Venture Capital Private Equity Program

Level Up as a Growth-Oriented Investment Manager

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Course Dates


June 27, 2024

Course Duration


9 to 12 Months
Online and In Person

Course Fee


US$28,000 and get US$1,400 off with a referral US$300 application fee

Course Information Flexible payment available

Early Registration Benefit

Apply now to secure your place at US$27,000 by . Connect with a learning advisor for more information.

Understand the VC and PE Landscapes Holistically

The Venture Capital Private Equity Program from Columbia Business School Executive Education will prepare you to succeed in a dynamically transforming investment arena. In this comprehensive 9- to 12-month program, you will learn how to identify and evaluate what makes a good investment, develop valuation frameworks, structure term sheets, manage portfolios, and learn soft skills such as pitching deals, storytelling with data, and networking. In addition to the core modules and electives, you will engage in a specialized elective that delves into either venture capital (VC) or private equity (PE) as per your career goals.

Columbia Business School alumni have added valuable contributions to the venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) sectors, and the school’s location in New York City—the financial hub of the world—provides a close-up demonstrative understanding of the industry. Through this immersive program, taught by Columbia faculty, you will learn to leverage challenges and turn them into positive outcomes.

What You Will Learn

Venture Capital

  • Evaluate startups for VC investment and learn to manage a portfolio
  • Assess a startup's team, market potential, progress, and financial metrics for making informed investments
  • Learn the intricacies of term sheets, including equity rounds, convertible notes, and governance terms
  • Explore the various methods and metrics for valuing startups, including risk assessment and understanding capitalization tables

Private Equity

  • Evaluate what makes a good investment while considering the business environment, price determinants, and exit strategies
  • Put together a deal, taking into account seller motivations, financing options, regulatory issues, and public vs. private company considerations
  • Create value in a portfolio company using levers of value, synergies, and pricing
  • Recognize the contours of success in a leveraged buyout model and other exit alternatives

Program Highlights

Core Curriculum

Kick-start your program journey with 12 weeks of online learning, imparting essential skills for investment management

Weekly Live Sessions

Experience live online sessions with periodic guest lectures from faculty, industry leaders, and career advisors

World-Renowned Faculty

Learn from Columbia faculty, thought leaders, and industry experts

Specialized Electives

Take a deep dive into understanding leveraged buyouts (LBOs) or VC decision making, depending on your industry or future goals

Capstone Project

Work on a capstone project where you apply program learnings to a real-world case

Peer Learning

Interact with and learn from high-achieving peers from around the globe and build your network

Choice of Electives

Select from topical electives to gain relevant skill sets specific to your role

Success Coach

Craft your learning journey in line with your career goals with a success coach assigned to your cohort

Practitioner Insights

Learn from faculty and industry experts during the program to gain actionable insights and implement learning into practice

Flexible Learning Journey

Customize your program experience by selecting from a range of topical electives and gain skill sets specific to your career goals

Networking Event

Interact with faculty, peers, and global industry leaders at an optional two-day on-campus networking event

CIBE Holder Benefits

CIBE Holder Benefits

Receive Certificate in Business Excellence benefits upon completion and become part of a distinguished global community

Program Curriculum

A multimodal learning experience, the Venture Capital Private Equity Program is a must for investment professionals who aim to get a holistic understanding of the VC and PE sectors and become influential contributors to negotiations at their companies. The comprehensive curriculum provides asynchronous learning and live sessions conducted by a learning facilitator and faculty. Participants will also be exposed to a host of engaging online guest lectures and fireside chats with leading industry executives. The flexible format allows for peer-to-peer learning and exploration of “try it” activities as well as practical case studies. The immersive program culminates in a two-day optional on-campus networking event where you can connect with faculty and global peers.

    Foundations of Venture Capital

    What Is Venture Capital?

    Making sound investment decisions requires knowing the mechanics of VC. By examining key VC components and the role they play in vetting investment opportunities, you will develop in-depth knowledge of the deal flow process and its risks and rewards.

    • Understand the VC Deal Flow Process
    • Recognize the Risks and Rewards for Venture Investors
    • Identify Startup Ecosystem Stakeholders
    • Learn How to Source Quality Deal Flow

    What Makes a Good VC Investment?

    Due diligence is an essential step in VC investing. By imparting guiding principles and key benchmarks, including market sizing and the net promoter score, you will acquire the tools needed to conduct a systematic evaluation of any investment opportunity.

