FINS3623 Venture Capital - 2018

Semester 2
6 Units of Credit
On Campus
Banking & Finance
This course outline is for the current semester. To view outlines from other years and/or semesters, visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

​This course examines venture capital and private equity investments. In particular, it focuses on issues surrounding the funding of entrepreneurial firms that are financed by venture capital or private equity funds. The course departs from conventional investment approaches that examine risk and return of publicly listed securities, which have previously been covered by your earlier finance courses and analyses issues associated with financing growing, innovation intensive private businesses.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

​This course covers the theory and practice of venture capital financing of entrepreneurial firms. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  1. The venture capital industry in Australia (and other countries), and other sources of funds for financing new ventures (including angel investors, banks and other institutions)
  2. Venture fundraising and characteristics of venture capital firms. In particular, Limited Partnership structures and corporate venture capital
  3. Characteristics of entrepreneurial ventures at different stages of development including: (a) Seed, Start-up, (b) Expansion, Mezzanine, (c) Buyout, Turnaround
  4. The structure of financial contracts. This includes staging and syndication of deals, forms of finance (debt, convertible debt, preferred equity, convertible preferred equity, common equity, warrants, and combinations of these instruments), board representation, restrictive covenants and confidentiality agreements, and legal and institutional barriers to efficient venture capital financial contracting
  5. Exiting an investment through (a) Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), (b) Mergers / Strategic Acquisitions, (c) Secondary Sales, Buybacks, Write-offs, (d) Partial exits
  6. Various entrepreneurial firm valuation techniques including (a) Traditional valuation methods, (b) Valuation of private firms
  7. Buyouts and Going-Private Transactions including (a) Buyout industry in Australia, (b) Special features of buyouts transactions, (c) Valuation of buyout deals
  8. Venture Capital and Private Equity Investments in an International Context

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
LecturerMrJimmy Tran

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

3.1 Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

Lectures are conducted in 2-hour blocks, reinforced by a 1-hour tutorial per week. The 2-hour lectures are intended to impart the necessary information for students to gain an adequate understanding of various theories, facts and phenomena related to venture capital and private equity. The tutorials will focus on the practical application of what is taught in the lectures by working through cases with accompanying discussion and questions.

Students are required to do the required readings before attending the lecture as well as reading the prescribed case prior to attending the tutorials. The tutorial program can be downloaded from Moodle. The questions that accompany the cases will be released one week before the tutorial. Outside the lecture, we encourage students to form study groups to engage in interactive discussion. For each case study, students should enrich their background understanding by performing a group-based or an individual-based research. When possible, group discussion will be brought to class.

Consultation hours: students are encouraged to fully utilise the available consultation hours to best prepare the cases, assignment reports and to review for the quiz and exam. Both the lecturer and the tutor(s) will be available for these consultation sessions. For the assignment, the tutors will provide extra assistance in terms of clarifying the issues and methodologies related to the investment evaluation report.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

​As an elective course at the end of your degree program, independent learning from students is expected. The course will draw on concepts, issues and practical information from various readings and cases. Students are therefore required to read and understand these materials and their relevance. Students are also expected to extend and apply their knowledge acquired in the lecture to current issues discussed in the financial press.

A large part of the course and its assessment components requires students to critically analyse and apply lecture materials to real-life cases. This reflects the skills required to work in today’s financial services environment. Part of the course will allow the students to practice their analytical and problem-solving skills, and then receive appropriate feedback. It is essential that students utilise this time to actively participate in the discussion of the prescribed materials and raise questions with the tutor regarding areas where further clarifications and discussion are necessary.

5. Course Resources


The cases will be made available online through Moodle. It is your responsibility to either print them out or have them available in class in soft copy.

Prescribed Readings: Lecture Handouts and Moodle Articles

All handouts in the lecture and articles posted on Moodle are considered required readings and will be examinable. These materials provide the core theories of the course. Copies of these will be distributed in Moodle one week before the relevant lectures (see the course schedule).

Recommended Readings

In addition, there are two supplementary texts:

  1. Josh Lerner, Ann Leamon and Felda Hardymon, Venture Capital, Private Equity and the Financing of Entrepreneurship, Wiley Publishing.
  2. Andrew Metrick and Ayako Yasuda, Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation, 2nd Edition, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2010

The purchase of these texts is not compulsory. However, this text contains useful materials which can be used for assignment and exam preparation purposes. The library should have several copies of these books.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

​Each year feedback is sought from students about the courses offered in the School and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. In this course, we will seek your feedback through course and instructor evaluations. Students are also encouraged to speak with the lecturers and tutors directly. Previous student feedback has been incorporated into course deliveries resulting in significantly improved learning experiences to the students of the School. Your feedback expressed in the course and instructor evaluations are of utmost importance in improving the quality of education offered at the School.

7. Course Schedule

Week 1: 23 July

Introduction to the Course and Overview of Private Equity Investments


How Venture Capital Works, Harvard Business Review, Nov/Dec98, Vol. 76 Issue 6, pp 131-140.

A Note of Funding Digital Innovation Startpups

Week 2: 30 July

Venture Capital Fund Raising and Fund Structure I


Gompers, P. and Lerner, J., What drives venture capital fundraising? Brookings Papers on Economic Activity – Microeconomics (August 1998): 149-92.

Raising Startup Capital A Note on Private Equity Fundraising

Week 3: 6 August

Venture Capital Fund Raising and Fund Structure II


Gompers, P. and Lerner, J., The use of covenants: An analysis of venture partnership agreements, Journal of Law and Economics 39, 1998, until the end of Section IV.

