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Darla Moore School of Business


Elisa Alvarez-Garrido

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Department of International Business
Darla Moore School of Business
Phone: 803-777-3554

Darla Moore School of Business, Room 457B

Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Elisa Alvarez-Garrido


Elisa Alvarez-Garrido is an assistant professor in the Sonoco International Business Department at the Darla Moore School of Business. Alvarez-Garrido’s research interest is in international entrepreneurship. Her work combines insights from international business, entrepreneurship, and technology and innovation to study how investors contribute to the financial and innovative performance of startups across different contexts. She is particularly interested in innovation and high-technology startups, with a focus on biotechnology, and how to foster startup innovation in countries that have a less favorable environment. In her research she finds that not all investors contribute equally to startup innovation; startups funded by corporate venture capital firms patent more than those funded only by venture capital firms. She also studies how investors contribute to a startup innovation and financial performance depending on the institutional environment. In the face of regulatory uncertainty, she finds that specialized venture capital firms foster startup innovation. Her research also explores how investors leverage their assets across countries. For instance, foreign venture capitalists are treasured for their networks of contacts back in their home country but are able to leverage those networks in their international investments only under certain conditions.
Alvarez-Garrido’s work has been published in the Strategic Management Journal as well as in the Nature Biotechnology journal. Her work has been recognized for several awards: the Best Paper in International Management in OB/HRM/OT at the Academy of Management 2016, finalist in the Haynes Prize for the Most Promising Scholar at the Academy of International Business 2014, and finalist Best Conference Paper at the Strategic Management Society 2014, among others. She is currently an editorial board member of the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. Alvarez-Garrido received her Ph.D. in management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. She holds M.Sc. degrees from the Wharton School and from the University Carlos III of Madrid in Spain. Before that, she earned two Bachelors of Science degrees in Business Administration and Economics, as well as a law degree, all from the University Carlos III of Madrid in Spain.
Alvarez-Garrido teaches international entrepreneurship at the undergraduate and graduate level. Before joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina, she was faculty at Georgia State University, where she taught global competitive strategy in the MBA program.


International entrepreneurship, global management of innovation and technology, entrepreneurial strategy, cross-national differences across entrepreneurial ecosystems


  • Ph.D., The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 2010
  • M.Sc., The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 2007
  • M.Sc., University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain, 2005
  • B.S., Economics, University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain 2003
  • B.S., Business Administration, University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain, 2002
  • B.A., Law, University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain, 2002

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