    • Assess a Founding Team
    • Pressure-Test Founder Assumptions
    • Quantify the Size of a Market
    • Identify Which Metrics Matter Most When Evaluating Startups

    What Matters in a Term Sheet?

    Term sheets play a critical role in the negotiation process, benefiting both investors and startups. This module looks at the critical points to include when negotiating financial and governance terms, ensuring that your final agreement offers your organization and its investment maximum protection.

    • Understand Financial and Governance Negotiations
    • Differentiate between Priced Equity, Convertible Note, and SAFE Round
    • Calculate Ownership Dilution across the Life of a Startup
    • Understand Market Norms in Term Sheet Negotiations

    How Do You Value a Startup?

    Valuing a startup is a complex endeavor. By examining different valuation approaches and how they can be leveraged together, you will acquire a set of best practices for assessing the value of a venture.

    • Understand Different Valuation Methods and Their Purpose in Assessing Startups
    • Create a Valuation Scorecard
    • Quantify and Mitigate Risk
    • Understand the VC Method
    • Learn Market Norms around Valuation

    How Do You Manage a Portfolio?

    Successful VC investing goes beyond making the deal. By looking at the contributions each party must make to manage an investment, you will build a tool kit of practical strategies for maximizing your return on investment (ROI).

    • Recognize the Role of Investors Post-Investment
    • Understand Portfolio Construction and Diversification
    • Calculate the Return of a VC Portfolio

    Lessons Learned from 15,000 Pitches

    Gaining an edge in the field means translating core concepts into actionable strategies and putting them into practice. This module allows you to learn from actual VC successes and failures, preparing you to make real-world connections and embark on your journey into VC investing.

    • Hear from Investors about Lessons Learned
    • Identify Non-Negotiables and Red Flags When Evaluating Startups
    • Develop a Personal Networking Plan
    • Launch Your VC Career

    Private Equity Investment Cycle

    Private Equity Foundations

    PE investing has evolved. By examining modern PE investing, you will develop an in-depth understanding of how to navigate the complex PE landscape and identify the factors you must consider when making an investment decision.

    • Define and Discuss PE and Its History
    • Examine Net Income and Cash Flow in Relation to PE
    • Identify PE Stages, Challenges, and Perspectives
    • Study Related Accounting and Calculations Used in PE Valuations
    • Research the Business Case for PE 

    What Makes a Good Private Equity Investment?

    Not all deals should be pursued. By exploring the essential elements of a good PE investment and the potential impacts of environmental, social, and governance (ESG), you will gain the expertise you need to identify opportunities with the strongest value potential.

    • Identify Key Elements and Measures That Make a Good PE Investment
    • Examine the Impact of Environmental, Social, and Governance in PE
    • Analyze the Elements and Measures of PE Returns
    • Review PE Research and Evaluate Findings
    • Calculate Potential Return Using Standard Deviation

    How Do You Put the Deal Together?

    PE deals require time and relationship management. This program explores the intricacies of dealmaking, equipping you with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully source and execute a deal.

    • Identify and Define the Main Components of a PE Deal
    • Review the Components of PE Deal Sourcing, Time Management, and Relationships
    • Examine the PE Sales Process
    • List the Differences between Public and Private PE Organizations
    • Study the PE Valuation Process, and Perform Related Calculations

    How Do You Create Value in Private Equity?

    Managed well, portfolio organizations can deliver significant value. Through a thorough examination of price and value fundamentals, you will acquire a set of business strategies you can leverage to maximize your ROI.

    • Review the Role of Price and Value in a Portfolio Organization
    • Define Levers of Value in the PE Cycle
    • Identify Purchase Price Requirements
    • Define Synergies and Their Relationship to PE
    • Perform Calculations to Create Positive PE Investment Decisions

    What Does Success Look Like?

    Success might look a little different in PE investing. Covering the range of possibilities, this module will help you understand the numerous pathways to PE value and success.

    • Rigorous Investment Thesis: Public and Private Investment
    • Exit Strategies: IPO Sale to Strategic Buyer, Sale PE Buyer
    • Pricing Exiting — Elements of Return
    • Due Diligence Inquiry: Financial, Legal, and Operational
    • Leveraged Buyout

    What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    PE deals carry a greater potential for risk. Through a close examination of risk management best practices, you will develop a set of strategies that will help protect your investment.

