Adam J. Bock

Adam Bock

Programme: Doctoral 2010

Subject / area of research:Entrepreneurship

Business School Research Group:Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group

Nationality: American

Previous education: B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering and B.A. in Quantitative Economics fromfrom Stanford University, MBA in Entrepreneurship from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Employment before the Doctoral programme: 4 yrs strategy consulting, Monitor Group; Co-founder, VP Finance: Stratatech Corporation; Co-founder, CFO: Nerites Corporation (Acquired by Kensey Nash Corp in 2011 for $20 million); Founding CEO: Nebraska Surgical Solutions; Manager: Early Stage Research, LLC (Angel investment network)

Current employment: Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, University of Edinburgh Business School

Awards/achievements: Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy Member 2013, Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice – UK Higher Education Academy 2013, Honorary Fellowship – Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison 2013, Visiting Scholar – Edinburgh BioQuarter 2011-2013, Visiting Fellow, Imperial College Business School 2012-2013

Activities/clubs at Imperial: 
Instructor/Mentor and Incubator Selection Panel Member, DesignLondon

Why did you decide to study the Doctoral programme at Imperial College Business School?

I was inspired to return to academia by my mentor and friend, Professor Gerry George. There was no one else I would rather have studied under.

Describe what your research was about?

Gerry and I wanted to better understand how managers use business models to create innovative businesses. We studied the broad structures of business models as well as the processes that managers use to implement business model innovation.

What makes the Imperial College research environment distinctive?

Imperial’s strength in cutting edge entrepreneurship and innovation research provided a supportive and rigorous context. I was immersed in both the theory and practice of new venture creation. I benefitted from the critiques and ideas of world-leading scholars as well as connections to innovative entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

What was it like to live and study in London.

Amazingly, although I lived in London part of the time, I was commuting from the United States where my wife and children were still in residence. I’m afraid I experienced London mostly as a tourist!

How did you manage balancing your study with your personal life?

By working late and sleeping on airplanes, I was able to find (some) time with my wife and kids. Somehow they’ve chosen to forgive me.

How has the Business School helped develop your career?

The Business School at Imperial provided me with the combination of rigorous study and flexibility to complete the PhD. The support of the School and the constant encouragement of Professor George were essential to completing my doctoral studies. The reputation of the School was undoubtedly a factor in my placement at Edinburgh at the completion of my studies.

What do you enjoy most about your current job and what are the main challenges that you face? 

As Professor David Deeds (University of St. Thomas) told me: being an academic is the best job in the world. I get to ask questions that I find interesting, and then I get paid to try to answer them and share what I learn with other people. The main challenge I face is that I don’t have enough time to answer all the questions I think are interesting.

What do you miss most from your days at the Business School?

I miss working with the great scholars at the School. I also really enjoyed the opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary programs like DesignLondon.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering joining the Business School’s Doctoral programme?

It’s incredibly hard work, and the expectations are high. If you demonstrate your commitment to the program, you’ll be rewarded with incredible responsibilities and opportunities.

What was the most important learning you took away with you from the Business School?

That one person can change your life. Professor Gerry George has been an inspiration, mentor, friend, and colleague. I’m very lucky that he agreed to supervise my studies.