Our inaugural class of Venture Capital Unlocked: Deal Camp ran from October 17- 21, 2016. With a NPS score of 100, we’re happy to tout our success. For those who missed it, don’t worry, we’ll be running the course again February 7-10, 2017.

Created in collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Center for Law, Business and the Economy, Deal Camp was laser-focused on investment practices related to the most important element of venture capital investing: closing the deal. Deal Camp focused on industry best practices for deal term negotiation, term sheet creation, and capitalization table modeling in early stage investing. Between Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, 500 Startups’ San Francisco office, and Commerce Venture’s office, participants perfected their knowledge of debt and equity venture capital investing.

Marvin Liao of 500 Startups leads the class in question to startup frounders from 500's Batch 19.

Marvin Liao, 500 Startups leads the class in questioning two startup founders from 500’s Batch 18.

Who participated?

The class, composed of 14 investors, hailed from Azerbaijan, Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Lebanon, Nigeria, UK and the USA. With 70% of the class coming from from geographies outside of the United States, it was one of the most diverse classes we’ve had in our education programs to date. Although our participants came from a number of different countries and backgrounds, they shared an astounding number of similarities in terms of investment experience. 

  • Average number of deals done by participants: 5 deals
  • Amount of capital the class plans to deploy over the next 2 years: $75M USD
  • Investor Type: Angel Investors: 42%, Venture Capitalists: 21%, Lawyers: 15%, Representing Corporations: 15%, Representing Governments: 7%

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What did they learn?

Deal Camp brought investors to the San Francisco Bay Area to learn from experienced lawyers, venture capitalists, and Berkeley professors. The international group of investors picked the brains of Dave McClure, Ben Ling, Scott Kupor, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Adam Sterling and Neil Dugal (among many others) to learn how to structure deals to both protect the investor and play fairly with entrepreneurs.

Through a combination of theoretical and hands-on, interactive coursework, our investors learned how to quickly identify founder/investor friendly terms, model capitalization tables, and structure early stage investment deals through priced and convertible equity notes. While most participants had some investing experience under their belt, 90% of the participants walked away from Deal Camp with a better knowledge of how to complete early stage investments.

Professor Adam Sterling moderates a group conversation wtih Dave McClure.

Adam Sterling, UC Berkeley moderates a group conversation with Dave McClure, 500 Startups.

What do participants say?

We could talk about the program all day, but check out what some of our participants had to say about Deal Camp.

Ben Brasher

“Whether you’re considering starting a fund or have already done so, VC Unlocked is a tremendous help. From fine-tuning an investment thesis to validating cap tables and negotiating term sheets, there really is something for everyone. The team put together a powerhouse lineup of speakers including the 500 executives themselves, some of the other most prominent VC firms in the valley, and great faculty representation from UC Berkeley. I’d recommend VC Unlocked to anyone remotely serious about venture capital.”

 

Sabya Das

“VC Unlocked is a truly great program combining both an academic and practical approach to venture investing. It provides insight into the decision-making processes of some of Silicon Valley’s top VCs and also introduces newer investors to the foundations and basics of evaluating, structuring, and executing investments. Having a chance to learn with classmates from around the world provided a unique global experience. I’d highly recommend the course for new fund managers or investment professionals looking to accelerate their VC knowledge.”

 

Tatiana Nehme

Tatiana Nehme

“The VC Unlocked was essential for me as a tech lawyer. I gained insider tips on the dynamics of the top VC and industry leaders in Silicon Valley. The program provides a comprehensive overview of the venture capital investment cycle, talks on the latest practices and trends in the startup world, and workshops on structuring legal documents such as term sheets and convertible notes.”

 

Rick Wingfield

Rick Wingfield

“VC Deal Camp brought together an international cohort of early stage investors all curious to learn the secrets of Silicon Valley and share their local challenges. The course combined the academic power of Berkeley Law faculty and the real world experience of 500 startups and a number of notable VCs. I would highly recommend this course to anyone working with early stage startups.”

The Next VCU: Deal Camp

Our next program is scheduled to take place February 7-10, 2017 in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you’re interested in attending, please head to berkeley.500.vc for more details and the program application.