The course uses a two-pronged approach to the study of entrepreneurial finance. First, we will analyze principles of corporate finance, valuation, and coordination and control of firms, with an eye toward developing the tools and concepts of entrepreneurial financial management. Second, we will use cases on firms at different stages of their life cycle to illustrate how these tools and concepts may be applied in practice. In following these two approaches, we will examine the case dynamics and decisions from the viewpoint of both the entrepreneur and that of the investors to understand their motivations, objectives, and considerations. Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity investing are intrinsically linked. As an entrepreneur, you cannot negotiate effectively without understanding the investor’s modifications. As an investor, you cannot evaluate a potential opportunity without appreciating the entrepreneur’s perspective
In principle, we can think of a “life cycle” of entrepreneurial financial decisions comprised of stages of identifying opportunity, marshaling resources, executing the business decisions, and “harvesting” success. In practice, entrepreneurial finance is not a linear process though this life cycle, and most of the cases we examine will necessarily involve considering multiple stages of the life cycle. As a further dimension, both economists and private equity practitioners describe the need to think simultaneously about four “success factors”: people, opportunity, context, and the deal. Our case analyses will follow this general framework.