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 by VCs and PEs. 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.
Foundational courses are strongly recommended for students who are planning to undertake a career in the industry. Exploratory courses are introductory courses which could be taken with little prerequisites. Experiential courses can be taken without prior knowledge; however, for a more effective experience, it is recommended that students enroll in the foundational courses before or concurrently.