PE/VC Lab: San Francisco Initiative

PE/VC Lab: San Francisco Initiative

Overview

The Private Equity and Venture Capital Lab: San Francisco Initiative (PE/VC Lab: SFI) is a track of the longstanding Elfman-Wareham PE/VC Lab. It is specifically designed for students pursuing full-time careers in VC in the Bay Area post-graduation and aims to provide those students with unique access to the Bay Area ecosystem. The SFI includes a winter-quarter internship at a Bay Area-based venture capital firm, as well as enrollment in the credit-bearing, spring-quarter PE/VC Lab class. Students accepted into the SFI are expected to intern with an approved SF host firm for at least two days per week for the full 10 weeks of the winter quarter.

Students must apply to take part in the SFI, and the application process is separate from that of the traditional PE/VC Lab. Participants are selected through a competitive application, screening, and interview process, in which students are matched with SF firms based on the firms’ specific criteria and the students’ backgrounds.

In their internships, participants work on assignments ranging from evaluating new market and business opportunities to analyzing specific issues faced by portfolio companies.

Given the rapidly evolving situation with Covid-19 and the University’s current travel restrictions, all internships associated with SFI will be fully virtual for the 2020-2021 academic year. We advise that you work directly with your firm to identify a plan for your remote internship that works for both of you. It is our goal that our students have a rewarding and valuable learning experience, and to this end we are encouraging firms to make accommodations that will allow their interns (to the extent possible) to “sit in” on conference calls and video meetings, participate in Slack conversations, receive virtual mentorship, and delve into longer-term projects to ensure that you have a valuable learning experience.

Selected students are required to participate in an orientation in the fall quarter and are encouraged to register for only three courses during the winter quarter when their SF internship takes place.

COURSE INFORMATION

Participants in the SFI are required to participate in an orientation with PE/VC Lab faculty, Jason Heltzer and Ira Weiss. This orientation will provide tactical information to set students up for success in their internship during the winter quarter.

Students accepted into the SFI will be registered for the VC section of the PE/VC Lab course, which meets once a week in the evening for three hours during the spring term. The VC section of the PE/VC Lab is co-taught by professors Jason Heltzer and Ira Weiss. The content is designed to equip students with timely practical tools and impart experience from industry veterans with the ultimate goal of accelerating the apprenticeship process of those aspiring to work in the venture capital industry. Coursework includes case discussions, simulated board meetings and investment committee meetings, guest speakers, workshops, and lectures. Students hear from both the professors and guest speakers on cutting-edge topics related to private equity and venture capital investing. Students also share information and challenges related to their internship experiences. Grades are based on host firm evaluations, classroom participation, case write-ups, and a final project. The course cannot be taken pass/fail, and it is not possible to audit the course.

Participants in the SFI do not need to bid points to gain entry into the PE/VC Lab course. Students who are admitted to the SFI will automatically be registered for and receive points for their participation in the PE/VC Lab course.

INTERNSHIP INFORMATION

Participants in SFI are expected to intern remotely with their host firm for at least two days per week for the full 10 weeks of the winter quarter. Given the rapidly evolving situation with Covid-19 and the University’s travel restrictions, all internships associated with SFI will be fully virtual for the 2020-2021 academic year. We advise that you work directly with your firm to identify a plan for your remote internship that works for both of you. It is our goal that our students have a rewarding and valuable learning experience, and to this end we are encouraging firms to make accommodations that will allow their interns (to the extent possible) to “sit in” on conference calls and video meetings, participate in Slack conversations, receive virtual mentorship, and delve into longer-term projects to ensure that you have a valuable learning experience.

The work schedule is arranged directly between the student and their host firm. All internships are unpaid; however, the Polsky Center will reimburse students for up to $500 for educational material purchases related to their internships. Spring/summer internships or other continued work with the SF host firm are negotiated and arranged directly with the firm and are separate from the SFI.

Firms participating in this year’s cohort of the PE/VC Lab: SFI are outlined below. The BYOF (“bring your own firm”) aspect of the traditional lab will not apply to PE/VC Lab: SFI.

  • Host firms:
  • Better Tomorrow  Ventures
  • BMW i-Ventures
  • Foundation Capital
  • Neotribe Ventures
  • Sapphire Ventures
  • Upfront Ventures
  • (1-2 additional firms pending)

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