Books

Judith Albers & Thomas R. Moebus, Entrepreneurship in New York: The Mismatch between Venture Capital and Academic R&D (2014).

Abstract (from opensuny.org):  The Entrepreneurship in New York study is a joint venture of the SUNY Levin Institute, the Research Foundation of SUNY, and SUNY Geneseo. This study shows that New York now commands a larger share of national venture investment than in past studies. Although, within this picture a significant disconnect is revealed. New York’s strong performance in academic R&D in the sciences stands in contrast with the relatively modest amounts of private investment available to move these innovations forward commercially. In 2012, 85% of the venture capital invested in New York State firms was invested in information technology and creative and commerce services, while 15% was invested in the life and physical sciences. By contrast, 89% of academic R&D expenditures in New York State were in the life and physical sciences, with only small amounts invested in IT.

Spencer E. Ante, CREATIVE CAPITAL: GEORGES DORIOT AND THE BIRTH OF VENTURE CAPITAL (2008).

Abstract (from publisher):  Venture capitalists are the handmaidens of innovation. Operating in the background, they provide the fuel needed to get fledgling companies off the ground--and the advice and guidance that helps growing companies survive their adolescence. In "Creative Capital," Spencer Ante tells the compelling story of the enigmatic and quirky man--Georges Doriot--who created the venture capital industry. The author traces the pivotal events in Doriot's life, including his experience as a decorated brigadier general during World War II; as a maverick professor at Harvard Business School; and as the architect and founder of the first venture capital firm, American Research and Development. It artfully chronicles Doriot's business philosophy and his stewardship in startups, such as the important role he played in the formation of Digital Equipment Corporation and many other new companies that later grew to be influential and successful. An award-winning Business Week journalist, Ante gives us a rare look at a man who overturned conventional wisdom by proving that there is big money to be made by investing in small and risky businesses. This vivid portrait of Georges Doriot reveals the rewards that come from relentlessly pursuing what-if possibilities--and offers valuable lessons for business managers and investors alike.

Joseph W. Bartlett, FUNDAMENTALS OF VENTURE CAPITAL (1999).

Abstract (from publisher):  Written in highly readable layman's language, Fundamentals of Venture Capital is a concise introduction to the key issues facing both investors and entrepreneurs as they embark on the journey of turning a good idea into a profitable reality.

Stephen Bloomfield, VENTURE CAPITAL FUNDING: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO RAISING FINANCE (2008).

Abstract (from product description at Amazon.com): Though the book is firmly rooted in UK and EU practice, US entrepreneurs will nonetheless find the discussion of the nuts and bolts of venture capital of interest. The practicalities of competing for, and winning, additional capital are broken down into key areas, such as: the significance of the business plan, types of investor, targeting and attracting a funder, negotiation and initial valuations, the due diligence process, and the available investment vehicles.  It also explores the many reasons why companies seek out additional funding, and discusses the points in the business life cycle when such injections are appropriate.

William D. Bygrave & Jeffry A. Timmons, VENTURE CAPITAL AT THE CROSSROADS (1992).

Abstract (from publisher):  The National Science Board notes that an overwhelming majority (70 percent) of high-tech companies formed in the United States during the 1980s relied exclusively on private investment for business start-up or expansion. Only 6 percent of these companies relied solely on venture capital investment. Eleven percent relied on a mix of private and venture capital investments.

Brian Cohen & John Kador, What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know: An Insider Reveals How to Get Smart Funding for your Billion Dollar Idea (2013).

Abstract (from publisher): Smart funding is waiting for smart founders. Raising funds is all about connecting with the investor who's right for you--and What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know shows you exactly how to succeed. Veteran early-stage investor Brian Cohen knows how to spot a great company destined for success, and in this groundbreaking book he offers soup-to-nuts guidance for any entrepreneur seeking to launch an invention, a product, or a great new idea into a receptive marketplace. As chairman of the board of directors of the New York Angels, Cohen is one of the most engaged angel investors out there today. The first investor in Pinterest, he describes exactly what angels want to see, hear, and feel before they take out their checkbooks: A clear exit strategy before the startup even launches; facts that turn "due" diligence into "do" diligence; authenticity--"save your spinning for the fitness center;" proof that you "live inside the customer's head." Cohen gives invaluable insight into how the most successful angels view due diligence, friends and family money, crowdfunding, team building, scalability, iteration, exit strategies--and much more.

