This broad-ranging course investigates how firms evolve from start-up to family business. It is designed to expose students to the nature and characteristics of entrepreneurial firms and the multitude of finance and business-related challenges faced by entrepreneurs during various stages of the firm life cycle: starting-up, marshaling required financial resources to sustain growth, succession planning, and exit strategies.
The lessons of this course are useful to future entrepreneurs. Students will learn the analytical techniques needed to successfully manage both start-ups and family enterprises in a rapidly changing environment. Students who plan to work with VCs, family office and private banking providing practical advice to high net worth families on wealth management, business, and succession planning will also benefit from this course.
Entrepreneurs are those who create sustainable long-term value without regard to resources currently controlled. The underlying philosophy is that good financial decisions come from a deep understanding of the fundamental characteristics of entrepreneurs and the firms they control. So, Entrepreneurial Finance is not a course about financial analytics or venture capital, per se. In this course, we will discuss wider range of important issues related to growth and survival of entrepreneurial enterprises. In particular, what are the factors that determine success of entrepreneurial ventures and possible transformation into family firms? What does the founding family contribute to firm value? What are alternative financing sources? How do external financiers interact with the founders? When should the founder or the founding family exit? What makes some firms so successful that they can survive for generations, while many ventures fail? How to plan succession?
The course plan also includes guest visits from start-up/family businesses. Guests will typically address the issues raised in class discussion and respond to students’ questions.
The learning experience in this course depends heavily each student being prepared to actively participate in every class session. All class members are expected to come to all classes, well prepared by reading the materials, and contribute to the class by actively participating in the discussion. Students are required to submit a written report providing your analysis of the case questions prior to class. There will also be projects to be done in a group. Finally, there will be tests. Students will be asked to analyze cases using the knowledge discussed in class.