The Private Equity and Venture Capital Lab: San Francisco Initiative (PE/VC Lab: SFI) is a new 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 be on-site in SF at least two days per week for the full 10 weeks of the winter quarter. Students receive a stipend to assist with travel and accommodation costs.
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 can expect to work on assignments ranging from evaluating new market and business opportunities to analyzing specific issues faced by portfolio companies. The SFI requires a significant time and travel commitment. 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.
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.
Participants in SFI are expected to be on-site in SF at least two days per week for the full 10 weeks of the winter quarter. Students will work on specific assignments for their firm, ranging from evaluating new market and business opportunities for investment to analyzing specific issues faced by portfolio companies.
The days on site and work schedule will be arranged directly between the student and their host firm. All internships are unpaid; however, students will receive a stipend of $8,000 from Chicago Booth to assist with travel costs. Students will be expected to make their own travel arrangements, including flights, ground transport, and accommodation. To make best use of the stipend provided, students accepted into the program are encouraged to make travel and accommodation arrangements as early as possible. Should the student exceed the travel stipend provided, additional funding is not available and will need to be paid out of pocket.
Summer internships or other continued work with the SF host firm would be negotiated and arranged directly with the firm and would be separate from the SFI.
In the pilot year of the PE/VC Lab: SFI, there will be a limited number of host firms sourced by the Polsky Center and course faculty. As a result, the BYOF (“bring your own firm”) aspect of the traditional lab will not apply to PE/VC Lab: SFI for the 2019-2020 program.
- Battery Ventures
- Blumberg Capital
- Foundation Capital
- GGV Capital
- Global Founders Capital
- Sapphire Ventures