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Venture Capital

Program Overview

Venture capital is the fuel that drives the aspirations of innovative emerging companies and ambitious entrepreneurs worldwide. But for every successful, disruptive trailblazing start-up, there are thousands of other businesses that fail, even after receiving multiple infusions of venture capital.

Venture Capital, a new 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 the key drivers in the venture capital industry, and learn about the non-financial factors affecting a start-up or early stage company’s valuation.

Read more about the Experience & Impact »

Venture Capital Highlights & Benefits

  • Develop a systematic way to screen, analyze, and value investment opportunities and evaluate a VC fund’s performance
  • Identify potential pitfalls and risks when negotiating a deal
  • Examine different risk profiles and exit strategies, and discover due diligence best practices
  • Acquire a framework to negotiate, price, and structure the best investor terms and navigate the shareholder’s agreement to avoid costly mistakes
  • Increase understanding of how a VC fund operates and the distinctions between the general partner and limited partner roles

Contact Us

Schedule a personalized consultation to discuss your professional goals:


May 7 - 11, 2018$10,250

Philadelphia, PA

Tuition for Philadelphia programs includes lodging and meals. Prices are subject to change.

Still considering your options? View programs within Finance & Wealth Management or use our Program Finder.

Experience & Impact

Venture capitalists generally take a leap of faith on 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 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, venture capital 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 is different too.

Venture Capital starts with a discussion on how VC funds work, 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 incentives of a VC fund, and gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which VC funds operate. This program will give participants a rigorous process to analyze investment opportunities as a limited partner on a specific deal, or as a passive equity investor looking to invest in a VC fund.

Session topics may include:

  • Innovation through new venture creation
  • Deal analysis and evaluating investment opportunities
  • Deal structure design
  • Investment decision making
  • Exit strategies
  • General partner vs. limited partner, the pros and cons
  • Incentives for a VC fund

Who Should Attend

Venture Capital is designed for both those who invest capital — such as angel investors as well as general and limited partners — and entrepreneurs seeking funding for their companies in their early stages of growth.

Participants may include:

  • Executives leading corporate M&A and business development
  • Investment managers and finance industry professionals, as well as professional services providers, such as CPAs and attorneys, who work frequently with VC firms
  • Angel investors

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 education for ultra-high-net-worth investors who are looking to make direct investments in venture capital funds.

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.

Plan Your Stay


Bilge Yilmaz, PhD   See Faculty Bio

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   See Faculty Bio

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   See Faculty Bio

Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Innovation, entrepreneurship, supply chains, sustainability, revenue management, incentives

David Wessels, PhD   See Faculty Bio

Adjunct Professor of Finance, The Wharton School

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