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MIT Sloan School of Management

15.431 Antoinette Schoar

Entrepreneurial Finance Spring 2008

Course Description


A packet of cases.


Levin, Structuring Venture Capital, Private Equity, and Entrepreneurial Transactions,

(2007 Edition), Little, Brown and Company, 2007. I put a copy of this book as a
reference at front desk of the Dewey library.
Hull, Option, Futures & Other Derivatives, (2000 Edition), Prentice-Hall Inc., 2000.


This course will use a combination of case discussions and lectures to study entrepreneurial
finance. The course is targeted to budding entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. There are five
main areas of focus.

1) Business Evaluation and Valuation: Here we will give you some tools to valuate early
stage business opportunity. We will also review the standard tools of valuation applied
to start-up situations and introduce the venture capital method and the real options
approach to valuation.
2) Financing: In this module, we will highlight the main ways that entrepreneurs are
financed and analyze the role of financial contracts in addressing information and
incentive problems in uncertain environments.
3) Venture Capital Funds: We will look at the structure of venture capital funds and their
fund raising process. This module will include issues of corporate venture capital and
private equity funds in emerging market economies.
4) Employment: Here we will study the issues of attracting and compensating employees
in start-ups.
5) Exit: How should founders exit? Should they sell to another company, take it public, or
continue independently as a private company?

Carl Stjernfeldt (Partner at Castile Ventures) will co-teach a number of sessions. We are very
lucky to have Carl participate so please use his time judiciously! We also have a number of
additional guest speakers who will discuss recent developments in the industry.

The course requires the concepts and skills developed in 15.402, Corporate Finance. It is a
pre-requisite. Some knowledge of option pricing will also be needed in a few instances. Because
we will be linking financial concepts to other business concepts your broad MBA training will
also come in handy.

This course also places a strong emphasis on presentation and discussion skills. It will be
important for you to explain your positions or arguments to each other and to try to argue for the
implementation of your recommendations.


This course is designed to be a challenging and time-consuming. You should expect to

prepare an average of one case per week. Each case will come with guideline questions. Students
are required to submit a two-page memorandum on the cases. Students can (but are not required
to) work in teams of no more than four. You have the option of not handing in two cases during
the semester.

The memorandums should be typed and double-spaced. They should be written as if you
were presenting it to your business partners (be they your fellow entrepreneurs or investors). The
two-page limit is for text only. You may attach as many numerical calculations as you wish.
Memoranda will not be accepted after the class has met. Grading of the memoranda will be on
the bases of check marks. The grades on these memorandums tend to help on the margins,
moving students up or down half a grade.

Class attendance is critical to the learning process. Because this is such a new area of
academic inquiry, there are no textbooks from which to distill all the critical information. The
learning will come from struggling together to come to a better understanding of the key issues in
the case. Also because this is a new course, your input is particularly valued as we learn
together. Please bring your name cards so that I get to know you.


Grading will be based on class participation (25%), the short memoranda (25%) and a final
examination (50%). The final exam will be a take-home exam and will be handed out on the last
day of class and will be due the following day.


1. Wed. Feb. 6 Introduction and Overview of Entrepreneurial Finance

2. Mon. February 11 Yale Endowment 2003 – Guest: Seth Alexander (President MIT IMC)

Business Valuation
3. Wed. February 13 Valuation 1: DCF and the Venture Capital Method
4. Tue. February 19 Horizon Corporation
5. Wed. February 20 Valuation 2: Real Option Valuation
6. Mon. February 25 Genzyme

Deal Structure
7. Wed. February 27 Deal Structure 1
8. Mon. March 3 Walnut Venture Associates
9. Wed. March 5 Deal Structure 2
10. Mon. March 10 Iron Gate Technologies
11. Wed. March 12 Guest: John H. Chory (Partner, Wilmer Hale & Dorr)
12. Mon. March 31 Metapath
13. Wed. April 2 Rico Auto Industries: Raising Private Equity in India
14. Mon. April 7 Guest: Clint Harris (Partner, Grove Street)

Term Sheet Negotiation

15. Wed. April 9 Broadbus - Guest: Vin Bisceglia (CEO, Broadbus) and Carl Stjernfeldt
(Partner, Castile Ventures)
16. Mon. April 14 Gerald Weiss
17. Wed. April 16 Broadbus Solution - Guest: Carl Stjernfeldt (Partner, Castile Ventures)

Venture Capital Funds

18. Wed. April 23 Battery Ventures – Guest: Carl Stjernfeldt (Partner, Castile Ventures)
19. Mon. April 28 Accel Partners
20. Wed. April 30 VC Vignettes – Guest: Carl Stjernfeldt (Partner, Castile Ventures)

21. Mon. May 5 Guest: Bill Janeway (Vice Chairman, Warburg Pincus)
22. Wed. May 7 IPO Lecture
23. Mon. May 12 Grand Junction

24. Wed. May 14 Review and Final Exam Distribution