What does the venture capital career path look like? Let’s try to make a quick recap: you have a pre-MBA and have worked in investment banking, management consulting, or business development for a few years. Тhen post-MBA, you climbed the ladder in tech or finance before going to a top business school. Alternatively, you should have founded and preferably exited a startup or occupied a C-level position in the tech industry.
Sounds like a hustle, right? And it is. Venture Capital roles are so multidisciplinary that one has to go through a couple of academic and professional paths in order to gain a wide business perspective. It is also not very common to study Venture Capital in university and there are few schools such as The University of London and Harvard University that currently offer VC courses as part of their official accreditation.
This academic year, The American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) joins the list of schools that teach students how the world of venture financing works. The Bulgarian Venture Capital Association (BVCA), together with some of the leading names in the local VC ecosystem, developed the Topics in Finance, Venture Capital, and Private Equity course. The course is taught by the AUBG graduate Tihomir Dyankov, member of the Advisory Board of BVCA and Partner in Empower Capital.
“The course is a valuable opportunity for students to get acquainted with the rapidly developing venture capital industry on a regional and global scale, as well as to get acquainted with the practical work of an investment team such as Eleven Ventures. The great interest in the program proves the growing popularity of the topic, which is positive, given the growing opportunities for development in the field,” Daniel Tomov, founding partner of Eleven Ventures and an AUBG graduate, comments in the press release.
VC theory meets practice: hands-on regional VC knowledge
The course, which launched with the start of the Spring 2022 Academic programming in January, is intended for AUBG students in their final years of bachelor’s study. The comprehensive curriculum fits the profiles of business and economics students who are interested in investment and entrepreneurship.
“The curriculum, which we created specifically for AUBG, combines serious theoretical training and the opportunity to put into practice what has been learned during the semester. The students will work on real-world examples from the regional startup ecosystems,” Tihomir Dyankov shares in a press release.
The first half of the course is theoretical and will aim to get the students acquainted with the world of equity and venture capital, have them examine some of the latest VC trends and global best practices. In its second part, the course will feature presentations by guest speakers such as SEE Venture Capital Partners and members of BVCA who will present real examples from their work.
The Managing Partners at the first two Sofia-based funds Daniel Tomov (Eleven Ventures) and Todor Breshkov (LAUNCHub Ventures) will tackle early-stage financing, while Evgeni Angelov and Maria Marinova from BVCA, will introduce students to the basics of equity and venture capital. Elvin Guri, Managing Partner at the growth and private equity fund Empower Capital will address the topics of sustainable and green investments.
At the end of the course, the students will get hands-on practice by conducting analysis and evaluation of a portfolio company of one of the venture capital funds which are members of BVCA.
“Besides the valuable and rare opportunity to learn about the venture capital world and understand its impact, I appreciate the fact that the course is taught by leading investors and venture capitalists. It is applauding that as AUBG graduates they are giving back to the community,” Martin Stoilkov, third-year student, shares for The Recursive. “The course complements and adds on what we have already learned to help us make better sense of our knowledge and translate it to the real business world. It prepares us for a career start in a fast-paced and growing industry,” Ivaylo Todorov, also a third-year Economics and Business student adds.