Brad Feld & Jason Mendelson, Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist (2d ed. 2012).

Abstract (adapted from publisher): Some of today's fastest-growing entrepreneurial companies have financed themselves by raising venture capital. Yet few people have a firm grasp of how venture capital deals really come together. Venture Deals opens with an informative overview of the venture capital term sheet and takes the time to discuss the different parties who participate in venture capital transactions as well as how entrepreneurs should go about raising money from a venture capitalist. From here, the book skillfully outlines the essential elements of the venture capital term sheet—from terms related to economics to those related to control. Feld and Mendelson strive to give a balanced view of the particular terms along with the strategies to getting to a fair deal. In addition to examining the nuts and bolts of the term sheet, this reliable resource also reveals how VC firms operate, describes how to apply different negotiating tactics to your deals, and introduces you to issues you may face at different stages of financing. You'll also gain valuable insights into several common legal issues most startups face and, as a bonus, discover what a typical letter of intent to acquire your company looks like.

David N. Feldman, The Entrepreneur’s Growth Start-Up Handbook: 7 Secrets to Venture Funding and Successful Growth (2013).

Abstract: (adapted from publisher): Inspired by a series of columns on entrepreneurship for Slate.com, this timely guide will help you determine if you have the right makeup for the travails of entrepreneurship, and put you in a better position to navigate the biggest challenges one faces in creating and growing a business. Filled with illustrative examples from Feldman's own career as well as high-profile entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Howard Stern, this book opens with a realistic assessment of the qualities you need to succeed as an entrepreneur. With this information in hand, Feldman moves on to address the seven essential issues associated with starting and growing something exciting in the entrepreneurial world. You'll gain valuable insights on everything from the nuts and bolts of building a business—finding the right employees, partners, and investors—to staying focused while working on new ideas, balancing work with the rest of your life, and dealing with burnout or boredom. Even if you have run your own business for some time, there are helpful suggestions and areas of coverage that apply equally to those in the middle and more mature stages of building a business. Rounding out this detailed entrepreneurial discussion is a look at the most likely reasons why businesses fail, and some strategies for helping you avoid them.

Paul A. Gompers & Josh Lerner, THE VENTURE CAPITAL CYCLE (2d ed. 2006).

Abstract (from review at Amazon.com): Venture Capital Cycle is an academic examination of the form and function of venture-capital funds.  Beginning with a historical overview of entrepreneurial finance, the book examines how venture partnerships are structured, how venture capitalists are compensated, the staging of investments in operating companies, and the relative performance of venture-capital-backed offerings.  Large information gaps between entrepreneurs and investors create conflicted interests, and the book looks at some of the novel checks and balances most often employed.  One of the book's themes is that the whole venture-capital process is best understood as a cycle: from the raising of a fund; to investing in, monitoring, and adding value to firms; then exiting deals; returning capital to investors; and finally renewing itself by raising additional funds. The need to exit an investment successfully shapes all aspects of the venture-capital cycle, from the ability to raise capital to the types of investments made.

Paul A. Gompers & Joshua Lerner, The Venture Capital Cycle (2d ed. 2004).

Abstract (from Amazon.com Review): In the last 25 years, the venture-capital industry has grown from a less than $1 billion to an over $60 billion business--growth that has far surpassed any other class of investment products. Today, the industry consists of several thousand professionals working at about 500 funds concentrated in California, Massachusetts, and a handful of other states. Despite the industry's size, there are many misconceptions about the nature and role of venture capitalists; their trade remains shrouded in mystery. Beginning with a historical overview of entrepreneurial finance, this book examines how venture partnerships are structured, how venture capitalists are compensated, the staging of investments in operating companies, and the relative performance of venture-capital-backed offerings. There's also an interesting comparison of corporate venture organizations, such as Xerox PARC, with those of independent and other venture groups. Venture capitalists use industry knowledge and monitoring skills to finance projects with significant uncertainty, typically concentrating investments in early-stage companies and high-tech industries. Large information gaps between entrepreneurs and investors create conflicted interests, and the book looks at some of the novel checks and balances most often employed. One of the book's themes is that the whole venture-capital process is best understood as a cycle: from the raising of a fund; to investing in, monitoring, and adding value to firms; then exiting deals; returning capital to investors; and finally renewing itself by raising additional funds. The need to exit an investment successfully shapes all aspects of the venture-capital cycle, from the ability to raise capital to the types of investments made. Another theme is that because venture funds must make long-term illiquid investments, they need to secure funds from their investors for periods of 10 years or more. The supply of venture capital consequently cannot adjust quickly to changes in the investment environment.

