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BEX3120: Venture capital and the startup ecosystem

Faculty of Business and Economics

Venture capital and the startup ecosystem

Check the Handbook for the latest unit information.


Ever wondered how companies like Afterpay, Canva, Culture Amp and Airwallex, were started and funded? To date Australia has more than 6 Unicorns - startups that have reached a $1 Billion valuation, and more than 100 startups valued at over $100M. In almost all cases investment, funding and venture capital played a critical role in getting these companies started and turbocharging their growth. This course will focus on the nuts and bolts of how investment can support startups and the role venture capital plays in building high growth companies and startups. It will also focus on how venture capital can change the future of business - whether that is through impact investing, new technology or bridging the diversity and gender gaps in business. It is designed for founders, future founders and students looking to pursue a career in Venture Capital or within the startup ecosystem. The subject will combine action based experiences - interactive class role playing, theory and strategy delivered by industry experts and investors, as well as real life meetings with early stage startups. Through the unit you will learn to identify investors, pitch for funding and define, negotiate, and execute early-stage investments


1 - Within semester assessment - 100%


Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement. This unit is a practice-based unit with active engagement throughout the semester with industry experts ranging from startup founders, angel and impact investors, and venture capital funds. The unit places students in venture fund and startup style teams, and teams are treated like early stage investment groups and startups. Weekly workshops guide the teams through the lifecycle of a startup, what makes a great startup investment opportunity, how to invest in a startup, how to get investment for a startup and working in venture capital. All designed to ultimately empower students to make well-informed startup investments from both investor and startup sides. It is expected teams will work on their venture fund or startup an additional 9-12 hours per week outside the weekly workshops. Independent work requirements for teams may include associated readings, podcasts, assessment, out of class activities and preparation for scheduled sessions. Each session will build on previous week's work and on the activities expected of teams in between classes.

Sustainable development goals

Adopted by the UN Member States in 2015, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. Read more

This unit covers content related to the following SDGs:

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure