Roadmap To Silicon Valley – Course Outline

Catalog Description
FIN 496/MGMT 495 Roadmap To Silicon Valley
Exclusive Travel Course To Silicon Valley & San Francisco
Provides a real-world introduction to the process of financing entrepreneurial ventures and the functions of the major venture capitalists. The class will visit Silicon Valley, California for one week. Interviews will be scheduled with a variety of firms including venture capitalists, investment banks, professional service providers, and master entrepreneurs. The class will also feature a series of classroom lectures and online assignments.

Course Objectives
- First, students will learn about the importance of Silicon Valley and even the connection to Dr. Arnold Beckman, who funded the area’s first silicon transistor company. For the past fifty years Silicon Valley has been the world center for venture capital, technology investment, and innovation. The Silicon Valley “model” of financing deals and supporting entrepreneurial capitalism is widely used around the world. Getting a business plan funded by a venture capitalist is an “eyeball-to-eyeball” process. This travel course will provide students a chance to learn about the world of financing entrepreneurial ventures through the eyes of Silicon Valley’s visionary venture capitalists, leading professional service providers and master entrepreneurs.

- Second, this course teaches students how to become better prepared entrepreneurs by focusing on the “venture drill process” which consists of: packaging (preparing a business plan); placing (finding the best venture capitalist for the deal and getting introduced); and presenting (face-to-face discussions with a venture capitalist.) It is preferred that the students have a prepared business plan or presentation before making the trip. In this course students will have the opportunity stress test their ideas, and/or refresh a business plan, update presentation slides, business modeling, and financial modeling. The venture capital world is a highly networked industry. Students will have the opportunity to build viable contacts with venture capitalists, professional service providers, and master entrepreneurs.

- Third, students will review entrepreneurship and ethics. Learn how to manage ethical challenges of launching and growing an entrepreneurial venture in the 21st Century. Students will learn how to create value, act honestly, and deal by mutual consent. Presents a framework for thinking about and acting on business ethics. Students will learn how to evaluate the available evidence, identify what is important, and learn how to recognize what is ethical and how to act accordingly. Students will be exposed to tools that can help them identify and explain the principles that support an ethical basis for supporting capitalism in the global market.

Content Major Study Units:
- Discuss the evolution of the venture capital industry from France to Silicon Valley
- Explain the economic impact of venture capitalists and their investments in America
- Review how the venture capital industry functions
- Review the venture drill process: packaging, placing and presenting a deal to a venture capitalist
- Explain how to negotiate with investors and how to manage the deal process at the “deal table” through mutual consent
- Describe and review why entrepreneurs fail in securing funding (lying, dishonesty, and unethical business practices)
- Explain the importance of delivering the business-building and value promised beyond the closing of the deal
- Learn how to manage ethical challenges of launching and growing an entrepreneurial venture in the 21st Century