Paul A. Gompers & William Sahlman, ENTREPRENEURIAL FINANCE: A CASEBOOK (2008).

Abstract (from publisher): Entrepreneurial Finance: A Casebook spans a wide range of US and non-US ventures in a diverse set of industries, including high technology, low technology, and service, these cases provide you with an inside look into the real world of entrepreneurial finance.  The cases are organized according to four major topics: investment analysis; financing the entrepreneurial firm; harvesting the rewards; and reinventing the entrepreneurial enterprise.

Brian E. Hill & Dee Power, INSIDE SECRETS TO VENTURE CAPITAL (2001).

Abstract (from product description at Amazon.com):  The authors spent three years surveying 250 venture capital firms to find out what venture capitalists look for when putting their money in young businesses. They relate their findings in a series of chapters covering topics from developing a business plan to business valuation techniques.

Brian E. Hill and Dee Power, ATTRACTING CAPITAL FROM ANGELS: HOW THEIR MONEY—AND THEIR EXPERIENCE—CAN HELP YOU BUILD A SUCCESSFUL COMPANY (2002).

Abstract (from publisher):  This book is the product of fifteen years working with, observing, and listening to entrepreneurs and angel investors as they pursued the entrepreneurial dream. It features top-notch research supplemented by in-depth interviews with angel investors and entrepreneurs. The personal stories presented here will help you learn from the mistakes of other entrepreneurs and model your approach on their successes. From the entrepreneurs point of view, gaining an understanding of the angel as an individual is an important factor in determining whether the partnership will be successful. As such, this book provides an inside look at angel investors and a comprehensive understanding of the "how" and the "why" of what they do. It provides guidance on finding the right angels, avoiding the wrong ones, and making a business work after an angel buys into it.

Henry Kressel & Thomas V. Lento, INVESTING IN DYNAMIC MARKETS: VENTURE CAPITAL IN THE DIGITAL AGE (2010).

Product Description (from Amazon):  Without venture capital, many of the companies whose technical innovations sparked the digital revolution would not exist. Venture investments funded these firms to develop their bright ideas into commercial products that created new business models and established whole new markets.

Hans Landstroom, HANDBOOK OF RESEARCH ON VENTURE CAPITAL (2007).

Abstract (from product description at Amazon.com):  The book opens with a thorough survey of venture capital as a research field; conceptual, theoretical, methodological and geographic aspects are explored, and its pioneers revisited. The focus then shifts to the specific environs of venture capital. Firstly, formal (institutional) venture capital is discussed. The analysis encompasses considerations such as: structure, pre-investment processes, venture capitalist's value-adding, performance, and impact on economic development, early-stage financing as well as management buyouts. Business angel research, their investment decision making, and business angel networks are then discussed under the wider umbrella of informal venture capital. Finally, the corporate venture capital market is explored from the entrepreneur's perspective as well as the supply side of corporate venture capital. Also providing a lively and stimulating debate on policy implications and possible directions for future venture capital research, this all-encompassing Handbook will prove an invaluable reference tool for those with an interest in business, management, entrepreneurship and the financing of new enterprises.

Josh Lerner, BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS: WHY PUBLIC EFFORTS TO BOOST ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND VENTURE CAPITAL HAVE FAILED--AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT (2009).

Abstract (from product description at Amazon.com):  Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tel Aviv--the global hubs of entrepreneurial activity all bear the marks of government investment. Yet, for every public intervention that spurs entrepreneurial activity, there are many failed efforts that waste untold billions in taxpayer dollars. When has governmental sponsorship succeeded in boosting growth, and when has it fallen terribly short? Should the government be involved in such undertakings at all? Boulevard of Broken Dreams looks at the ways governments have supported entrepreneurs and venture capitalists across decades and continents.

