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Private Equity and Venture Capital (Coursera)

The course deals with the analysis of the private equity and venture capital business. Over the course, students will be provided with a deep understanding of the mechanism underpinning the creation and/or development of a firm and the financial support it can get from the financial system through venture capital investment.

The course tries to discover how special financial intermediaries (called private equity investors) finance through equity companies belonging to different stages of their life-cycle, starting from the very beginning (startup and early stage) to a more mature phase (i.e. expansion, mature age, etc.) or also staying into crises and decline.

Private equity (named venture capital when the company is in the first phases of its life cycle) deals with very different activities, such as scouting, advisory, deal-making, valuation, and financing as financial intermediaries see it. The course also provides the opportunity to gain experience with the world of VC investments through the use of an exclusive simulator.


The course is made up of four different modules:

WEEK 1 – Introduction to Private Equity and Venture Capital

WEEK 2 – Discovering Private Equity Investors: Legal Issues and Taxation

WEEK 3 – Management of Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds

WEEK 4 – Company Valuation And Deal Making In Private Equity Settings

WEEK 5 – SMARTstart: advanced startup simulator

Throughout the course, guest speakers and practitioners will be interviewed to provide some examples of concrete applications of the contents presented.