Wall Street’s next bet: Cures for rare diseases — Andrew Lo

MIT Sloan Professor Andrew Lo

MIT Sloan Prof. Andrew Lo

From Fortune

What if I told you about an investment fund that diversifies your portfolio, shields you from fluctuations in the stock market, and earns double-digit returns? Sounds interesting, right?

Did I mention that this investment also creates potentially life-saving treatments for deadly rare diseases?

This fund doesn’t exist — at least not yet. I’m cautiously optimistic, however, that in the near future we’ll see the launch of an orphan disease “mega-fund” that finances early-stage biomedical research and drug development and is also a tidy investment. Read More »

IPO opportunities in the cloud — Charles Kane

MIT Sloan Sr. Lecturer Charles Kane

MIT Sloan Sr. Lecturer Charles Kane

From the Boston Business Journal

IPOs are making a comeback, according to Ernst & Young. E&Y surveyed 300 institutional investors and found that 82 percent had invested in IPO or pre-IPO stocks in the previous 12 months, compared with only 18 percent in the prior two years.

While the rebound has occurred across industries, investors clearly like certain kinds of companies more than others. Biotech has had a string of successful IPOs. This infusion of capital will allow companies to get their products to market faster, which should get us closer to curing or combating diseases. The social media industry also has been drawing IPO investors of late, despite Facebook’s bungled IPO in the spring of 2012.

Read More »

How To Build A Fast-Growth Startup — Rory O’Shea

MIT Sloan Visiting Asst. Prof. Rory O'Shea

MIT Sloan Visiting Asst. Prof. Rory O’Shea

From Forbes

For many “born-on-the-Internet” companies, slow growth isn’t an option. These are companies that started on the Web with a global marketplace in mind, and many are finding that it’s either scale or be irrelevant. They work hard to achieve market leadership, to realize economies of scale and economies of scope, and to be recognized as the brand leader. A few examples of these ventures include Dropbox, Evernote, Fab, Etsy,Groupon GRPN +4.15%LinkedIn LNKD +0.84%, Pinterest, Stripe and Square.

These types of businesses often start fast and never let up, which stresses a startup financially and can leave its owners emotionally drained. To maintain advantage, they need to have the proper building blocks in place in order to go full speed ahead with the best chances for success.

Read More »

Could financial engineering cure cancer? — Andrew Lo

From Financial Times

Financial engineering failed dramatically in the financial crisis, but maybe it could be used to help persuade institutions to invest in cancer research. Professor Andrew Lo of MIT’s Sloan School of Management explains how to Long View columnist John Authers.

Andrew W. Lo is the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor, a Professor of Finance, and the Director of the Laboratory for Financial Engineering at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Watch the video at the Financial Times.

Connectivity climbs post crisis — Robert Merton

From Financial Times

Interdependency between banks, insurers and countries through financial instruments was a factor blamed for the financial crisis. Now, academics are trying to measure it. Bob Merton, professor of finance at MIT Sloan, explains to John Authers that credit seems even more interconnected now.

Robert C. Merton is the School of Management Distinguished Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Watch the video at the Financial Times.