Brad Feld

Tag: venture deals

We are starting to work on the teaching materials for the 3rd edition of Venture Deals, which is coming out in the fall of 2016.

If you have either taught or taken a class using Venture Deals and are willing to talk to our publisher at Wiley about what kind of teaching materials would make the book even more useful, please send me an email.

As part of this, we are doing a refresh of the Ask the VC website so if you have suggestions for that, just toss them in the comments.


The Kauffman Fellows Academy is offering another session of the Venture Deals course on the NovoEd platform. This time it is free and runs from April 24, 2016 – June 13, 2016.

We’ve done this course several times in the past with classes of around 100 people and have gotten great feedback. Last year, we started talking to the Kauffman Fellows Academy and NovoEd about doing it for free to reach a wider audience, and in the context of #GiveFirst offer it for free, as the primary motivation for Jason and I had nothing to do with money. The original few sessions has recouped the cost to NovoEd of producing the course so they, and the team at Kauffman Fellows Academy were willing to give free a try.

Sign up is trivial (one click using your Facebook, Google, or O365 id).

The course is based on the second edition of the book Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist. Jason and I are working on the third edition which we be out later this year so this is a chance for anyone interested to engage with us now, ask us questions that we’ve missed in the second edition, or address nuances and larger trends that have changed since the second edition came out in December 2012.

Take a look at the overview for the Venture Deals Course for Spring 2016 and sign up and join us if you are interested.


Jason and I are once again doing the Venture Deals online class as part of the Kauffman Fellows Academy. The course begins on Monday (9/29/14) so sign up now if you are interested.

This will be the third time we are doing this course. We are having a lot of fun with it and love the dynamics of working with the Kauffman Fellows Academy. The feedback has been generally excellent and we’ve tried to take into consideration all the suggestions we’ve heard about what we can do better.

We’ll be actively involved with hangouts during the course as well as on the message boards. If you are interested in really understanding how venture deals and startup financings work, please join us for the course.


This spring Jason Mendelson and I taught a class called Venture Deals with the Kauffman Fellows Academy. It was a blast so we’ve decided to do it again.

KFA uses NovoEd as their platform. Jason and I spent two days recording videos around our Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist explaining each section and going deeper with Q&A. The course is a MOOC that includes significant Q&A that I participated in throughout the course, along with a weekly Google Hangout covering different topics.

Some of the reviews from the course kind of say it all:

  • “It’s one thing to read a book, blog, article, etc about venture deals but the process of assignments with a team is like doing a virtual reality journey – you feel as if you are actually pitching a VC. Can’t compare this to reading an article.”
  • “Team based, good chance to interact with other students”
  • “The quality of the video content, as it complemented the book, was fantastic.”
  • “Straight forward approach to learning about VC deals “
  • “A course at a university would have charged $2,000 to $3,000 and likely not have the caliber of instructors.”
  • “These Google Hangouts are priceless and Brad Feld has been outstanding on this course.”
  • “The Venture Deals class is awesome because it bridges the trust deficit between Founders and VC’s”

Sign up for the course now – it’ll be running from June 16th to August 2nd. Use the discount code 2VD20 to get 20% off the price of the course.


My partner Jason and our dear friend Professor Brad Bernthal are attempting to teach everything there is to know about the venture ecosystem in 90 minutes on January 28th.  The link to the event is here.

Now realistically, you won’t learn everything, but they have been teaching a class on the subject for the past five years and it is not only excellent, but was one of the reason Jason and I wrote our book Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist.

This should be a great event.


I’m spending the new two days filming the content for a MOOC on raising venture capital. The content is based on my book with Jason titled Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist. After exploring a few different MOOCs for this, I think NovoED is the most interesting platform.

I’ve been impressed with the quality of the courses that currently exist. Several of my friends have done courses, including Chuck Eesley, a professor in Stanford University’s Management Science & Engineering group. Among other things, he’s got a great NovoEd course starting in a month titled Technology Entrepreneurship as well as a superb reading list for anyone interested in entrepreneurship.

Matt Blumberg finished filming the course around his book – Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business – a few weeks ago. I got a preview of a few segments – it’s excellent and exceeded my expectations for what NovoED was planning to do.