A Note on Private Equity Partnership Agreements

Week 4: 13 August

Venture Capital Investing I – Investment Selection Process


Gompers, P, Optimal investment, monitoring and the staging of venture capital, Journal of Finance, 50, 1995, sections I and V only.

Week 5: 20 August

Venture Capital Investing II - Methods & Instruments


Lerner, J. The syndication of venture capital investments, Financial Management 23, 1994, until the end of Section I

A Note on Private Equity Securities

Week 6: 27 August

Venture Valuation I - Qualitative Analysis and Multiple-based valuation


Best Practices: Decision Making among Venture Cap

A Note on Valuation in Private Equity Settings

Kaplan, S. and Stromberg, P., Characteristics, contract and actions: Evidence from venture capitalist analyses, Journal of Finance, 59, 2177-2210

Week 7: 3 September

Mid session exam – in class

Week 8: 10 September

Venture Valuation II - Quantitative Techniques and Pricing


Valuing Young, Start-up and Growth Companies: Estimation Issues and Valuation Challenges, Aswath Damodaran

Week 9: 17 September

Overview of Private Equity Exit Strategies


Paul Gompers and Josh Lerner, The Venture Capital Cycle, Chapter 14.

Gladstone and Gladstone, Venture Capital Investing: the complete handbook for investing in private businesses for outstanding profits, Chapter 11

Mid-semester break: 24 September
Week 10: 1 October

Venture Exiting Through Initial Public Offerings


Roger G. Ibbotson, Jody L. Sindelar, and Jay Ritter. “Initial Public Offerings” Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, summer 1998.

A Note on the Initial Public Offering Process

Week 11: 8 October

Leveraged Buyouts


Leveraged Buyouts: Inception, Evolution, and Future Trends, Perspectives, Vol. 3, No. 6

Week 12: 15 October

International Aspects of Venture Financing


A Note on European Private Equity

A Note on Private Equity in Developing Countries

Lihui Tian and William Megginson, “Regulatory Underpricing: Determinants of Chinese extreme IPO returns”, 2007.

Week 13: 22 October


8. Policies

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.


UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs are linked to UNSW Graduate Capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University's institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least nine to ten hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of eighteen to twenty hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Special Consideration

You must submit all assignments and attend all examinations scheduled for your course. You can apply for special consideration when illness or other circumstances beyond your control, interfere with your performance in a specific assessment task or tasks. Special Consideration is primarily intended to provide you with an extra opportunity to demonstrate the level of performance of which you are capable.

General information on special consideration for undergraduate and postgraduate courses can be found in the Assessment Implementation Procedure and the Current Students page.

Please note the following:

  1. Applications will not be accepted by teaching staff. The lecturer-in-charge will be automatically notified when you lodge an online application for special consideration
  2. Decisions and recommendations are only made by lecturers-in-charge (or by the Faculty Panel in the case of final exam special considerations), not by tutors
  3. Applying for special consideration does not automatically mean that you will be granted a supplementary exam or other concession
  4. Special consideration requests do not allow lecturers-in-charge to award students additional marks

Business School Protocol on requests for Special Consideration

The lecturer-in-charge will need to be satisfied on each of the following before supporting a request for special consideration:

  1. Does the medical certificate contain all relevant information? For a medical certificate to be accepted, the degree of illness and its impact on the student must be stated by the medical practitioner (severe, moderate, mild). A certificate without this will not be valid. Students should also note that only medical certificates issued after physically visiting a registered medical practitioner will be accepted. Medical certificates submitted for Special Consideration should always be requested from a registered medical practitioner that you have seen at a medical practice. Certificates obtained online or via social media may be fraudulent and if relied upon could result in a breach of the UNSW Student Code.
  2. Has the student performed satisfactorily in the other assessment items? To understand what Satisfactory Performance means in this course, please refer to the 'Formal Requirements' section in Part A of your Course Outline

Special Consideration and the Final Exam in undergraduate and postgraduate courses

Applications for special consideration in relation to the final exam are considered by a Business School Faculty panel to which lecturers-in-charge provide their recommendations for each request. If the Faculty panel grants a special consideration request, this will entitle the student to sit a supplementary examination. No other form of consideration will be granted. The following procedures will apply:

  1. Supplementary exams will be scheduled centrally and will be held approximately two weeks after the formal examination period. Supplementary exams for Semester 1, 2018 will be held during the period 14 - 21 July, 2018. Supplementary exams for Semester 2, 2018 will be held during the period 8 - 15 December, 2018. Students wishing to sit a supplementary exam will need to be available during this period.
    If a student lodges a special consideration application for the final exam, they are stating they will be available on this date. Supplementary exams will not be held at any other time.

  2. Where a student is granted a supplementary examination as a result of a request for special consideration, the student’s original exam (if completed) will be ignored and only the mark achieved in the supplementary examination will count towards the final grade. Absence from a supplementary exam without prior notification does not entitle the student to have the original exam paper marked, and may result in a zero mark for the final exam.

The Supplementary Exam Protocol for Business School students is available at:

For special consideration for assessments other than the final exam refer to the ‘Assessment Section’ in your course outline.

Protocol for Viewing Final Exam Scripts

The UNSW Business School has set a protocol under which students may view their final exam script. Please check the protocol here.

Given individual schools within the Faculty may set up a local process for viewing final exam scripts, it is important that you check with your School whether they have any additional information on this process. Please note that this information might also be included in your course outline.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School Education Quality and support Unit (EQS)
The EQS offers academic writing, study skills and maths support specifically for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, and individual consultations.
Level 1, Room 1033, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 7577 or 02 9385 4508

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

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