MBA 848V: Applied Venture Capital Concepts
Fridays, 9a-12p, Mod I
Instructor: Patrick Vernon
Office: McColl 4216, book a 15 minute appointment
Required Reading: Pro Rata, daily email from Dan Primack, Axios subscribe
Optional Reading: VC Razor, How to Think Like a VC, Part I: VC Industry Overview, Patrick Vernon
Applied Venture Capital Concepts is designed to give a small group of students a broad and deep exposure to the venture capital industry with the goal of understanding how this subclass of private equity plays an integral role in the commercialization of disruptive technologies in our economy. This depth of understanding is helpful to students who plan to be in professions that are deeply influenced by technology, whether in consulting, finance, marketing, operations or general management, whether in a large corporations, growth firms or startups, and whether on the investment side or the operations side.
While other venture capital classes focus on micro-deal issues (Entrepreneurial Finance, VC Deal Structure, Business Plan Analysis), Applied VC Concepts takes a macro view of venture capital fund management and how VC fits into a broader context. Through a series of site visits on Friday mornings in Mod I (9AM-noon), students will interact directly with VCs and LPs (limited partners), learning about the dynamic and intellectually challenging nature of their work. VCs are immersed in myriad activities day to day, month to month, and year to year. At any given moment, VCs must juggle numerous priorities from varying constituencies, based on the macro and micro rhythms of capital markets, innovation cycles, venture fund profiles, demands from LPs, challenges with portfolio companies, market uncertainties, competitive disruptions, etc.
We will visit different types of VC firms (early stage, later stage, independent, corporate) and LP firms (fund of funds, endowments, advisors) to get a broad range of perspectives on the venture capital industry.
- 25% Weekly Meeting Prep (4)
- 50% Lessons Learned (4)
- 25% Participation
The most important learning opportunity for this course is the time we spend with our guests. Therefore, I have designed deliverables to facilitate more robust interactions and deeper learning during those sessions.
25% Weekly Meeting Prep (choose 4)
You may choose 4 of the site visits for which to submit a Word DOC covering the following information:
- Guest Speaker Tear Sheet: Submit a tear sheet (one page summary) for each guest speaker. You may copy/paste information from Capital IQ, company websites and/or Wikipedia.
- Top 5 Questions: On your tear sheet, list your top 5 questions for each speaker. Our guests prefer specific questions that demonstrate your depth of research. In other words, do some research and ask smart questions. You will be appreciated by the guests.
- VC Current Event URL: Paste the URL of the most interesting and relevant tidbit you found on Dan Primack’s Pro Rata email. Add your comments to give some context. Be prepared to discuss your topic with our guest speaker.
50% Lessons Learned (choose 4)
You may use any style (DOC, PPT or other) to communicate the most important things you learned from our visit on Friday. Graphics are appreciated. There is no maximum or minimum word, slide or page count for this exercise. Below are some learning objectives of the class that you may (or may not) consider:
- Overall course mission: students receive a broad and deep exposure to the venture capital industry with the goal of understanding how this subclass of private equity plays an integral role in the commercialization of disruptive technologies in our economy.
- Learn what it is like being a VC, juggling numerous priorities from varying constituencies, based on the macro and micro rhythms of capital markets, innovation cycles, individual fund profiles, demands from LPs, challenges with portfolio companies, market uncertainties, competitive disruptions, etc.
- Understand the priorities of limited partners and why they choose to invest in this asset class, and further, why some choose to invest directly.
- Learn current industry norms and trends.
- Get an insider’s view of how important relationships are at all levels of the value chain (LPs, VCs, operators).
- Facilitate this learning by getting out of the classroom!
Your active participation in conversations with guest speakers is imperative. Our guests are generously donating their time to this small group of students and expect a high level of engagement (or they may not host again). You will be graded on the quality and quantity of your interactions.
LOGISTICS / ABSENCES
Other than the first day of class, we will meet at 8:50AM at the bottom of the parking deck in the S11 parking lot. We will all ride together in a rented van, which will depart the S11 lot at 9AM sharp. Being late means missing this week’s class. You may miss only two classes to pass this class, which meets only 7 times.