Last week, more than 25 corporate VCs, angels, fund managers, and attorneys joined us for our fourth Deal Camp investor training program with UC Berkeley.
Less than two years in, more than 100 corporate investors have now attended the program and joined our #500Strong network, a milestone that we’re proud of.
“We’re thrilled to see our group of alumni continue to grow around the world,” said Bedy Yang, managing partner at 500 Startups and a lecturer at Deal Camp. “The goal of our VC Unlocked programs is to empower investors with the toolkit they need to structure, negotiate, and execute early stage investments.”
Meet the Class
Here’s a quick introduction to the latest group of participants:
- 50% based internationally, representing eight countries including Brazil, Japan, El Salvador, Australia, Kuwait and more
- Women investors represented 20% of the class
- Participants have made 115+ investments in total
- Participants are planning to invest $65M in the coming two years!
- Areas of interest include: Blockchain, Fintech, AI, Healthcare, SaaS, eCommerce
Day 1 – Investment Thesis Strategy
With a rare Bay Area storm brewing outside, we pushed ahead with a packed curriculum of early stage investing mechanics, starting with the role of VC in corporate finance and ending with future-focused topics like ICOs.
Much of day one focused on venture capital strategy and investment thesis development.
During a morning meet and greet, participants shared their investment theses then heard directly from 500 Startups’ CEO, Christine Tsai, on investment strategy. Edith Yeung, 500 Startups China partner, led another afternoon session on investment thesis iterations.
The day wrapped up with a guest lecture from Cheryl Cheng of BlueRun Ventures.
Cheryl stressed the difference between investing and the day-to-day running of a fund, and encouraged participants to hone their thesis and tell a story.
“What’s the red thread between each of your investments?” she asked.
Day 2 – Term Sheet Olympics
After a champion’s breakfast of Dream Fluff Donuts, day two started with a deep-dive on venture financing terms, later applied during a round of mock negotiations in the afternoon session, “Term Sheet Olympics.”
Robert Bartlett, Professor of Law at UC Berkeley, gave participants an in-depth look at the science of valuations and the impact on deal terms.
We wrapped up the day with a guest lecture from Scott Kupor, managing partner of Andreessen-Horowitz.
“What do you do other than provide money to your entrepreneurs?” asked Kupor.
Scott covered regulation, the key industry trends he tracks, and offered some poignant advice on how early stage investors can differentiate themselves in a crowded market.
Day 3 – Cap Tables and Opportunity Assessment
Day 3 began with the smooth stylings of Adam Sterling of UC Berkeley, the fearless facilitator of Deal Camp. Participants dusted off their excel skills in the morning sessions, including the Cap Table Lab, one of the toughest exercises all week.
Later that day, we hosted the founders of GovList, PawPrint, and JudoLaunch, all alumni of 500’s seed program for a round of pitches followed by group Q&A’s. Participants then sat down for an opportunity assessment debrief with Bedy and 500 Startups partners Rob Neivert and Tanya Soman.
This was the top-rated session by participants all week!
Day 4 – M&A and the Future of Finance
The theme of the morning was M&A and exit strategies for investors.
Brendan Herron of WSGR and 500’s very own Amit Bhatti walked through M&A fundamentals before breaking participants into groups for an interactive M&A role play session.
We started with an in-depth look at the science of valuations and the impact on deal terms with Robert Bartlett, Professor of Law at UC Berkeley.
An interactive Q&A with Steven Davidoff Solomon, the “Deal Professor” columnist at the New York Times and one of the most respected voices on corporate law, focused on M&A trends, including his take on the news that morning of Spotify’s impending IPO.
The final session of the program looked to the future of finance, covering token sales, SAFTs, and ICOs.
Note: 500 Startups events are operated by 500 Startups Incubator, L.L.C. and the funds advised by 500 Startups do not participate in any revenue generated by these activities. Such programs and services are provided for educational and informational purposes only and under no circumstances should any content provided as part of any such programs, services or events be construed as investment, legal, tax or accounting advice by 500 Startups Incubator, L.L.C. or any of its affiliates.