Entrepreneurial Finance

6 ECTS Module for Master Students

Worldspectrum, Pexels


  • 6 ECTS module
  • 2 courses Entrepreneurial Finance: Lecture & Entrepreneurial Finance: Case Studies

Target Audience

  • Master students in IWI, LIM, GTIME & Exchange Programs



Entrepreneurial finance is at the center of a clash of two very distant worlds: that of entrepreneurship and that of finance. Finance is disciplined, based on numbers and logical thinking and looking for proven track records. Entrepreneurship is messy, based on intuition and experimentation and treading off the beaten track. Entrepreneurial finance is the provision of funding to young, innovative, growth-oriented companies. Entrepreneurial companies are young, typically less than ten years old, and introduce innovative products or business models. The younger are called “startups,” and are typically less than five years old.

There is a variety of investors who can finance entrepreneurial companies: family and friends, business angels, accelerators and incubators, crowdfunding platforms, venture capital firms, corporate investors, etc. The course provides a thorough understanding of what motivates them, of the way they invest, and of what support they can provide to a company at what stage in the fundraising cycle. The course addresses the following key questions: How much money can and should be raised? When should it be raised and from whom? What is a reasonable valuation of the company? How should funding, employment contracts and exit decisions be structured?

Thus, the course provides an understanding of the whole fundraising cycle, from the moment the entrepreneur conceived her idea to the moment investors exit the company and move on. We examine the entrepreneur's signalling to investors of the qualities of the venture, the investors' evaluation of the venture, the various dimensions of contracting (cash flow rights, control rights, compensation, and other clauses), the negotiation of a deal and the provision of corporate governance, the process of staged financing, the financing through debt, and the exit process though liquidity events such as initial public offering, sale or merger.

The workflow in this module is comprised of two course elements:
  1. (Flipped) classroom: learning about and discussing concepts and tools currently prevailing in theory and practice of modern entrepreneurial finance.
  2. Problem-based learning: deepen an understanding of the concepts and tools by seeing them applied and applying them to real company cases.


Upon completion of this course module, students will be able to:

  • Prepare a financial plan for a new venture or business opportunity
  • Engage in financial valuation for new ventures and business opportunities
  • Understand the design of financial contracts
  • Analyze and evaluate growth and exit strategies

This course module can prepare students for the following career paths:

  • Startup founder or early employee in a startup
  • Venture capital investing
  • Strategy & valuation consulting
  • Corporate finance



  • 70% (individual): Written case solutions submitted after class (for 7 out of 10 cases)
  • 30% (individual): Oral class participation


Time & Location

  • Entrepreneurial Finance: Lecture: Monday, 13.15 - 14.45, Building N , Room 0008
  • Entrepreneurial Finance: Case Studies: Monday, 15.00 - 17.15, Building N , Room 0008

Course Notes & Materials

Access to course notes & materials here. Password to be found on Studip.

Preliminary Schedule

1October 23rdOnline-Introduction: Evaluating Venture Opportunities
-October 30thNo class
2November 6thFinancial Planning
3November 13thOwnership and Returns
4November 20thValuation Methods I
5November 27thValuation Methods II
6December 4thEarly Stage and Venture Capital Investors
7December 11thTerm Sheets
8December 18thStructuring Deals
-Dec 24th - Jan 7thChristmas Holiday
9January 8thStaged Financing
10January 15thDebt Financing
11January 22ndCorporate Governance
12January 29thExits
Prof. Dr. Christoph Ihl
Professor & Head of Institute

My research interests include cultural entrepreneurship, social networks and natural language processing.

Oliver Specht
Research Assistant & Doctoral Student

My research interests are technology entrepreneurship and venture capital financing.