    • The Benefit of Bargain Protections
    • Risk Management Scenarios
    • Deal Documentation
    • Common Merger Agreements 

    After completing the foundational models in VC and PE, you can choose between two comprehensive specialized electives, each meticulously crafted for VC and PE, respectively. These electives delve deeper, presenting you with critical insights that go beyond the basics.

    ● VC Decision Making: This elective will help you learn how to create a successful investment strategy to improve venture fund performance. You will establish your individual investment criteria and intelligently diversify your portfolio.


    ● Leveraged Buyouts: This elective will help you build a comprehensive understanding of leveraged buyouts (LBO) and the process of completing them. You will learn how to evaluate a potential LBO opportunity in PE and effectively execute the deal.

    A relevant choice of online electives will enhance your learning journey and assist in gaining knowledge and skills essential for your career growth. In these two six-week electives, you will dive deep into content that will expand your horizon, provide a global perspective, and sharpen your investment skills. These electives will help channel new growth areas for you to rise up the ladder or pivot your career. The choice of electives includes:

    • Corporate Governance
    • ESG Investing
    • Value Investing 
    • Mergers and Acquisitions
    • VC Due Diligence 
    Note: Electives are subject to change

    A choice of one in-person open-enrollment elective will enable you to focus on a specialization of your interest and help unravel the intricacies of your selected topic. Designed to enhance your understanding of the VC and PE sectors, it will help position you as a serious investment strategist aiming to take your organization to newer heights. A list of select current availabilities is below:

    • Driving Strategic Impact
    • Financial Analysis and Valuation
    • Leading in a Data-Driven World: Developing Quantitative Intuition™
    • Persuasion Strategies
    • Real Estate Investing
    Note: While Columbia Business School Executive Education will attempt to accommodate participant preference selections, we cannot guarantee that all preferences will be granted due to the high demand for our open-enrollment programs. Electives are subject to change.

    *Meet your cohort peers and faculty in person on the Columbia Business School campus in New York City during an optional two-day networking event. This event provides you an opportunity to network with your peers as well as professionals from other cohorts to create a lifelong community of global executives.

    Note: Session topics and networking event duration are subject to change.

Capstone Project

Venture Capital Capstone
In the VC capstone project, you will assess the investment potential of two organizations that participated in an Entrepreneur Roundtable Accelerator Online Demo Day, a showcase where investors can learn more about investment opportunities. You will watch pitches for each organization. Then, applying your learnings from the program, you will answer a series of diligence questions to evaluate each option. Your answers will serve as the basis for a diligence summary that you will submit for faculty feedback. Challenges addressed in this capstone include identifying risks and rewards and performing thorough diligence encompassing people, problems, progress, and price.

Private Equity Capstone
In the PE capstone project, you will select an organization and evaluate its investment potential, focusing on the sourcing and due diligence steps of the deal process. Applying what you have learned, you will answer a series of questions to identify, define, and analyze the components needed to complete a PE transaction. Your answers will serve as the basis for a diligence summary that you will submit for faculty feedback. Challenges addressed in this capstone include recognizing a sound investment, measuring ESG, valuing a potential investment, determining the purchase price, and developing an exit strategy.

Meet the Faculty

Faculty Member Donna M. Hitscherich

Donna M. Hitscherich

Senior Lecturer of Finance, Private Equity Program Co-Director, Columbia Business School

Donna M. Hitscherich currently serves as a senior lecturer of finance, co-director of the Private Equity Program, and a Bernstein Faculty Leader at the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics at Columbia Business School. Hitscherich's topics include corporate finance, business law, M&A, and advanced corporate finance.

Prior to her present position as a senior lecturer, Hitscherich had a career in investment banking, holding positions at CS First Boston, J.P. Morgan & Co., and Banc of America Securities. At J.P. Morgan, she helped found the takeover defense team and served as a senior member of the advisory review committee, which was responsible for all of the M&A fairness opinions issued by the company. As a managing director in the mergers and acquisitions group of Banc of America Securities, she was secretary of the firm’s fairness-opinion review committee and a major contributor to the firm’s training programs for managing directors and associates.

