Entrepreneurial Finance

FIE457 Entrepreneurial Finance

  • Topics


    1. Identify and model new business opportunities

    New ventures are characterized by high risk and uncertainty as well as massive growth potential. Due to lack of historical financial data and difficulty of finding comparable firms, one should be cautious when applying traditional valuation methods (e.g., DCF) to new ventures. We discuss alternative valuation approaches to assess new business plans or opportunities.

    • Discounted Cash Flows (DCF) valuation framework
    • WACC vs. APV
    • Venture Capital (VC) method
    • Real options approach
    • Decision trees vs. Black-Scholes model

    2. Make deals - structure financing for new business opportunities

    Entrepreneurs may have multiple funding sources, each of which leads to a different allocation of value and control of their business. We discuss relative benefits and costs of alternative funding sources. For instance, we consider convertible preferred stock and its value implications for both entrepreneurs and investors.  We also discuss devices to deal with potential conflict of interest between entrepreneur and investor, such as staged financing, liquidation rights, and anti-dilution clauses.

    • Dynamic allocation of value and control between entrepreneurs and investors
    • Angel investor, venture capitalist, corporate venture investment, and others
    • Financing strategy and product market strategy
    • Potential conflicts of interest between entrepreneurs and investors
    • Within-venture conflicts of interest among entrepreneurs
    • Term sheet
    • Convertible (participating) preferred stock
    • Staged financing
    • Liquidation rights
    • Employee incentive plans

    3. Harvest success

    We consider exit strategies to make profits. Several exit options, such as IPOs and acquisitions, will be discussed.

    • Initial Public Offering (IPO)

                 - IPO underpricing

                 - Hot vs. cold IPO market

    • Sales, acquisitions

                 - Deal negotiation         

  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    Students will obtain a broad, up-to-date understanding in financing new business plans. Students will be able to apply quantitative tools to real business opportunities. Students will understand the incentives and motivation of both demand (entrepreneur) and supply (investor) sides of financing.  In particular, students will:

    Knowledge - The candidate will¿

    • Gain advanced knowledge on different funding sources and deal structures (e.g., the term sheet and convertible preferred stock), and their valuation effects.
    • Have a critical understanding of conflicts of interest between entrepreneurs and financiers, and demonstrate how to use various contractual solutions to them.
    • Obtain a thorough view on the issues in liquidating businesses, such as initial public offerings, sales, and acquisitions.

    Skills - The candidate will¿

    • Identify and/or structure value-creating entrepreneurial opportunities.
    • Apply various quantitative models and critically evaluate new business plans.
    • Develop contractual arrangements among participants (e.g., entrepreneurs, investors, employees, etc) that minimize potential risks and maximize business outcomes during the early stage of business.

    General competence - The candidate will¿

    • Create a new venture team in which interests of participating entrepreneurs are well-aligned.
    • Gain competence and confidence to work in a team environment to effectively manage a work load of high ambiguity and high uncertainty.
    • Gain confidence in applying their analysis to future, real business opportunities, and creating real value.

  • Teaching


    Teaching is mainly based on cases, supported by lectures and visitors.

    The course will cover about 6 cases. At the beginning of the semester, students will form teams of four students. Students are expected to work with their team and hand in a 4-page report about each case.

  • Restricted access

    Restricted access


  • Recommended prerequisites

    Recommended prerequisites

    Corporate Finance at master level and a basic understanding of Microsoft Office.

  • Required prerequisites

    Required prerequisites


  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    Credit reduction due to overlap


  • Requirements for course approval

    Requirements for course approval

    Case write-ups: Students are required to work on cases with their team and submit their report on each case before the deadline.

    Mandatory Attendance: This is a case-based course and requires active participation by students. Students are expected to attend every class unless the permission has been given to miss a class for a compelling reason.

  • Assessment


    The final grade is the weighted average of cases (60%), the final 3 hour school exam (25%), and class participation (15%).

    The grade for each element will be published on Studentweb once it is completed.

    Class participation is solely based on individual contribution - raising insightful questions and making comments. There is no makeup for a missed class.

    The final exam is a 3-hour written exam in which students are expected to demonstrate their skills in assessing and constructing funding for new ventures they obtain throughout the course. The exam will be written in English and has to be answered in English.

    All parts of the assessment must be completed in the same semester, and in the semester you attend class.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading Scale

    Grades A - F.

  • Computer tools

    Computer tools

    All students are expected to use MS Office.

  • Semester


    Spring. First time spring 2018

  • Literature


    The Oxford Handbook of Entrepreneurial Finance (edited by Douglas Cumming) can be a good reading guide for the topics and discussions to be covered by this course. However, it is not required to purchase the book.

    Cases will be available via a course pack and a course webpage.

    Denis, David J., 2004, Entrepreneurial finance: An overview of the issues and evidence, Journal of Corporate Finance 10: 301-326


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Course responsible

Kyeong Hun Lee, Department of Finance, NHH