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Entrepreneurial Finance


Frésard L.

Course director

Dalla Fontana S.



Corporate Finance


This course is designed to introduce students to entrepreneurial finance This course explores entrepreneurial finance and private equity, including angel and venture capital, growth equity, and exits. Over the last 30 years, growth in private capital markets and in the perceived importance of high-growth entrepreneurial projects has been spectacular. The primary goal of the course is to familiarize students with the financial and organizational challenges typical of start-up and growing private companies and to provide an understanding of the concepts and institutions involved in private capital markets. To reach this goal, the course is broad and comprehensive.

Description / Program
The course primarily considers the financial economics of entrepreneurial settings, but discussions will also integrate issues from micro and macroeconomics, strategy, organization, and control. We explore the questions raised from many perspectives, often contrasting the positions of entrepreneurs and investors. Issues covered include deal structure, incentive design, valuation of high-risk projects, financial management in rapidly growing firms, initial public offerings and trade sales. Among capital suppliers, we consider informal risk capital, commercial banks, angel investors, venture capital firms, private equity firms, and investment banks. Throughout the course, analytical tools will be introduced and utilized. Financial analysis, various valuation methods, negotiations, and deal structuring will be examined in the context of entrepreneurial firms. In addition, investment analysis and due diligence issues will be explored. Using various cases, the course covers all stages of the financing process, from startup to harvest and exit.

Learning Method /Style of Lessons
In class with exercises, presentations, projects and case studies.

Exam Style
Final written exam (25%), cases (40%), project (25%), and participation (10%).

Requested Material
HBS cases

Several articles