Course 2010-2011 a.y.



Department of Finance

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEAM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  3 credits SECS-P/09  |  3 credits SECS-P/11) - CLES (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  3 credits SECS-P/09  |  3 credits SECS-P/11) - CLEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  3 credits SECS-P/09  |  3 credits SECS-P/11) - BIEM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  3 credits SECS-P/09  |  3 credits SECS-P/11) - CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  3 credits SECS-P/09  |  3 credits SECS-P/11)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

Students who attend this course have the opportunity to learn what the characteristics and main issues affecting venture and development capital activity are. This industry is increasingly gaining relevance both in the field of firm financing and as an asset class in investment portfolios. At the end of 2008 in Europe venture capital firms invested €54 billion in around 5,400 companies and they raised €79 billion of new funds for investment purposes. The learning goals are as follows:

  • how the fundamental financial theories work in the venture capital industry;
  • venture capital as an asset class and its investor categories;
  • what are the target companies venture capitalists wish to invest in;
  • management of the investment process and way out.

Course Content Summary

  • Venture and development capital: an industry overview.
  • Investor categories who place funds in venture capital industry (financial investor, corporate venture capital, government and local authorities, informal investors).
  • How to regulate relationships between general and limited partners within investorsorganisation (incentives schemes, disclosure and accountability, how to share profits between parties).
  • How to invest: legal framework, strategies and vehicles.
  • What makes venture capital target firms special and when and why they are not able to raise capital in the debt market.
  • Solutions from venture capitalists to firm needs. Relationships between entrepreneur and investor.
  • Investment criteria and investment styles (round financing, milestones, venture debt).
  • Investment valuation: business plan, deal structuring, valuation criteria and expected IRRs.
  • Management of the way out: how and when to exit from the investment.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

For attending students the assessment process is divided in three parts: a) a mid-term exam (multiple choice, weight 40%); b) a final exam (a mix between multiple choice and open questions, weight 60%); c) a group assignment (an option to obtain extra points a maximum of 4).

The grade from the mid-term exam can be used only once by the February exam date. The grade from the assignment will expire at the end of the current academic year.

For non-attending students or attending students who did not take, or pass, the mid-term exam there is one final exam (a mix between multiple choice and open questions).


  • Smith and Smith, Entrepreneurial Finance, Wiley, 2004, 2nd ed. (only some sections).
  • Some working papers/case histories distributed on the course web page.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


It is suggested that students, although this is not obligatory, have attended the basic courses in Financial System and Corporate Finance in order to fully exploit the value of the course.

Last change 10/05/2010 15:08