COMM 387 - Entrepreneurial Finance

The course covers entrepreneurial and private equity finance. It directly addresses questions of students wanting to become entrepreneurs in the near or more distant future, or those who seek key positions in startup companies. Motivated by increases in both the supply of and demand for private equity, the course provides understanding of the concepts and institutions involved in entrepreneurial finance and private equity markets. The course provides a necessary toolkit to those students who want to be active on the investing side, such as working for banks, venture capital firms, growth equity firms, or corporate venture organizations. It will also be useful to anyone who expects to be interacting with entrepreneurs and private equity investors, be it as suppliers, accountants, strategic partners, consultants, customers or other. Finally, this course is meant for anybody with a curious mind and a willingness to combine serious analysis with creative thinking.

Learning objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Identify sources of business ideas for entrepreneurial ventures and analyze forces that are driving startup companies’ valuations.
  • Generate financial projections for startups at different stages of their life-cycle and critically evaluate startups’ business plans from the financial perspective.
  • Apply common private equity valuation methods to determine pricing of investment deals.
  • Negotiate key terms within entrepreneurial teams and understand how to prioritize contractual clauses in a term sheet negotiation.
  • Navigate the complexities of raising capital for novel ideas and assess pros and cons of different sources of capital for entrepreneurial firms. Evaluate public policies towards the financing of entrepreneurs.
  • Make recommendations on fundraising strategies for both entrepreneurs and private equity investors.
  • Be able to account for risks faced by venture founders and other venture stakeholders.
  • Evaluate the risk-return tradeoff of private equity investors such as venture capital firms and describe return characteristics of private capital industry from the historical perspective.
  • Assess available exit strategies for venture founders.

Note: This course was formerly numbered COMM 486X.

Course credits:
3

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