Josh Lerner, Felda Hardymon & Ann Leamon, Venture Capital and Private Equity: A Casebook (5th ed. 2012).

Abstract (from publisher):  The 5th edition of Lerner's Venture Capital and Private Equity: A Casebook continues to present the important historical cases of private equity while incorporating a number of new relevant and timely cases from previous best-selling issues. It includes more cases relevant to the texts four main goals: understanding the ways in which private equity firms work, applying the key ideas of corporate finance to the industry, understanding the process of valuation, and critiquing valuation approaches of the past and present- an approach which has proved very successful over the past four editions.

Jack S. Levin, STRUCTURING VENTURE CAPITAL, PRIVATE EQUITY, AND ENTREPRENEURIAL TRANSACTIONS (2004).

Abstract (from publisher):  Now, you can minimize your clients' tax liability and avoid legal pitfalls, as well as maximize returns on successful transactions and be prepared for all of the potential benefits, with "Structuring Venture Capital, Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Transactions". Here at last is one-step-at-a-time, start-to-finish structural guidance for the following common business transactions: venture capital financing; new business start-ups; brains-and-money deals; growth-equity investments; leveraged and management buyouts; industry consolidations; troubled company workouts and reorganizations; going public; selling a business; and forming a private equity fund. Guided by Jack S Levin's dynamic, transaction-by-transaction approach, you'll make the tax, legal, and economic structuring consequences of every deal benefit your client every time. In this extraordinary hands-on resource by the most sought-after authority in the field, you'll see exactly how to: distribute the tax burden in your client's favor; maximize returns on successful.

Andrew Metrick & Ayako Yasuda, Venture Capital & the Finance of Innovation (2d ed. 2011).

Abstract (from Amazon Product Description): This useful guide walks venture capitalists through the principles of finance and the financial models that underlie venture capital decisions. It presents a new unified treatment of investment decision making and mark-to-market valuation. The discussions of risk-return and cost-of-capital calculations have been updated with the latest information. The most current industry data is included to demonstrate large changes in venture capital investments since 1999. The coverage of the real-options methodology has also been streamlined and includes new connections to venture capital valuation. In addition, venture capitalists will find revised information on the reality-check valuation model to allow for greater flexibility in growth assumptions.

Susan L. Preston, ANGEL FINANCING FOR ENTREPRENEURS: EARLY-STAGE FUNDING FOR LONG-TERM SUCCESS (2007).

Abstract (from product description at Amazon.com): Angel Financing for Entrepreneurs will give you the information you need to understand how angel investors think, as well as how to identify investor expectations, understand the investment analysis process, and prepare for post-investment requirements. This hands-on resource, explains the factors that determine how private equity investors spend their money and what they expect from entrepreneurs.

Andrew Romans, The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital: Inside Secrets from the Leaders in the Startup Game (2013).

Abstract (from publisher): This book is packed with invaluable advice about how to raise angel and venture capital funding, how to build value in a startup, and how to exit a company with maximum value for both founders and investors. It guides entrepreneurs through every step in an entrepreneurial venture from the legalities of raising initial capital to knowing when to change tactics40 leading venture capitalists come together to teach entrepreneurs how to succeed with their startup.

David Shelters, Start-Up Guide for the Technopreneur, +Website: Financial Planning, Decision Making and Negotiating from Incubation to Exit (2013).

Abstract (from publisher): As technology progresses, impacting our daily lives in more and greater ways, technology start-ups come and go at a dizzying pace. There are plenty of opportunities out there for anyone with a great idea, but it takes much more than a great idea to make your tech start-up a success. In addition to creativity and new ideas, being a successful tech entrepreneur requires strategic decision-making in terms of business planning, financial planning, negotiations, and corporate governance. This book serves as a thought-provoking guide that helps tech entrepreneurs avoid the dangers inherent in business start-ups in general and the treacherous realm of venture capital in particular. This book is the ideal reference for anyone who wants to overcome the challenges of running a start-up from incubation to exit. It contains excellent advice for tech entrepreneurs written in layman's terms; written by an author with more than fifteen years of experience as a founder and co-founder of tech start-ups in the U.S. and Asia, and is designed to fill the role of an experienced mentor for tech entrepreneurs. For first-time founders of tech start-ups requiring venture capital, Start-Up Guide for the Technopreneur is the perfect resource.

