Venture Capital in Historical Perspective - Harvard Business School MBA Program

Venture Capital in Historical Perspective

Course Number 1125

Professor Tom Nicholas
Professor of Management Practice G. Felda Hardymon
Winter; Q4; 1.5 credits
14 sessions

Career Focus

VCHP is for MBAs who want to study the historical origins of venture capital to help guide their thinking about the changing organizational structure of the industry and to assess its impact on entrepreneurship and innovation over time.

Educational Objectives

VVCHP offers students an opportunity to take a deep dive into one of the most significant financial institutions for the provision of entrepreneurial finance. The historical development of the venture capital industry illuminates the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in raising capital for early stage ventures and how the changing relationship between the supply and demand for capital created an evolving and institutionally advanced industry. The course covers early hybrid models for venture capital financing in history, the key individuals, firms and legal changes that created a pathway to modern venture finance, the rise of hotspots like Silicon Valley and Route 128 and the institutional structure that characterizes the venture capital industry today.

Through case discussions, the use of archival material and panel events with venture capitalists, students will be exposed to a mixture of historical, contemporary and practitioner perspectives. The objective of the course is to understand the past, present and the future of the venture capital industry.

Course Administration

Grading will be split between class participation (50%) and a final paper (50%).