Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Todd Morgan

Second Advisor

Laurel Ofstein

Third Advisor

Herbert Justin Pace


Regulatory Entrepreneurship, a term coined by legal scholars Elizabeth Pollman and Jordan Barry, is a unique form of business, where the primary purpose of the organization is to change the laws as they are written. Airbnb and Uber are two examples of successful companies who have made their business practices and profitability possible through excellent utilization of the regulatory entrepreneurship methods. Regulatory entrepreneurship gives businesses multiple strategic options for how they go about changing the law. A Plaintiff style approach attacks the laws and regulations head on, while a Defendant style approach allows a business to wait until a lawsuit is brought against them. Each of these approaches have strengths and weaknesses and the decision must be made based on what is best for the individual business. Where Airbnb found success in remaining proactive and filing suits against regulatory hurdles in several separate cities, Uber waited for suits filed by employees and other entities in opposition of their existing business practices before they entered the courts to challenge existing laws. Regulatory entrepreneurship is an often costly and controversial process but can lead to exponential growth as companies take an active role in influencing the direction of regulatory laws. Pollman and Barry identify three key factors which can be attributed to a successful regulatory entrepreneur. These factors include business related factors, law related factors and the prevalence of startups in the industry. As the cases will show, a Plaintiff style approach to changing regulation is often less controversial and the more publicly desired way to achieve regulatory goals. The Defendant style approach certainly works to achieve the desired success of changing the existing laws but often comes at a price of lowered employee morale and negative public opinion. As a practice, regulatory entrepreneurship has been around for many years but has recently gained traction and importance as the business realm thrives off of intense and fast-moving technological innovation.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted