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About the course
Venture capital is the fuel that drives emerging companies and ambitious entrepreneurs worldwide. But for every successful, disruptive, trailblazing start-up, there are dozens of other businesses that fail, even after receiving multiple infusions of capital.
Venture Capital, a program from Wharton Executive Education, will lift the veil on one of the most exciting and perhaps least transparent areas in finance. Designed for investors and entrepreneurs alike, participants will come away with a greater understanding of how venture capital (VC) works; how the best venture capitalists source, screen, and value deals; and how to design contracts that protect both investors and founders.
Program Highlights & Benefits
In Venture Capital, you will:
- Learn how VC funds are structured, how they operate, and why organizational structure matters to limited partners, general partners, and even founders
- Understand how to raise capital from limited partners, including the design of partnership agreements that enable effective relationships
- Develop a systematic way to screen, analyze, and value high-growth investment opportunities in nascent industries
- Discover effective ways to manage innovative processes
- Acquire a framework to negotiate, price, and structure the best investor terms
- Learn how to best navigate the shareholder’s agreement to avoid costly mistakes
- Identify how and when to exit the investment
Experience & Impact
Venture capitalists generally take a leap of faith on a business idea or founder when choosing to invest in a start-up. They have to value a company whose future financial success hinges on an unproven technology or product that hasn’t been fully commercialized or has yet to generate any revenue. And because of the longer time horizon to profitability and a greater degree of uncertainty of achieving success, venture capital has a risk-return profile that is significantly different from that of a conventional, established business with predictable revenues. As a result, the tools and valuation methods venture capitalists use to assess a business without any tangible assets is different too.
Venture Capital starts with a discussion on how VC funds are organized, how investments are selected, and how due diligence is conducted. Participants will examine case studies that detail a transaction from beginning to end. In this manner, participants will see how a deal is structured, learn more about the differing incentives of a VC fund and entrepreneurs, and gain a deeper understanding of venture investing. This program will provide participants a rigorous framework both to evaluate investment opportunities and to manage a multi-stage investment process in an innovative firm.
Session topics may include:
- Limited Partner/General Partner Negotiation and Contracting
- The VC Business Model: Sourcing, Screening, and Selection
- Venture Capital Valuation Method
- Term Sheets: The Venture Capitalist's and Entrepreneur's perspectives
- Deal Sourcing
- Managing Innovative Processes
- Later-Round Financing
- Preferred Stock Valuation
- Exit Strategies
Who should attend
Venture Capital is designed for those who invest capital, such as angel investors as well as institutional investors and their advisors; entrepreneurs seeking funding for their companies in their early stages of growth; and government leaders looking to encourage entrepreneurship in local markets.
Participants may include:
- Venture capitalists
- Entrepreneurs who may seek VC funding
- Investment managers and finance industry professionals who are responsible for finding and selecting VC funds in which to invest
- Professional services providers, such as CPAs and attorneys, who work frequently with VC firms
- Angel investors
- Executives leading corporate M&A and business development
- Economic development and other government officials responsible for attracting VC activity to a municipality or state
Some of the job functions and roles include:
- Asset managers for large public and private institutions such as pension funds, university endowments, foundations, and corporations International economic development officials
- Sovereign wealth fund professionals
- Family office representatives and other private wealth advisors to ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families
- Additionally, the program provides an excellent opportunity for ultra-high-net-worth investors who are looking to make investments in venture capital funds.
Fluency in English, written and spoken, is required for participation in Wharton executive education programs unless otherwise indicated.
Trust the experts
David Wessels is an Adjunct Professor of Finance, and a Director of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. David teaches courses on corporate valuation, venture capital, and performance management to undergraduates and MBA’s in Philadelphia and San Francisco,...
Serguei Netessine is professor of Operations, Information and Decisions and vice dean of Global Initiatives at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on business model innovation and operational excellence and he has worked on these topics with numerous governm...
Education PhD, Princeton University, 2000; B.S., Bogaziçi University, 1991 Academic Positions Held Wharton: 2009present; 19982008. Previous appointment: Stanford University Archishman Chakraborty, Simon Gervais, Bilge Yilmaz (2011), Security Design in Initial Public Offerings , Review of Fina...
Kevin Kaiser joined the finance faculty at INSEAD in 1992 where he is currently Professor of Management Practice and Director of the Transition to General Management programme. Kevin is also Director of the ABN Amro Managing for Value Research Fund at INSEAD, and is active in conducting and shari...
Ziad Sarkis is the director of Financial Research at the Wharton Alternative Investments Initiative. Prior to his current role, he worked for Zouk Capital, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Deloitte in the U.S. and EMEA regions. He advised private equity funds, family offices, and corporate groups on m...