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London Business School

Financing the Entrepreneurial Business

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Financing the Entrepreneurial Business | London Business School

Next dates

Nov 11—15
5 days
London, United Kingdom
GBP 7500 ≈USD 9904
GBP 1500 per day

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Whether you are a high-potential entrepreneur seeking venture capital or a PE investor eager to maximise returns on your investment – learn how to create the best conditions for financing high-growth entrepreneurial businesses.

On this unique programme, led by Professor John Mullins and Martyn Williams, you will collaborate with experienced entrepreneurs and investors and learn how to navigate each stage of the deal cycle.

There is no textbook for this programme – because no two deals are the same. Instead you will learn from faculty immersed not only in the theory of entrepreneurial finance, but also in the practice of venture capital. They are experienced entrepreneurs and investors with a history of success in their own right.

Why choose this programme?

  • The practical, case-study led nature of this programme enables you to apply what you’ve learned to your own business needs. You’ll examine actual deals – some successful, some not – to truly understand what success looks like.
  • You will boost your confidence to do business in different cultures and markets. Surrounded by an internationally diverse class of entrepreneurs and investors you’ll unpick actual deals from around the world.
  • You will build lasting and valuable networks and enhance future deal flow through a wider and more dynamic business network.
  • The programme takes place in the heart of London, a creative, commercially-driven city that is a living lesson for entrepreneurs and investors alike. Meet guest speakers and leverage the global networks only London can bring.

The Customer-Funded Business

Becoming an entrepreneur is difficult. Raising capital to fund your entrepreneurial journey is even more challenging.

In his new book 'The Customer-Funded Business', and in his Coursera MOOC, ‘How to Finance and Grow your Startup – Without VC’, Professor John Mullins examines some of the limitations of venture capital and offers five proven, time-tested methods of getting your customers to fund your business.

Benefits and impact

Become a skilful deal negotiator

This programme brings together high-potential entrepreneurs and investors seeking to finance entrepreneurial ventures. Gain practical tools and frameworks for structuring deals to ensure successful outcomes.

Benefits for investors

  • Discover what you should look for when making deals
  • Understand valuation techniques and their application
  • Grasp what drives entrepreneurs and how to build “win-win” outcomes
  • Understand how to leverage your money with funds from other sources
  • Find out why the vast majority of venture capitalists deliver no returns to their investors
  • Learn how to structure deals to improve return
  • Understand how to manage IPOs, exits and trade sales
  • Build a network of other investors and entrepreneurs to enhance deal flow.

Benefits for entrepreneurs

  • Learn what business angels and venture capitalists are looking for
  • Value what an early stage venture or a buyout is really worth
  • Discover what drives investors and how to build "win-win" outcomes
  • Understand how to buy a business with “other people’s money”
  • Learn to identify an investor who can add value
  • Learn the implications of venture capitalists’ financial instruments and how to counter them
  • Understand the implications of various exit strategies for entrepreneurs and shareholders
  • Answer the most crucial question: Why will – or won’t – my idea work?

Benefits for your organisation

You gain a high-potential executive who can:

  • make better valuations
  • choose the right financing options
  • determine the best exit strategy
  • avoid costly pitfalls
  • enhance deal flow or financing options through a strong international network..

An international point of view

Boost your confidence and readiness to do business in different cultures and markets through comparative analysis of organisations across the globe. The global perspective of this course empowers you to seek out deals anywhere in the world.

London adds its own invaluable equity to the programme with its thriving commercial and creative activity close at hand. Leverage the global business networking opportunities that this location offers.

Programme content

Our world-class faculty hand-pick 10 case studies from around the world to supercharge your experience and exposure to all aspects of investing or finding investment in an entrepreneurial venture.

You engage in vigorous discussions of actual deals in emerging markets, Europe and the USA. This gives you a global perspective when deal making, opening up more opportunities for the types of deals you can consider in future.

What you learn

A range of scenarios

Unpick the different financing models for each deal. Scenarios include financing a start-up, management buy-outs and buy-ins, holding on to equity, the implications of financing through institutional investors, funding high growth and harvesting. You cover both service and manufacturing companies, and high-tech and low-tech industry settings.

Some cases are delivered by guest speakers who have been involved in both financing and managing entrepreneurial businesses and bring their practical knowledge and experience to the class widening your understanding of the issues.

The practical, example-led nature of this programme enables you to apply immediately what you’ve learned to your own business needs.

You examine the following key themes:

  • valuation techniques for privately-held companies
  • non-financial factors impacting valuations
  • due diligence from both sides of the table
  • shareholders agreements
  • structuring and pricing of financing options
  • multiple rounds of financing
  • investor considerations and pitfalls
  • the psychology of deal making
  • exit strategies, including Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and trade sales.

How you learn

Meet, discuss and share perspectives and experiences with leading academics and industry professionals from the venture capital, private equity and entrepreneurial communities. Enhance your future deal flow through a wider and more dynamic business network. To get the most out of this highly interactive programme, you complete a valuation assignment for discussion at the first session. Having tackled the issues and reached your own conclusions, your learning quickly accelerates.

At the end of the programme, you apply your learning by working in small groups to submit an investment proposal complete with valuation and proposed deal structure. Detailed feedback is provided. An optional assignment after the programme gives you another chance to put your learning into practice.

Your learning experience


  • Welcome and introduction
  • What’s the value of a company
  • Assessing investment opportunities
  • Group and individual study time


  • Financing start-ups
  • Management buy-outs and buy-ins


  • Living with institutional investors
  • Holding on to equity


  • Venture capital as a ‘people business’


  • Funding high growth
  • Harvesting

Who should attend

Join global professionals from all facets of the venture capital, private equity and entrepreneurial communities on this programme.

Typical participants are:

  • entrepreneurs running high-potential businesses and their advisors and consultants those working in or seeking to join venture capital firms
  • investors in privately-held companies, limited partners or other providers of capital to venture capital or private equity funds
  • managers running fast-growth business units.


An award-winning teacher and scholar and one of the world’s foremost thought leaders in entrepreneurship, John brings to his teaching and research 20 years of executive experience in high-growth retailing firms, including two ventures he founded and one he took public.  Since becoming an entrepr...
Martyn Williams has extensive experience in entrepreneurial companies, having undertaken numerous executive roles as either CEO, PE investor, VC Investor, Angel Investor, Banker, Lender and more recently Investor Chairman, NXD or Trustee. He has experience of being involved with family business, ...


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