B8495: Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Financial Services: FinTech, Private Equity, and Venture Capital Perspectives (Master Class)


Application for Admission

Spring 2016, Thursdays, 2:15pm to 5:30pm in Uris 307

Taught By:

Professor R.A. Farrokhnia
Professor Stephen P. Zeldes

Link to Syllabus

Link to Course Listing

Course Description:

Over the past decade, technological innovation has greatly impacted the financial services industry, and further innovation and disruption are occurring every day. We are witnessing major global changes in the realms of payments, foreign exchange, consumer and corporate borrowing, insurance, consumer financial advice, and wealth management, just to name a few. To understand these changes, we need to understand both the technological changes and the underlying economics of the financial services industry, including the role of Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) firms that are often funding and fostering such changes, and are affected by them in turn. 
In this course, we will study this innovation and entrepreneurship in the financial services industry in general, with a special focus on Financial Technology (FinTech), Private Equity, and Venture Capital. We will examine whether and how the creative application of technology can responsibly address market shortcomings and meet consumer needs in the realm of financial services. We will do so through a combination of cases, lectures, class discussions, and guest speakers, designed to teach students economic principles and put students in the shoes of managers and decision-makers addressing a plethora of challenges facing the industry. We will examine innovation in both products and processes in the financial services industry, and explore FinTech as a venue for the application of entrepreneurial thought and venture launch.  

Furthermore, the course (as a Master Class) has a unique component: admitted students will work in teams throughout the semester on projects with prominent New York City VC, PE, or FinTech firms.  Students will choose between one of two types of projects.  In the first, each team will be assigned to a VC or PE firm and will work on a project involving current research, deals, and/or transactions.  In the second, each team will work on their own start-up / entrepreneurial venture in the area of FinTech / Financial Services, and will work with advisors from FinTech start-ups and VC firms, who will guide students on their venture and background research.  Project deliverables are described below. 

At the end of the semester, each team will present the findings of their project to the firm and to the course faculty. This practical and hands-on approach will enable students to gain relevant knowledge and work experience as well as to apply course material and takeaways in actual business settings. Please note that admitted students are required to sign a Confidentiality and/or Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) as well as a Code of Conduct agreement. 

To apply to be part of this course, please provide the following information:

EIFS Application