VC Primer

Your Guide To VC From Fundraising to Exit

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About VC Primer 

About the program:

  1. Foundational Knowledge
    Learn the basics of VC, including industry trends, key terms, and the VC lifecycle.
  2. Fundraising
    Gain insights into fundraising strategies, due diligence, valuation, term sheets, and more.
  3. Investing
    Learn how to source deals, understand key elements of term sheets and pricing the round.
  4. Growing the portfolio
    Learn how to manage and create value in your portfolio companies.
  5. Exit Strategies
    Understand the various exit strategies available to VCs, including IPOs, acquisitions, and mergers.

Program Contents

Introduction to Venture Capital (Prematerials)

  1. A Very Brief History of Venture Capital
  2. A Few Statistics
  3. What Really is Venture Capital?
  4. What does Venture Capital Cash Flow Look Like?
  5. Why is it called ”Private” Equity?
  6. Comparing Private Equity to Public Equity
  7. What kind of Startups are we interested in?
  8. First Look at VC Math
  9. How to Calculate Ownership
  10. Turning around the Ownership Algebra
  11. Preparing for the VC Jobs
  12. Preparing for Learning about the Jobs VCs Do

MODULE 1  - VC Job 1: Fundraising

  1. Quick Recap of Intro to Venture Capital
  2. Introduction to Fundraising
  3. Introduction to Fund Investment Strategy
  4. Determinants of Fund Size
  5. Determinants of Fund Sector and Geography
  6. Case Study: Foundry Group
  7. A Guide to Fund Mechanics
  8. Aside: Why would LPs do this risky Asset Class?
  9. The Long Term Strategy of a VC
  10. Venture Capital Fee Structure
  11. Adjusting Fund Size based on actual Fees
  12. The REAL Fee: Carried interest
  13. Wrap-up of Fundraising

MODULE 2 -  VC Job 2: Investing

  1. Introduction to VC Investing
  2. What is "Fund - Startup Fit?"
  3. How do VCs Syndication
  4. How do you VCs Source Deals?
  5. High Level look at Due Diligence
  6. Key Elements of the Term Sheet
  7. Determinants of Pre-money Valuation and Investment Size
  8. How to "Price the Round"
  9. Motivating the Team: Creating Option Pools
  10. Quick look at Other Key Terms
  11. Secret: Today’s Valuation is all about Perceived Exit
  12. Wrap-up of Investing

MODULE 3 - VC Job 3: Growing the portfolio

  1. Introdution to a Venture Portfolio
  2. What does a "Fund Returner" look like?
  3. How do you "Work the Porfolio" to produce a Fund Returner?
  4. The Active Investor – Board Membership
  5. Case Study: Facebook and Accel
  6. The Active Investor – Advisor
  7. The Active Investor – Bridge to Service Providers
  8. Positioning for Follow-On Rounds
  9. Milestones and Reserve Capital
  10. Tranching and Dilution
  11. Pro Rata Strategy: Dilution Scenario 1
  12. Dilution Scenario 1
  13. Dilution Scenario 3 and Dry Powder
  14. Dilution and Syndication
  15. Wrap-up of Growing Portfolio

MODULE 4 - VC Job 4: Exiting and Creating Returns

  1. A Look back at the Job Cycle
  2. A look at the Development of the company over time
  3. VCs Guess (or form hypotheses ) about Exit
  4. What if you Hack to a ”Next Level” Exit?
  5. Back to the ”Exit Job to be Done
  6. What are the Exit Options?
  7. Crafting an Exit Strategy
  8. In the end, what is a VC’s Job?
  9. Summing up the whole program

Program Dates

Enrolment starts 1.11.2023

Program dates

  • Wednesday 15.11.2023
  • Friday 22.11.2023
  • Wednesday 15.11.2023
  • Friday 27.11.2023

All courses are held online at 17:00 - 18:30 (CET)


The course fee for the course is exceptionally only 99€ (normally 499€). The fee gives the right to participate in the four modules and access to the course materials.

Join the November Cohort!

The VC Primer program will guide you through the journey of becoming a VC. During the course you'll learn about fundraising, investing, growing companies, and exits. - not just through theory and information, but with practical experience using VC & PE tools. 

Program dates

  • Wednesday 15.11.2023
  • Friday 22.11.2023
  • Wednesday 15.11.2023
  • Friday 27.11.2023

All courses are held online at 17:00-18:30 (CET)

Participation fee 99€ (norm. 499€)

Professor William Cardwell.

About the instructor

William Cardwell has been in the Venture Capital industry since 1998. He has led, co-led, and followed in over 150 funding rounds to more than 80 startup and early-stage companies.In addition, he has taught Venture Capital, M&A, Private Equity, and Entrepreneurship/Startup Formation to more than 500 undergrads, MBAs, and executives over that period. Today he is a partner in 3 different venture firms and is an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina Kenan Flagler Business School, Aalto University, and Helsinki Business School.

William Cardwell

Courage Ventures and Open Circle Capital; Adjunct Professor, Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC.


Zapflow's software is effective business suitcase to all who work with venture capital

Program impact

  • Gaining industry knowledge
  • Understanding fundraising, investment opportunities, portfolio management, holdings, capital gain, and the lifecycle of a venture fund
  • Applying best practices for investing
  • Understanding investment strategies and models
  • Selecting the best deals and negotiating with greater confidence
  • Monitoring the progress of portfolio companies and choosing exit strategies
  • Expanding your personal and professional networks, building and managing relationships
  • Leveraging platforms like Zapflow to manage and organize contacts, track interactions, and stay connected with your network

Get the certificate of "Becoming World of VC"

Unlock your potential as an exceptional venture capitalist with our VC Academy certification program and become the best in class in the world of venture capital.

Gaining industry knowledge and expertise is an ongoing process. Continuously learning, adapting to market changes, and staying connected with industry professionals will help you refine your investment strategies and achieve success in your venture fund activities.

Get in touch with the team!

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