Profile picture of professor Angela Lee

Angela Lee

Professor of Practice, Columbia Business School

Angela Lee is a professor of practice at Columbia Business School, where she teaches venture capital and leadership programs. Lee started her career in product management and moved to consulting at McKinsey. She has launched four startups and is also the founder of 37 Angels — an investing network that has evaluated over 15,000 startups, invested in 70+ startups, and activates new investors through a startup investment boot camp. She also serves as a venture partner at Fresco Capital, an early-stage venture fund that focuses on the future of work, digital health, and sustainable loops.

Lee has spoken at the White House and NASA and is an expert in online teaching and making learning scalable. She is a sought-after expert on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, MSNBC, and Fox Business. She was recognized by Inc. as one of 17 Inspiring Women to Watch in 2017, Six Innovative Women to Watch in 2015 by Entrepreneur, and Notable Women in Tech in 2019 by Crain’s. In 2020, she was recognized with the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence at Columbia Business School.

Meet Your Success Coaches

Faculty Member Karim Bennis

Eric Shu

Eric is an investor at Access Venture Partners. At Deloitte, he advised Fortune 500 companies on their digital transformation initiatives that enabled them to maintain their competitive edge.

Daniel O'Connell

Daniel is a seasoned investment executive/portfolio manager and university educator/administrator. He has more than 30 years of venture capital and private equity experience and more than seven years of higher education experience.

Greta Larson

Greta is the senior associate director in the Private Equity Program at Columbia Business School. She interfaces with alumni, industry professionals, and students who are working in or aspire to work in the field of private equity.

Michael Hillmeyer

Michael is an independent consultant in the financial services, technology, and healthcare industries, working with clients in the United States and internationally.

CIBE Holder Benefits

  • Access to Columbia Business School Alumni Career Services resources, including unique career content, a job board, an online networking platform, the alumni directory, and more
  • Invitations to alumni events and programs around the world​
  • Eligibility to join Columbia Business School alumni clubs
  • Global networking opportunities​
  • Lifetime Columbia Business School forwarding email address
  • Subscription to our alumni publication Columbia Business

Certificate in Business Excellence

Example image of certificate that will be awarded after successful completion of this program

Certificate in Business Excellence

Upon completion of the Venture Capital Private Equity Program, participants are awarded the Certificate in Business Excellence from Columbia Business School Executive Education. The certificate is a recognition of their achievement and the investment they and their organization have made in their education and development.

As a Certificate in Business Excellence holder, you will receive a 25 percent tuition benefit for full-price Executive Education in-person programs lasting three and four days and all full-price online programs. Exclusions apply **

Certificate holders will also be awarded select Columbia Business School Alumni benefits.

Download Brochure

Your digitally verified certificate will be issued in your legal name and emailed to you, at no additional cost, upon completion of the program, including all modules of the program (online, in person, or live online, inter-module). All certificate images are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to change at the discretion of Columbia Business School Executive Education.

Who Is It For?

Ideal candidates for the Venture Capital Private Equity Program are professionals who have recently embarked on their journey in private investing and are eager to take significant strides in the VC and PE sectors. The program is beneficial for executives in investment banking, finance, private equity, venture capital, financial consulting, risk advisory, etc., who aim to gain a holistic understanding of sourcing, managing, and structuring deals. You will emerge with the knowledge and practical experience needed to elevate your career and accelerate your firm’s impact.

Participants should have:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • International exposure (preferred)

Executive Peer Group and Networking Event

The enriching environment of the networking event provides participants with the invaluable opportunity to build a robust network with global executives who bring diverse experiences, cultures, and perspectives. Engaging in thoughtful discussions, they can exchange cutting-edge insights and knowledge that are integral in staying abreast of industry trends. The networking event showcases the vibrant community that participants of the Venture Capital Private Equity Program become an invaluable part of.

Hear from a Past Program Participant

“The instructors were the best part because they effectively communicated the content, shared real-world insights, and juxtaposed theoretical concepts with industry trends.”

— Michael Cheng, Startup CEO and Fund Manager

"The two-day networking event covered a wide array of topics imparting insights from thought leaders on US and global economic conditions, learning to think bigger, innovation and marketing, leadership and professional ethics, and much more. Leadership Jazz was one of the most creative presentations I have ever witnessed. Though I had my doubts about joining this program as I was unsure if the financial investment would result in a meaningful return, I am pleased to say that the education and networking with other global peers have been more than worth it for me."

