Wharton – Finance & Wealth Management – Venture Capital – TimesTSW

Overview

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.

Who Should Attend:


Adjunct Professor David Wessels about who should attend.

Venture Capital is designed for those who invest capital, such as angel investors as well as institutional investors and their advisers; 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.

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.

Program Highlights & Benefits

  • 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


Adjunct Professor David Wessels on some potential obstacles

Venture capitalists generally take a leap of faith with 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, VC 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 are different, too.

Venture Capital starts with a discussion of 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 with a rigorous framework both to evaluate investment opportunities and to manage a multi-stage investment process in an innovative firm.


Key Takeaways: Adjunct Professor David Wessels on what participants will learn.

Listen to the Audio Clip:

(mp3 needed)
Wharton’s David Wessels and University of Florida’s Jay Ritter discuss why Spotify chose a direct listing to go public

Session topics 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

Faculty

    • Bilge Yilmaz, PhD

      Academic Director

      Wharton Private Equity Professor; Professor of Finance; Director, Wharton Alternative Investments Initiative, The Wharton School

      Research Interests: Corporate finance, alternative investments, game theory, political economy

    • Kevin Kaiser, PhD

      Adjunct Professor of Finance; Senior Director, Alternative Investments Initiative, The Wharton School

      Research Interests: Corporate finance, managing for value, private equity, financial distress

    • Serguei Netessine, PhD

      Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Professor of Operations, Information, and Decisions; Departmental PhD Program Coordinator; Vice Dean, Global Initiatives, The Wharton School

      Research Interests: Business model innovation, operational excellence and entrepreneurship

    • Ziad Sarkis

      Director of Financial Research, Wharton Alternative Investments Initiative, The Wharton School

    • David Wessels, PhD

      Adjunct Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

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