Venture Capital


Course Code:
LAW 1040
Law Honors/Pass/Restrd Cr/Fail


(Formerly Law 465) This course examines the venture capital (VC) industry from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. The course traces the start-up process from initial formation of a new venture through angel investments, institutional venture capital financing rounds, with a view to potential exits via acquisition or initial public offering. The class will analyze each step in the process from the perspective of the business entity, the founders and employees, the investors, and the lawyers for each party. It also will consider the incentives and control structures used at each step of the transaction, with a focus on both the underlying economic and financial theory, as well as on pragmatic considerations in structuring the transactions. Students will learn the VC business model to understand what makes it unique from other investment forms and how that impacts the startup ecosystem. Students are required to complete a term sheet or other negotiation exercise, participate in class discussions, and sit for an examination. There will be required readings for each session that include a range of materials from VC practitioners' blog posts to case law. Some sessions will include guest speakers with experience in VC or entrepreneurship. This course is co-taught by Gordon Davidson and Michael Esquivel. Both are partners at Fenwick & West LLP who advise technology companies, startups, and venture capitalists. Elements used in grading: Class participation/assignments, negotiation exercises and written summary, and the final exam.

Future Offerings

2017-2018 Spring

Venture Capital LAW 1040 Section 01 Class #31985

  • 3 Units

Notes: One-Day Take-Home Exam.

    • Details to come
  • Mon

Past Offerings

2016-2017 Winter

Venture Capital I LAW 1040 Section 01 Class #32944

  • 3 Units

Notes: In-class Final.

    • In-class Final
    • Self Scheduled
  • Room: Room 285
  • @

2015-2016 Winter

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