School, 2000
Xootr Scooter – 50 Coolest Products of the 21st Century, Business Week 07/29/2009 Nightly Business Report – 30 Most Important Innovations of Past 30 Years, PBS 02/16/2009 Practicing What He Preaches, Wharton Alumni Magazine 11/01/2008 Nightly Business Report – Interview with Melissa Harmon on Innovation, PBS 08/08/2008 Harper’s Index – Energy Saved by Bicycling – October 2006, Harper's 10/01/2006 Are Cyclists Destroying the Earth?, The New York Times 07/22/2006 Description
Coverage of working paper on longevity and bicycling.
New York Times Review of Most Noteworthy Ideas of 2005 – Terrapass, The New York Times 01/01/2006 Description
Terrapass, a venture founded as an MBA class project is described by the New York Times as one of the most noteworthy ideas of 2005.
A holder of more than 20 patents for medical devices, tools, food products, sporting goods, and more, Karl’s expertise is in innovation, entrepreneurship and product development. He is the co-founder of the Weiss Tech House and the Integrated Design Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Karl’s Xootr scooter was recognized by BusinessWeek as one of the coolest products of the 21st Century.
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