The “origin story” of this course is a previously offered 2-credit hour course entitled “Startups & Venture Capital.” That course introduced students to the various legal and business considerations involved in the representation of startup companies and in structuring early-stage and venture capital financing transactions.
That course was structured such that the first half of the course covered “Startups,” and the second half of the course covered “Venture Capital.” We now have the opportunity to expand the scope and depth of the subject matter.
“Venture Capital” represents a full semester version of what was previously taught in half a semester. “Startups” is now offered separately, in the Fall, and similarly represents a full semester version of what was previously taught in half a semester. Each class can be taken independently, but the material does work well as a full-year integrated whole. Both classes, together, represent a 4-credit hour version (2 + 2) of what was previously limited to 2 credit hours.
This course — “Venture Capital” — covers the significant legal and business issues involved in financing startup companies. The initial focus is on angel investors, accelerators, and seed deals — growing and important elements of the startup ecosystem — with particular attention paid to the structure of those deals. After a unit on crowdfunding, the course dives deeply into the architecture and substance of classic venture capital preferred stock financings.
A knowledge of corporate and business associations law, as well as securities law and finance, will be helpful to a student in this course. That being said, there are no formal prerequisites, and the course is structured for beginners as well as for students with more subject matter expertise.