As a recovering VC who now deals with investors from the opposite side of the table, the topic of executive education for aspiring and current VCs is very dear to my heart. Can you learn to be a VC in a classroom? Does learning only come from doing in this industry? If you are an experienced entrepreneur already and been in the trenches, Is it enough to just read a few books about angel investing?
The answer is different for everyone and depends on how one prefers to acquire knowledge and skills. Here is a (far from exhaustive) list of programs we recommend you consider. As always, we are always happy to help you decide!
Berkeley / April 29 - May 3 / USD 8650
Best fit for: Anybody from different backgrounds who wants to become an angel investor or is starting their first VC fund (including corporate VCs), as well as economic development leaders looking to build a version of Silicon Valley in their regions/country (good luck with that!).
Taught by: Top Berkeley Haas faculty with experience in venture capital and business model innovation, along with guest lecturers from VCs, innovation consultancies, law firms, and startups.
What’s unique: While not the only one in Silicon Valley, it’s probably one of the longest-running and popular venture capital courses with a great number of active VCs and angel investors who count themselves among its alumni
Wharton / May 6 - May 10 / USD 10950
Best fit for: Professionals with finance background interested in the VC industry, including representatives of family offices and sovereign funds, PE investors, and HNWIs looking to become limited partners in VCs or start their own fund
Taught by: A stellar team of academics and practitioners with global experience and expertise in business model innovation, investing and different stages, and technology
What’s unique: Even though the number of VC professionals who are Wharton’s alums is likely only on par with HBS and Stanford, this is a very new program. Tapping into Wharton’s global network is great in itself, but the program’s content and delivery make it a fantastic learning opportunity for those living outside of Silicon Valley.
IE / June 10 - June 12 / EUR 3900 (~USD 4400)
Best fit for: Those interested in angel or VC investing in Europe.
Taught by: Academics and active venture capitalists with experience backing and advising seed and early-stage startups.
What’s unique: With just a couple of programs in Europe to choose from, this one comes as more international and highly rated. It’s also shorter than most programs on this topic but packs a lot of material in just a few days.
Launch / July 15 - July 19 / USD 4000
Best fit for: Angel investors looking for practical know-how and VCs interested in getting access to startups in some of the best angel funnels.
Taught by: One of the most prominent active angels, Jason Calacanis, whose unicorn-to-total portfolio ratio is just incredible. He is joined by a team of successful angels and VCs.
What’s unique: It’s probably the most practical learning opportunity for active angel investors (if you aren’t active, you can’t even join!). You get to learn from peers who were all vetted and also get access to the funnel of some of the most successful among them. And you get to play poker and petanque along with some nice wine tasting together with some of the most outstanding investors in the Silicon Valley.
Columbia / April 10 - 13 / USD 8750
Best fit for: Professional athletes looking to join the ranks of Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neall, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Joe Montana, and Serena Williams and reinvent themselves as startup investors.
Taught by: Active venture investors, including athletes and entrepreneurs
What’s unique: It’s really the only program tailored for athletes looking to up their startup game.
Stanford and 500 / August 19 - August 30 / 24000
Best fit for: Aspiring investors interesting in the angel and seed stage startup investing
Taught by: Stanford faculty and 500 startups team
What’s unique: It’s the longest program on venture capital available. It was developed in conjunction with one of the most successful accelerators with a truly a global footprint. It’s also the most expensive one.
LBS / November 11 - November 15 / GBP 7500 (~USD 9650)
Best fit for: Entrepreneurs looking to raise venture capital or PE funding and who would like a crash course on entrepreneurial finance because they haven’t raised funding before.
Taught by: A prominent academic focused on entrepreneurial finance and a practicing VC investor
What’s unique: It’s unlikely that this program would be a good fit for someone raising their friends and family or a pre-seed round, but it can be an excellent opportunity to learn about entrepreneurial finance for those who grew their company without external VC or PE funding and would like to scale it by accessing these types of capital.
HBS / March 20 - March 23 / USD 10000
Best fit for: Fund managers, later stage investors, various players in the VC/PE ecosystem
Taught by: A brilliant team of academics and practitioners with experience in PE transactions
What’s unique: While most VC-related programs in the US focus on angel and seed stage investments, this program position itself at a later stage and touches upon topics that are more relevant to those responsible for established funds strategy and operations.