Venture Capital and Private Equity Pathway

The driving theme behind Kellogg’s Venture Capital and Private Equity (VC/PE) pathway is to identify and exploit the potential sources of value in private, public, and closely-held firms. This interdisciplinary pathway provides students with the analytical framework and tools necessary to successfully conduct venture capital and private equity transactions, execute mergers and acquisitions, and engage in corporate restructuring activities. The pathway is structured along potential sources of value that VC/PE investors can extract. This pathway has different tracks depending on whether students are interested more in Venture Capital, Growth Equity, or LBOs. It also has a strong international component for those students who are interested in exploring the practices in countries that do not have common law legal systems.

In venture capital, investors may generate value in early stage companies by engaging in operational and strategic engineering that focuses on getting the most from the company’s resources. For investors in the growth equity segment of the private equity industry, these same skills apply. In addition, growth equity investors may redesign a company’s governance structure to reduce frictions between management and shareholders and between non-controlling and controlling shareholders, resulting in management decisions more aligned with shareholder interests. In doing so, they will use financial contracts that are characterized by steep incentives for the management team. Private equity investors engaged in leveraged buy-outs (LBOs) and restructuring create value with operational and governance changes, as well. They may also exploit inefficiencies in capital markets by restructuring a company’s liabilities or by purchasing undervalued assets and selling them at or above their fundamental value.

The VC/PE pathway emphasizes financial, operational, and strategic skills for venture capital investors, adds approaches to corporate governance for growth equity investors, and provides a greater emphasis on accounting and financial skills for LBOs and corporate restructuring. In addition to the Evanston classes, students interested in working for start-ups (series B and further) or venture capital firms should consider the San Francisco immersion program offered in the winter.


Faculty sponsors: Kathleen Hagerty (Finance), Jose Liberti (Finance) and Paola Sapienza (Finance)

Venture Capital and Private Equity

Initial Courses – all tracks

Finance I
FINC 430
Finance II
FINC 431
Accelerated Corporate Finance
FINC 440
Students should complete or test out from these courses before taking foundation courses or applying to the San Francisco Winter Immersion Program
Venture Capital
Private Equity

If you are interested in this pathway, you may also want to view the Growth & Scaling and Entrepreneurship pathways.

Last edited July 13, 2021. For any questions regarding this page, please email