S Course Finder • Penn Carey Law

Course Details

Startups and Venture Capital (Pollman)

Spring 2023   LAW 703-001  

« Back to Search Results

Elizabeth Pollman

Professor of Law
Co-Director, Institute for Law and Economics

Additional Information

Skills Training

85% Exam,
15% Other (Your final grade in this course will be based on (i) 3 short exercises/assignments during the semester (15%), and (ii) an open-book final exam (85%). Regular attendance and participation is required. Upward adjustment of grade possible for exceptional participation.)

Short Answer,
Take Home,

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- Class sessions are regularly recorded. If you are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can send you an email with instructions for accessing the recording for the class session(s) you missed.

Meeting Times/Location
MW 1:30PM - 2:50PM
Silverman Hall 240B



This course examines venture-backed startups and the venture capital ecosystem from a theoretical and practical legal perspective. Topics of study will span the lifecycle of a venture-backed startup from formation of a new venture through venture capital financing rounds and potential exits through acquisition or initial public offering. The rules, practices, and processes by which venture-backed startups are financed, managed, and controlled, and the typical dynamics that play out between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs are a key focus. A range of issues related to startup financing and governance will be covered, including: the venture capital business model, term sheets, capitalization, equity-based incentive compensation, control arrangements, startup failure, diversity in startups and venture capital firms, and startup boards and fiduciary duties.

Some class sessions will include guest speakers (in person or via Zoom). Required text is Scott Kupor, Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It. Other required class materials will be posted on Canvas and include a variety of materials, including model deal documents, practitioner publications, scholarly literature, statutes, and case law. Students will be expected to regularly contribute to class discussions, complete 3 short exercises/asssignments during the semester, and complete an open-book final examination.

Corporations is a required pre-requisite.

Course Concentrations

Business and Corporate Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of business and corporate law; Perform legal analysis in the context of business and corporate law; Communicate effectively on topics related to business and corporate law; Demonstrate an understanding of the interconnection between the world of business and finance and that of business and corporate law, and how they affect other areas of law and society.


"Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It" by Scott Kupor
Publisher: Portfolio