I’m looking forward to yet another experiment in content creation, this time around a MOOC. In addition to creating the content, I’ll be an active participant / teacher in the course when it comes out.

I’ve often talked about how I learn things by doing them. As I wrote a few weeks ago, I’m fascinated with what I perceive will be a radical transformation over the next decade in how education works. I’ve been participating in it already through experiments like Techstars, which has completely changed how I think about entrepreneurial education. Creating – and participating – in MOOCs in another step in my learning process as I form a view about what is really interesting here.


Along with my partner Jason Mendelson and our friends Brad Bernthal (University of Colorado Law School) and Mike Platt (partner at Cooley LLP) we have launched a series of courses in conjunction with our portfolio company Sympoz on starting a company. This is a bidirectional experiment for us – we are helping Sympoz launch their new set of programs for startups and entrepreneurs while continuing to experiment with new forms of media around education on a topic we know well.

My class, How To Light a Spark & Set Your Startup on Fire, is FREE for a limited time. It’s aimed at someone either thinking about starting a business, or just getting going. It’s a casual format – these should be easy, inspiring lessons – each of the three segments is about 30 minutes long Following is the outline of the content.

  1. Identifying the Right Idea: Is It a Relevant Idea? Does It Solve a Specific Problem? Is It A New Idea? Reduce Unnecessary Complexity! Are Your Great?
  2. Identifying the Right Idea for You: Are You Obsessed? What Do You Know? Are You an Infection Machine? Are You Consumed?
  3. Picking the Right Time to Start: If Not Now, When? Risk vs. Reward. The Idea Is the Easy Part! Resources for Startups.

Jason, BradB, and Mike’s class is a subset of the class that Jason and BradB teach at the CU Boulder Law School which has consistently been one of the most popular law and business school classes around startups, raising money, and venture capital. In the Sympoz course, The Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Company, they build on our book Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist to help you turn your idea into a company, who and how to partner with, how to raise money, and what to do with it when you get it. There’s plenty of practical advice for interacting with VCs during the financing process along with lots of tips about what can kill your startup before you get it off the ground. The four hour course costs $29.99.

Sympoz classes are perfect for busy people; you can watch the professionally produced, HD videos anytime, anywhere on the planet, from any Internet-connected device, as often as you want. The Sympoz learning platform seamlessly blends discussions into the class experience, enabling you to ask questions of, and participate in conversations with your class community, including your instructors.

Join us in class – and give us feedback on what you think about it.


Jason and I got an email this morning that said the following:

Hi Jason and Brad,

Just wanted to thank you for writing the book ‘Venture Deals’. The advice in the book seriously helped my startup get a great term sheet on the table on Friday.

We get an email like this often. They come in different forms – some are longer than others – but they always have the same message. “Thank you for helping me.” And that feels awesome. It’s not the extrinsic motivation from the praise, it’s the intrinsic motivation that comes from knowing I’ve put together a book on a difficult topic that is useful.

I’ve currently written three books: Venture Deals, Do More Faster, and Burning Entrepreneur. This summer I’m going to write four more – Startup Communities, Startup Life, Startup Boards, and Startup Accounting. They are all in process and at different stages of completion – by the end of the summer they’ll be largely done and will come out quarterly starting in Q3. My goal is to cover a broad range of Startup topics in the same format that Jason and I did with Venture Deals.

Every time I get an email like the one above, it’s a little more fuel to keep on writing.


Over the past six years, Jason Mendelson and I have heard from over 100 professors who have used our Term Sheet Series of blog posts in college (undergraduate and graduate) programs on on entrepreneurship. Since the publication of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist we’ve started hearing from professors who have used our book in their course.

Jason and Brad Bernthal have been teaching a class at CU Boulder Law School called VC 360. They’ve recently open sourced the syllabus and we’ve put up a page on AsktheVC for anyone teaching a course using Venture Deals.

If you are teaching a course using Venture Deals and want to be included, simply email me.  If you are looking for ideas on a course about entrepreneurial finance, take a look. And, if you’ve got suggestions, please offer them (yes – we are working on a teaching guide.)