The primary objective of the Finance for Start-ups course is to provide an understanding of the concepts and institutions involved in entrepreneurial finance. This course addresses 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 funding should be structured. During the course, challenges in a variety of industry settings and stages of venture development will be examined both from the entrepreneur’s and from the investor’s standpoints.
Intended learning outcomes
After the course the participants will have a broad understanding about:
- Concepts and terminology related to entrepreneurial financing
- Various financial sources available to different types of entrepreneurial businesses
- How to conduct basic analysing of financial statements and projections
- How to conduct a basic financial valuation of a start-up firm
- How terms and conditions between entrepreneurs and external investors may be structured
- Exit possibilities for start-up companies
Also students initially having limited knowledge about finance and accounting are welcome to participate in the course.
The course will provide participants with practical insights on a number of issues related to entrepreneurial financing, including:
- Evaluations of business plans
- Financial analysis and evaluation of key measurements
- Sources of funding
- Structuring deals
- Exit options
Teaching and learning activities
The classes will be based on lectures, literature, real life case studies and exercises. The course will also invite guest lecturers.
Grades and form of assessment
Active participation, individual The pedagogy of the course is based on active learning and much of the knowledge is created through participation in the exercises and cases. For this reason, individual participation will be noted and graded. Credits for active participation arrive from attendance, active participation, hand-in of questions to guest lectures, etc. Before each session, course participants are expected to read assigned literature and case studies thoroughly.
Homework assignments, individual
During the course, individual home assignments will be asked for related to discussions in class. Late hand-ins will receive a grade of zero.
Written test, individual
There will be a written test focused on evaluation of business plans. It covers materials discussed in class and assigned literature readings. The test will emphasise understanding rather than mere factual repetition, which points to the importance of consistent attendance and active class participation.
Course assignment and opposition, group
The students are, in groups of five, expected to write a financing plan for an optional start-up firm. The company should be unlisted, be less than 10 years old and have a maximum yearly revenue of 20 mSEK. The students need to identify their own cases. The plan could include, for example: a summary of the business and the market it operates in, a financial assessment, for what purpose financing is searched for and level of capital requirements, possible financial source options, possible valuation methods and a valuation. During the last session, students are expected to present their plans.
For all course assessments the valuation of quality will be based on, e.g., the comprehensiveness and quality of written documents, to what extent the students show a good understanding of key terms and concepts, to what extent arguments and numbers are well-founded and justified, to what extent oral presentations or written documents comes out as an appropriate and convincing, etc.
Attendance is mandatory.
The course language is English.
The course is offered within the framework of the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship.
Responsible institution: Stockholm School of Economics (SSE).
Literature and teaching aids
Literature will be announced in connection to the start and communicated to enrolled students.