Entrepreneurial Finance

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Finance
  • Application code SS-FM200
  • Starting 2022
  • Short course: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

The course examines the financial elements of entrepreneurial firms, focusing on technology-based start-up ventures and the early stages of company development. It focuses on the complexities of valuating and financing young, high potential ventures.

You will address the key questions which challenge all entrepreneurs: how much money can and should be raised; when should it be raised and from whom; what is a reasonable valuation of the company; and how should funding, and exit decisions be structured?

The course will make extensive use of case studies, with a particular focus on technology-based businesses. Students will follow the founding history of a software unicorn from its early steps to exit. We will also examine a fast-growing on-demand food delivery start-up that is seeking an investor to cover its increasing need for working capital, and explore the information and context needed to value Peloton, the subscription-based fitness company whose stock price dropped after its IPO.

While primarily focusing on the entrepreneur’s perspective, we will also consider the investor’s viewpoint, in order to understand their motivations and incentives to avoid financing pitfalls and successfully negotiate the best financing outcome for a venture.

An understanding of a firm’s cash flow needs is central to understanding how to make financing decisions and we will spend significant time at the start of the course developing a shared analytical framework to use throughout the course. Students who have not studied accounting or finance recently should budget additional time outside the classroom to re-familiarise with a few basic concepts and formulas.

Session: One  - CLOSED
Dates: 20 June - 8 July 2022
Lecturer: Dr. Juanita Gonzalez-Uribe and Prof. Daniel Paravisini


Programme details

Key facts

Level: 200 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: Two-hour final examination (50%) and business plan exercise (50%)

Typical credit*: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional but may be required for credit by your home institution. Your home institution will be able to advise how you can meet their credit requirements.

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment


Students should have previously studied Introductory Finance and Accounting, and possess basic mathematics and statistics skills.

Key topics

  • Introduction and Business Plans

  • Business Plans

  • Multistage Financing

  • Deal Structure

  • Seed Financing

  • Venture Capital Method

  • Negotiation

  • Exit Strategies

  • Guest Lecture: Venture Capital Investor and Entrepreneur

  • Pitching primer and mocks

  • Pitching competition and evaluation

  • Pitching follow-ups and conclusions

Programme structure and assessment

Course content will be delivered primarily through in-class discussion, debate, presentations and exercises. As in entrepreneurial settings, available data is often ambiguous or uncertain, so students will be pushed to develop a sense for whether their assumptions are reasonable. How you think about your assumptions as opposed to reaching a “right” answer is emphasised. You should be prepared to discuss and debate your reasoning, both in and outside lectures.

Daily formative assessments, including case studies, will be discussed during lectures and class. The teaching assistants and professors will provide feedback to students on their performance on these assignments to ensure that students understand key concepts and tools and are well-prepared for the summative assessments.

The course grade will be determined by a final examination and a business plan exercise (summative assessments):

  • Two-hour final examination (50%; Friday Week 3)

  • Business Plan Exercise (50%). This team-based project runs over the three weeks and students will be assessed on several deliverables, including progress reports and an in-class presentation

Course outcomes

A full breakdown of course outcomes will appear shortly.

Is this course right for you?

This course is designed primarily for students who plan to be involved with a startup venture at some point in their career as a founder, early joiner, investor, board member or advisor.

However, it is also very applicable for students interested in gaining a broader view of the financing landscape for startup companies.

The course will also be relevant for students who are considering further education in this field, such as the MSc in Finance and Private Equity at the London School of Economics.

Your department

LSE’s Department of Finance enjoys a pre-eminent reputation for the excellence of their teaching and research, and for their leading role in public-policy issues. The Department of Finance has grown in recent years to become one of the largest and most highly-regarded finance groups in the UK and Europe.

LSE’s Department of Finance is closely associated with LSE’s Financial Markets Group and Systemic Risk Centre which regularly hosts a wide variety of seminars, conferences and public addresses by leading academics and practitioners. The Department, along with the Departments of Accounting and Management, was ranked as the UK leader for Business and Management Studies in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. The Department’s excellence in research and world-class faculty set them apart as global leaders in the field of finance.

On this three-week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE’s finance faculty.

Your faculty

Dr. Juanita Gonzalez-Uribe
Assistant Professor of Finance, Department of Finance

Prof. Daniel Paravisini
Professor of Finance, Department of Finance

Reading materials

M. Da Rin, and T. Hellman, 2020, Fundamentals of Entrepreneurial Finance, Oxford University Press

Additional Text:
J. Lerner, A. Leamon and F. Hardymon, Venture Capital, Private Equity, and the Financing of Entrepreneurship, Wiley

The course pack also includes lecture notes and case studies for summative and formative assessments.


*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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