Randall Stross, The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s Most Exclusive School for Start-Ups (2012).

Abstract (from publisher): Investment firm Y Combinator is the most sought-after home for startups in Silicon Valley. Twice a year, it funds dozens of just-founded startups and provides three months of guid­ance from Paul Graham, YC’s impresario, and his partners, also entrepreneurs and mostly YC alumni. The list of YC-funded success stories includes Dropbox (now valued at $5 billion) and Airbnb ($1.3 billion).  Receiving an offer from YC creates the oppor­tunity of a lifetime — it’s like American Idol for budding entrepreneurs.

 Acclaimed journalist Randall Stross was granted unprecedented access to Y Combinator’s summer 2011 batch of young companies, offering a unique inside tour of the world of software startups. Most of the founders were male programmers in their mid-twenties or younger. Over the course of the summer, they scrambled to heed Graham’s seemingly simple advice: make something people want. We watch the founders work round-the-clock, developing and retooling products as diverse as a Web site that can teach anyone program­ming, to a Wikipedia-like site for rap lyrics, to software written by a pair of attorneys who seek to “make attorneys obsolete.”

 The program culminated in “Demo Day,” when founders pitched their startup to sev­eral hundred top angel investors and venture capitalists. A lucky few attracted capital that gave their startup a valuation of multiple millions of dollars. Others went back to the drawing board. This is the definitive story of a seismic shift that’s occurred in the business world, in which coding skill trumps employment experience, pairs of undergraduates confidently take on Goliaths, tiny startups working out of an apart­ment scale fast, and investors fall in love.

Yinglan Tan, THE WAY OF THE VC: HAVING TOP VENTURE CAPITALISTS ON YOUR BOARD (2010).

Product Description (from Amazon): Venture capital funds are the fastest growing sector of the financial industry, and possibly the least understood. In this book, the author provides a primer on what some of the world's best venture capitalists have in common.

John B. Vinturella & Suzanne M. Erickson, Raising Entrepreneurial Capital (2nded. 2013).

Abstract (from publisher): Raising Entrepreneurial Capital guides the reader through the stages of successfully financing a business. The book proceeds from a basic level of business knowledge, assuming that the reader understands simple financial statements, has selected a specific business, and knows how to write a business plan. It provides a broad summary of the subjects that people typically research, such as "How should your company position itself to attract private equity investment?" and "What steps can you take to improve your company's marketability?" Much has changed since the book was first published, and this second edition places effects of the global recession in the context of entrepreneurship, including the debt vs. equity decision, the options available to smaller businesses, and the considerations that lead to rapid growth, including venture capital, IPOs, angels, and incubators. Unlike other books of the genre, Raising Entrepreneurial Capital includes several chapters on worldwide variations in forms and availability of pre-seed capital, incubators, and the business plans they create, with case studies from Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim. 

Andrew L. Zacharakis & Dean A. Shepherd, The Nature of Information and Venture Capitalists’ Overconfidence in Venture Capital (Mike Wright, et al., eds. 2003.)

Abstract (from publisher): In putting together this three-volume reader of previously published articles, Wright (financial studies, Nottingham U. Business School, UK), Sapienza (entrepreneurship, U. of Minnesota, US), and Busenitz (management, U. of Oklahoma, US) aimed to demonstrate the disciplinary diversity of the academic literature on the venture capital market and identify the leading contributions from the past couple decades. They also sought to highlight international differences in venture capital markets. The first volume follows an introduction summarizing the main contributions of the collected papers in the set with 17 papers covering systemic macro- perspectives, policy issues, and sources of funds for venture capital investment. The next two volumes adopt a venture capital life-cycle approach in addressing the behavior of venture capital firms. The 22 papers of volume two include discussions of deal generation, screening, and assessment; valuation and structuring; and strategies of venture capital firms. Volume three contains 26 papers considering post-investment involvement issues such as monitoring and protecting value as well as relational perspectives of investor-entrepreneur issues and examinations of harvesting and exits.

Jeffrey Zygmont, The VC Way: Investment Secrets from the Wizards of Venture Capital (2002).

Abstract (from Amazon Product Description): A resource for anyone who wants to match strategies with master investors. Also offers a brief tutorial in crafting a portfolio of holdings.

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