— Firoz Jhaver, Angel Investor

"Finding an opportunity in VC is not easy with the current market conditions. As someone who came from an operator/founder background, the Venture Capital Private Equity Program helped me compete with other experienced VC candidates. It gave me an overall foundation of how venture funds operate internally and how they are structured. Coincidentally, the venture fund I'm at just started raising a new growth opportunity fund, allowing me to use my insights gained from the program and add value to our new initiative."

— Simon Yu, Venture Partner at Expert Dojo

Participating in this program was a transformative experience for my career, providing me with crucial insights and in-depth knowledge that were instrumental in founding my own PE firm. One standout aspect of the program was the high caliber of individuals in my cohort, each bringing years of intrinsic knowledge in the fields of VC and PE, which greatly enriched our collective learning experience and understanding of the industry.

— Renan Cortez, Founder and CEO of Syndicate Venture Group

Participant Profile

Ideal candidates for the Venture Capital Private Equity Program are professionals who have recently embarked on their journey in private investing and are eager to take significant strides in the VC and PE sectors. The program is beneficial for executives in investment banking, finance, private equity, venture capital, financial consulting, risk advisory, etc., who aim to gain a holistic understanding of sourcing, managing, and structuring deals. You will emerge with the knowledge and practical experience needed to elevate your career and accelerate your firm’s impact.

Participants should have:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • International exposure (preferred)

Past Participant Profile

Past participants of the Venture Capital Private Equity Program come from diverse backgrounds, industries, and experiences. The cohort’s diversity ensures that you interact with like-minded peers and gain new perspectives for your organization’s unique challenges.

Average years of work experience:

  • Less than 10 years: 18%
  • 10 to 15 years: 18%
  • 16 to 20 years: 23%
  • More than 20 years: 42%

Top industries:

  • Banking
  • Consulting
  • Financial Services
  • Health Care/Health Services
  • Law
  • Technology/Telecom

Top functions:

  • Business Development/Sales
  • Consulting
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance Accounting
  • General Management
  • Information Systems/Technology

Top countries:

  • United States
  • United Arab Emirates
  • India
  • Canada
  • Switzerland
  • China

Note: Data from across previous cohorts

Application Details

Round 1


Round 2


Round 3


Round 4

Deadline: June 21, 2024
Application fee: US$300

The program fee covers teaching fees, all academic material, and access to online coursework. The fee does not include accommodations for the two-day annual in-person reunion and networking event, travel expenses (domestic, international, visa fee, and more), and other expenses not specifically mentioned in the program fee.


  • The Venture Capital Private Equity Program has been designed with your busy schedule in mind. You will be required to commit no more than three to five hours per week, enabling you to benefit from this transformative program while fulfilling your day-to-day work responsibilities. The impactful program offers a blend of self-paced modules and live interactions.

  • The 9- to 12-month learning journey includes live online and video online sessions with renowned faculty, industry experts, and global peers. You can take advantage of weekly live sessions and the Slack channel to ask questions and discuss ideas with your cohort participants. Real-world examples and a debrief of the program learnings are delivered through a combination of recorded video and live online lectures. The program concludes with an optional two-day on-campus networking event on the Columbia Business School campus in New York City.

  • The program fee covers teaching fees, all academic materials, and access to online coursework. The fee does not include accommodation for the two-day in-person networking event, travel expenses (domestic, international, visa fee, etc.), or other expenses not specifically mentioned in the fees.

  • You can pay the full program fee up front or pay in easy installments. If you would like to approach your organization with a sponsorship request for this program, here is a customizable template that you can use.

  • Unfortunately, it is not possible to take any more electives than the specified number. The electives are designed to help you gain specialized skills in areas that are aligned with your career so that you can dedicate focused time for learning and honing those

  • Yes. There is closed captioning and transcripts for all prerecorded videos, and closed captioning for recordings of live sessions is also available.

  • Emeritus collects all program payments, provides learner enrollment and program support, and manages learning platform services.

  • For the program refund and deferral policy, please click the link here.

  • Program fees for Emeritus programs with Columbia Business School Executive Education may not be paid for with Title IV financial aid funds. Participants may be able to pay the program fee with funds from the GI Bill, the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Act of 2008, or similar types of military education funding benefits. Participants must contact the Columbia University’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs to determine benefit eligibility.

Questions? Connect with a Program Advisor.


Phone: +1 567 587 1669 (U.S.) / +44 1156 471398 (U.K.) / +971 80 00321209 (U.A.E.) / +52 55930 20507 (LATAM)

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