USC Gould Search

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Venture Capital and Emerging Companies (Spring 2018)

Course Description

From Fall 2016

Co-taught with David Ajalat

This course will introduce the student to the unique legal and financial aspects of the venture capital industry and the practice skills needed to represent emerging companies, entrepreneurs and venture capital investors.  The course will begin with an introduction to emerging companies and the venture capital industry.  Next, the course will cover the legal, financial and strategic issues that arise in the contracts between venture capitalists and the emerging companies they invest in.  Finally, the course will feature guest speakers from the emerging companies and venture capital ecosystem.

The course will analyze the start-up process from the creation of the new emerging company through the following stages: (i) formation of the new start-up company, (ii) the negotiation and funding of capital from investors, including angel investors, venture capital investors and strategic investors; (iii) the creation of equity compensation plans; (iii) the negotiation of key financing terms and agreements; (iv) issues related to multiple rounds of financing; and (v) liquidation events such as merger, acquisition or initial public offering. 

We will explore the financing life cycle of the emerging company from the different points of view of the key stakeholders: founders, employees, angel investors, venture capitalists and other financial backers such as secured lenders.  Students will also be given a basic introduction to the formation and structure of the venture capital fund, with the legal and business differences between general and limited partners.

Students will be required to participate in an in-class negotiation exercise as well as draft sample documents. 

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 2
  • Grading Options: Numerical Only
  • Schedule: Th 6:00 pm - 8:40 pm
  • Room Number: Room 130
  • Exam: In-class exam
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: Yes
  • Participation: Required