July 17, 2017

Symposium to explore Yankee whaling industry as first venture capital business model in USA

New Bedford Whaling Museum and Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum
August 11, 2017

New Bedford, Mass. – America’s earliest venture capital business model flourished during the era of whaling in this country: that is the central premise of a one-day symposium at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on August 11, 2017. The Economics of Whaling Symposium will convene professors, historians, and businessmen to discuss the success of this 19th century American global enterprise and the application of this unique business model to modern finance. The symposium is co-sponsored by the Whaling Museum and the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum, and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost to attend is $25 for Whaling Museum and RJD members, and $35 for non-members. Advance registration is required in order to receive symposium reading material. To register call 508-997-0046 ext. 100 or visit www.whalingmuseum.org.

Whale ship owners and agents showed tremendous business acumen by creating an incentive-based pay structure that motivated captains and their crews to optimize profits. Simultaneously, the distribution of risk through syndication allowed for enormous profits despite predictable losses at sea.

The Economics of Whaling Symposium presentations and speakers include “Whaling as a Business: Its Finance, Organization, and Management,” presented by Eric Hilt, Associate Professor of Economics, Wellesley College; “The Entire Business of the Place is the Whale Fishery: Specialization and Management in the New Bedford Port District, 1789-1884,” by Michael P. Dyer, Senior Maritime Historian, New Bedford Whaling Museum; “Whaling Ventures,” Harvard Business School Case Study, presented by Jonas P. Akins, Co-Author; “Beyond the Piers: New Bedford Whaling Culture in the Rest of the Country,” by Jamie Jones, Visiting Assistant Professor of English, University of Illinois. The day also includes a reception and tour of the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum. The house was built by shipwrights in 1834 for whaling merchant William Rotch Jr.


Tina Malott
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
New Bedford Whaling Museum

About the New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's most comprehensive museum devoted to the global story of human interaction with whales through time, and the history and culture of the South Coast region. The cornerstone of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Museum is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill in the heart of the city's historic downtown. Museum hours: April through December, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; January through March, Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free for Museum members and children aged three and under; adults $17, seniors (65+) $15, students (19+) $10, child and youth $7. For more information, please visit www.whalingmuseum.org.