Yong Li

Yong Li, Ph.D.

Professor, Lee Professor of Entrepreneurship; Research Director for Troesh Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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Yong Li, Ph.D is professor and Lee professor of entrepreneurship in the Lee Business School, and research director of Troesh Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He is a co-editor for Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal (SEJ), a leading entrepreneurship journal, and on the editorial boards of several other leading journals including AMJ, AMR, JBV, and JIBS. 

Yong Li, Ph.D conducts research at the intersection of entrepreneurship, strategy and international business, studying venture capital, crowdfunding, new venture innovation and international expansion. He examines investment decisions under uncertainty primarily from two angles: keeping options open and getting the institutions right. Li has published extensively in major management journals such as AMJ, JIBS, OS, and SMJ, and in major entrepreneurship journals including SEJ, JBV, and ETP. His research has been supported by the Kauffman Foundation and SSHRC Canada, recognized by AOM, SMS and IACMR, and featured on Forbes, Entrepreneur, Crowdfund Insider, and Knowledge@Wharton. He has led the SMS Doctoral Workshop and organized several PDWs at AOM on advancing theory development in entrepreneurship.

Yong Li, Ph.D has taught strategy and entrepreneurship courses at the undergraduate, MBA and doctoral levels, developed well-received courses such as “Technology Entrepreneurship” and “eLab” (Entrepreneurship Lab), and authored best-selling and award-winning cases. His teaching was recognized by the University of Illinois. Student teams from his classes have secured significant funding from angels, venture capital firms and crowdfunding platforms, and won numerous business plan competitions, including multiple first places at the Panasci Technology Entrepreneurship Competition and first place at the New York State Business Plan Competition. 

Yong Li, Ph.D has given keynote speeches on various aspects of starting a business. He has consulted for companies and startups, and currently serves on the advisory boards of several startups. He was previously a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the State University of New York at Buffalo and served as the inaugural academic director of the university’s Entrepreneurship Academy. He received Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and MBA from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Selected works:

Keeping options open in venture capital and international investments:

  • Li, Y. & Chi, T. 2013. Venture capitalists’ decision to withdraw: The role of portfolio configuration from a real options lens. Strategic management journal, 34: 1351–1366.
  • Li, Y. & Mahoney, J. T. 2011. When are venture capital projects initiated? Journal of business venturing, 26(2): 239-254.
  • Tong, T. W. & Li, Y. 2011. Real options and investment mode: Evidence from corporate venture capital and acquisition. Organization science, 22(3): 659-674.
  • Li, J. & Li, Y. 2010. Flexibility versus commitment. Journal of international business studies, 41(9): 1550–1571.
  • Li, Y. 2008. Duration analysis of venture capital staging: A real options perspective. Journal of business venturing, 23(5): 497-512.

Getting the institutions right in venture capital and international investments:

  • Li, Y., Li, J., Zhang, P., & Gwon, S. 2022. Stronger Together: Country-of-Origin Agglomeration and MNE Location Choice in an Adverse Institutional Environment. Strategic Management Journal.
  • Li, Y., Hernandez, E., & Gwon, S. 2019. When Do Ethnic Communities Affect Foreign Location Choice? Academy of Management Journal, 62(1): 172-195.
  • Li, Y. & Zahra, S. A. 2012. Formal institutions, culture, and venture capital activity: A cross-country analysis. Journal of Business Venturing, 27(1): 95-111.

Mitigating information asymmetry in crowdfunding:

  • Courtney, C., Dutta, S., & Li, Y. 2017. Resolving Information Asymmetry: Signaling, Endorsement, and Crowdfunding Success. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 41(2): 265-290.