Course Details

Venture Equity: Dismantling Barriers to Capital
1.0 CR

Businesses founded and led by underrepresented and minority leaders are critically important components of our economy. According to the Minority Business Development Agency at the U.S. Department of Commerce, these firms employed more than 7 million people and generated more than $1.4 trillion in combined gross receipts in 2016. These businesses and their growth serve a critical role in the economic stability of many of our communities and families that have faced generational and structural inequities. As more corporations and investors look to deploy capital for investment in minority owned businesses, it will be critical for both the target companies and investment firms to have the strategic guidance and frameworks to increase their capacity to access and develop capital respectfully.

Over the course of this class, students, faculty, and client companies will focus in on the following central questions: (1) How can investors shift the ways in which they evaluate the opportunity and risk inherent to investment in underrepresented founders and their business in order to find and support opportunities that are currently being overlooked?; (2) How can underrepresented founders better understand how investment prospects are evaluated in order to present their strongest case to potential investors and access capital for growth and scale?

This class will provide students with an understanding of the heuristics - shortcuts - often relied on by investors as they seek to determine their interest in, and the value of ventures presented to them. Students will further learn frameworks and approaches that both investors and clients can use to identify and manage for these heuristics when they risk derailing an underrepresented founder's venture from measured consideration. Students will gain and master new approaches and perspectives on the inherent value and valuation of new and scaling businesses. Using a strengths-based framing and approach, students will learn techniques to value opportunities in investing in underrepresented founders, going beyond the heuristics we've explored.

Corequisite: FINC-430 or equivalent

Recommended prerequisite courses: FINC-445 Entrepreneurial Finance and Venture Capital; MORS 952-5 Entrepreneurship: Building Innovation, Teams, and Cultures; ENTR-470 Launching and Leading Startups; ENTR 615 Growth Strategy Practicum;

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Pathway
Social Impact Pathway - Innovation
Social Impact Pathway - Policy
Social Impact Pathway- Nonprofit
Winter 2025

CH (Chicago)
EV (Evanston)
May be taken concurrently:
All Students: (FINC-430-0 OR FINC-440-0 OR FINCM-430-0)