Robert Wolcott
Robert Wolcott

Senior Lecturer of Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Kellogg Innovation Network

Print Overview
Robert Wolcott is the Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN) and a Senior Lecturer of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He teaches corporate innovation and entrepreneurship for Kellogg in Evanston, Miami and Hong Kong (with HKUST). Formerly a Visiting Professor at the Keio Business School (Tokyo, Japan) a member of the advisory boards for the Nordic Innovation Center, Nordic Council, Oslo, Norway, the Global Technology Council of Kraft Foods, Inc. and the Innovation Accelerator for GE Corporate.

His book with Dr. Michael Lippitz, Grow From Within: Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation (McGraw-Hill, 2010) shares over a decade of research into how established companies create innovation for business value and has since been published in Chinese and Japanese. Wolcott’s work has appeared in MIT Sloan Management Review, The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, BusinessWeek, The Financial Times (European Edition), The New York Times, The Peking University Business Review and a variety of publications worldwide. He is a frequent speaker at events worldwide.

In 2003, Wolcott co-founded the Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN). The KIN’s annual summit, KIN Global, takes place in late May and includes leaders from around the world from business, government, academia, non-profits and the arts who collaborate around issues of significance for their organizations and for humanity.

Wolcott also co-founded and serves as Partner with Clareo Partners LLC, a growth strategy and innovation management consultancy ( Subsidiary Clareo Capital owns equity in start-ups including: crowdfunding leader,; emerging market student loan innovator, Lumni; healthcare software providers ClearCare Online and SA Ignite; among others.

Wolcott received a BA, European and Chinese History; and an MS and Ph.D., Industrial Engineering & Management Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. He and his wife, Ada Yung, have two daughters, Jolie and Sage, and reside in Chicago, Illinois.

Areas of Expertise
Corporate Entrepreneurship
Innovation in Non-Profits
Small Business Management
Print Vita
PhD, 2001, Industrial Engineering & Management Science, Northwestern University
MS, 1997, Industrial Engineering & Management Science, Northwestern University
BA, 1991, European History, Northwestern University

Print Research
Kotler, PhilipRobert C. Wolcott and Suj Chandrasekhar. 2009. Playing Well with Others. Executive Adviser. June 22, 2009
Wolcott, Robert C. and Michael J. Lippitz. 2007. The Four Models of Corporate Entrepreneurship. MIT Sloan Management Review. 49(1): 75-82.
Wolcott, Robert C. and Mohanbir Sawhney. 2007. Eight Innovation Myths. Peking University Business Review. 37
Sawhney, MohanbirRobert C. Wolcott and Inigo Arroniz. 2006. The 12 Different Ways for Companies to Innovate. MIT Sloan Management Review. 47(3): 75-81.
Sawhney, Mohanbir and Robert C. Wolcott. 2004. The Seven Myths of Innovation. Financial Times.
Book Chapters
Rogers, P. Clint, Jason Fairbourne and Robert C. Wolcott. 2011. "The Diffusion of Innovations through Microfranchising." In Microfranchising, edited by Nicolas Sireau, 35–49. Sheffield, UK: Greenleaf Publishing.
Conley, James Gerard and Robert C. Wolcott. 2006. "Scaling from Prototype to Production: A Managed Process for Commercial Offerings." In Scale-up in Education: Ideas in Principle, edited by Barbara Schneider and Sarah-Kathryn McDonald, vol. 1, 103-122. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Wolcott, Robert C. and Jorn Bang Andersen. "Creating a Culture of Innovation." The Human Factor, June 16-July 17, 2010.
Wolcott, Robert C. and Michael J. Lippitz. 2010. Grow From Within: Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Wolcott, Robert C., Alex Hurd and Stephanie Wolcott. 2011. The Cambodian National HIV/AIDS Program: Successful Scale-Up through Innovation. Case 5-311-502 (KEL606).
Wolcott, Robert C. and Michael J Lippitz. 2008. From Low Cost to Global Leadership: Computime Leads Through Innovation. Case 5-208-254 (KEL340).
Wolcott, Robert C.. 2007. PTC: Launching an Entirely New Product Platform. Case 5-405-752 (KEL316).
Wolcott, Robert C. and Michael J Lippitz. 2007. BP's Office of the Chief Technology Officer: Driving Open Innovation through an Advocate Team. Case 5-407-752 (KEL366).
Wolcott, Robert C. and Michael J Lippitz. 2007. Innovation in Government: U.S. Department of Defense. Case 5-207-251 (KEL346).
Wolcott, Robert C.. 2006. Wawa: Building a New Business within an Established Firm TN. Case 5-306-505 (KEL240).
Conley, James GerardRobert C. Wolcott and Eric Wong. 2006. AstraZeneca, Prilosec, and Nexium: Marketing Challenges in the Launch of a Second-Generation Drug. Case 5-404-775 (KEL336).
Conley, James GerardRobert C. Wolcott and Eric Wong. 2006. AstraZeneca, Prilosec, and Nexium: Strategic Challenges in the Launch of a Second-Generation Drug. Case 5-404-752 (KEL334).
Sawhney, Mohanbir and Robert C. Wolcott. 2006. Thomson Financial: Building a Customer-Centric Firm. Case 5-405-753 (KEL237).
Conley, James GerardRobert C. Wolcott and Eric Wong. 2006. AstraZeneca, Prilosec, and Nexium: Case Supplement. Case 5-404-753 (KEL335).

Print Teaching
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Corporate Innovation and New Ventures (KIEI-903-0)

Formerly ENTR-903-0

The terms “entrepreneurship” and “innovation” often evoke images of a startup in a garage. But what about the game-changing innovation generated by large, established corporations? Now more than ever, large corporations are focusing on innovation as the key to their growth and prosperity. In some instances, it is critical for their very survival. These companies are investing in systems and processes to accelerate the pace of innovation—but need their teams to step up in order to win in a competitive marketplace.

Corporate Innovation and New Ventures (KIEI-903) is a highly immersive and experiential learning laboratory that puts students right in the middle of this “innovation arms race.” We will examine entrepreneurship and innovation from the perspective of corporate strategy, market-facing initiatives, corporate venturing, new product development, and longer term R&D, in partnership with multi-national corporations. With an emphasis on developing innovative ideas for a final course project, you and your business team members will be assigned to work with a real company, on real problems.

In addition to the main project, students will be exposed to corporate innovation processes at a range of other top Chicago-area corporations, working on real challenges in their own corporate innovation centers. Students will also visit 1871, one of the top incubators/accelerators in the United States and an "idea feeder" to a number of large corporations.

Although there are no textbooks required, Peter Drucker’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Grow from Within: Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation, by Robert Wolcott and Mike Lippitz are suggested for context. All readings will be included in the course pack.

PLEASE NOTE: KIEI-903 students are required to attend some classes at corporate locations in Chicago. This class cannot be dropped after the first day of class

Corporate Innovation & New Ventures (INSEAD) (KIEI-903-E)

Executive MBA
Innovation Strategy & Management (MGMTX-450-0)
The course will focus on innovation within business entities, from the typical technology and product innovation programs, to broader, process, marketing and other forms of innovation. The course will address innovation as a holistic strategic management imperative not limited to Research & Development or New Product Development. While the course will provide a theoretical foundation, the focus will be on real world issues, products and systems.