UVA LVG and Darden collaboration offers Due Diligence in Seed Funds course

In January 2017, the pilot Due Diligence in Seed Funds course launched at UVA’s Darden School of Business as an elective in the entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy discipline. In collaboration with the recently appointed managing director of the UVA Seed Fund, Bob Creeden, the course offered second year business students the opportunity to actively learn about venture capitalism from experienced experts in the field.

Positive feedback from the students helped ignite plans to expand the course from a single semester to year-long offering in the upcoming 2017-2018 school year.

At the end of the course, the students shared feedback on their experience, and enjoyed a celebratory year end toast at Kardinal Hall.

Student highlights:

“I think this [course] gives students the best experience to put the Darden curriculum into practice. The diligence process takes a while, but this is the best opportunity we have to see what it looks like to invest in an early-stage company. The biggest benefit is hearing Bob pitch the UVA Investment Committee, who are top-tier VC’s in the venture capital community. Hearing what they look for in companies and the approach they take to investing in companies is something I could not learn in a classroom.”

“This class exposes Darden students to the greater UVA and Charlottesville community. First, we were lucky enough to have students from some of the other schools at UVA to help us with industry specific knowledge. Second, by speaking to and hearing from startups in the community, I felt much more connected to the startup ecosystem in Charlottesville. There are enough classes at Darden to keep us occupied without having to ever leave grounds. I think that this is a great opportunity to get some practical experience while connecting with the community.”

“The Seed Fund Course is one the most valuable classes I have had at Darden that combines hands on learning with the application of Darden coursework to help clients advance their commercialization strategies and decide whether or not to invest. This type of learning combination was not only very useful for my professional career but also provides valuable insights into the due diligence process that could only be learned at funds investing in early stage companies or as an associate at a Venture Capital Fund. This course provides opportunities and learnings that no other Darden class provides and was overall one of the best learning experiences I have had at Darden.”

“My experience in the Due Diligence in Seed Funds class has been one of the most rewarding learning experiences that I have had during my two years at Darden.  As a class, we dealt with real investments and real companies - a learning environment completely different from that of any other class offered at Darden.  Specifically, for students interested in entering the venture capital industry or becoming entrepreneurs themselves, this class was an experiential learning opportunity where students could directly apply their learnings to their future careers.”