Carlos J. Serrano

Carlos Serrano is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Economics in the Department of Economics and Decision Sciences at HEC Paris.

Professor Serrano's research and teaching interests are on innovation, strategy, entrepreneurship and the financing of entrepreneurial activity. His research focuses on the market for patents, the venture capital industry, and the value and use of patents for technology startups. In addition to his doctorate degree in Economics from the University of Minnesota in 2006, he holds a BSc in Economics from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, a MSc in Economics from the University College London, and a MA in Economics from the University of Minnesota. 

Serrano's research has been published in top tier journals including the Journal of Financial Economics, RAND Journal of Economics, Strategic Management Journal, International Economic Review, and Science and has been presented at numerous universities and government agencies.

Prior to his appointment at HEC Paris, Serrano taught at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (2013-2022), University of Toronto (2005-2012), University of Minnesota (2002-2004), and was a Research Analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (2002-2005).

Serrano's Google Scholar profile can be found here

Research Spotlight 1

Do Patent Assets have a Second Life When Startups Fail? An Analysis of the Redeployment Likelihood and Mode of Transfer

Entrepreneurial firms are fertile sources of patented inventions. Yet little is known about what happens to patent assets when startups go out of business:  Do the assets have a “second life” through redeployment to new owners? Based on 264 failed VC-backed startups, we document an active market for the patents both as standalone assets and through co-movement with inventors to the purchasing organization. We then model and test how the redeployment likelihood and mode of transfer is shaped by trading thickness in the secondary patent market and the degree to which asset value is firm-specific and tied to the original venture. The study sheds new light on conditions that affect the redeployment of intangible assets and the abilities of startups to preserve value in liquidation. Accepted for publication on June 2024 in the Strategic Management Journal.

A pre-publication version of the article can be found in here

Research Spotlight 2

My Take: Navigating AI & Entrepreneurship with HEC Breakthroughs

Unlike the steam engine or the birth of the Internet, AI and LLMs (such as ChatGPT) do not need expensive hardware for access. Hence, a universalization which Carlos Serrano underlines in this wide-ranging podcast. He’s Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Economics in the Department of Economics and Decision Sciences at HEC Paris. With his colleague Professor Thomas Åstebro, he organized a groundbreaking AI & Entrepreneurship Workshop at HEC, inviting top researchers and business experts from different disciplines and backgrounds to discuss how to bridge the gap between research and business. Key points included the transformation of risk management for machines and how, in the words of Serrano, industry practitioners are generally thinking ahead of academics. That, and much more in this frank and often personal podcast exchange.

HEC Breakthroughs, a Monthly Podcast on HEC Research. February 23, 2024. A brief of the podcast can be found here

Research Spotlight 3

Venture Capital Financing in Europe: Gender and Ethnic Diversity in Founder Teams

Recent research has shown that venture capital firms (VCs) in the US embarrassingly underfund entrepreneurs who are female, or members of ethnic/racial minorities compared to white men. The authors address the financing of gender and ethnically diverse startup teams in Europe. They use data on all recorded European venture deals over the period 2010 to 2020 for startups that have raised more than USD 1 million including all rounds and financiers, augmented by identifying founders by gender and ethnicity. For these startups, gender diversity on the founding team is not associated with raising VC funding in their first round of financing, while ethnic diversity plays an important role in both the amount of VC funding raised and venture performance in certain sectors and countries. A carefully designed investment strategy that builds on a preference for diverse founding teams in some sectors may therefore provide favorable returns. Published in 2022 in the Journal of Portfolio Management (special issue on Private Markets)

A summary of the article can be found in Knowledge@HEC


Contact information

HEC Paris

Department of Economics and Decision Sciences

1 Rue de la Libération; 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France