Experiential Learning

In addition to the CPEVC MBA Fellows program, Tuck students with an interest in exploring the fields of private equity and venture capital are welcome to attend CPEVC-sponsored events and programming throughout their two years at Tuck. These co-curricular, experiential learning opportunities offer high-quality engagements with external thought leaders to help identify career pathways and contribute towards the development of academic scholarship on private equity and venture capital.

Private Equity Practicum

This experiential learning independent study offers students the opportunity to develop their investment evaluation and due diligence skills, enhancing their effectiveness and insight as private equity investors. Working in pairs, students examine and present two small buyout deals each week.

Early Stage Venture Capital Workshop 

Following a successful pilot program in 2018-19, this highly-selective workshop is offered each year and taught by CPEVC Executive Director Jim Feuille, Tuck Center for Entrepreneurship Executive Director Daniella Reichstetter, and long-time VCIC Advisor Dick Green D’75. Students learn about all aspects of early-stage venture capital—from portfolio construction to deal sourcing, deal screening, valuation of early stage ventures, due diligence, convertible notes, cap tables, term sheets, investment memoranda and negotiations. Student teams are given pitch decks from real companies seeking deals at that time.  They then conduct due diligence research, make pitches, and give each other feedback. Each team then pitches one deal to a group of “partners”—volunteers who are active in venture capital firms. Students also write a research paper and self-reflection piece on their learnings from the workshop.

As part of his work in the Early Stage Venture Capital Workshop, Marvin Luo T'20 drafted the framework of a newly constructed teaching note and conducted a survey of current practitioners seeking perspectives on individual company level target returns—multiples and IRRs—for underwriting new investments at each stage in venture capital all the way from the pre-seed stage to the pre-IPO stage.

ETA/Search Funds Workshop

Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (“ETA”) is an increasingly popular career path to general management via small business ownership. The discipline is distinct from customary interpretations of entrepreneurship insofar as the company is not started from the ground up. Rather, in ETA the entrepreneur purchases a business as a going concern – typically at a stage in its evolution when consistent positive cash flow is already being generated – and assumes the CEO role immediately after the acquisition is consummated. The most common manifestation of ETA is a search fund, although many variants of that model are becoming similarly prominent.

This workshop provides an introduction to the various pathways to ETA, as well as a detailed exploration of the various phases of an entrepreneur’s journey. The first half of the workshop covers background about different ETA models, raising investor capital, conducting a search for a suitable company and closing a private equity buyout transaction. The second half addresses relevant topics pertinent to being a first-time CEO and considerations related to operating a microcap company.  Industry participants will join the majority of sessions to bolster the content and add unique personal perspective to the discussion. Background reading will often include case studies wherein these practitioners are the case protagonists.

Outside of the lecture and discussion series, students will also engage each week with active industry participants in experiential learning. By directly collaborating with entrepreneurs, students will gain a firsthand understanding of the nature of the work undertaken by search funds and other entrepreneurial sponsors.

MBA Competitions

The Center sponsors student teams at various private equity and venture capital competitions including the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) and the Wharton MBA Buyout Case Competition. Learn more about these competitions from Tuck News:

The COVID + Capital Project:  Private Equity & Venture Capital Investing in a Time of Crisis

The COVID + Capital Project: Private Equity & Venture Capital Investing in a Time of Crisis was an effort to track the impact of the pandemic on the private equity and venture capital industries in real-time through the voices and research of industry leaders. 

The project team included Venture Capital Fellows Alexander Becker T’21, Teo Gonzalez T’21, and Private Equity Fellow Jane Lee T’20.

At the onset of the pandemic, these Fellows wanted to understand how PE and VC firms, their portfolio companies, and their limited partners were assessing the situation and developing operating plan scenarios for a possible prolonged crisis.

Each week, the latest news, opinions, and data from practitioners, analysts, and thought leaders across the PE/VC space was featured. The site included not only perspectives on the current crisis, but also historical perspectives from previous crises and recessions including the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and 2000 Internet Bubble. The team planned to expand the project over the course of the 2020-21 academic year with new content, original interviews of practitioners and limited partners by the student team, and fresh data. The team found that as the pandemic progressed, the situation differed from what they originally anticipated. The project has completed and the site will remain up for review and reference until summer 2022.