EstVCA teams up with universities to create a special Private Equity and Venture Capital syllabus

28 January 2022

In the 2022 spring semester, a specially tailored Private Equity and Venture Capital syllabus will be taught for the first time at two universities in Estonia - TalTech and Estonian Business School. The 8-week course, created in cooperation between the universities and the Estonian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EstVCA), provides a detailed overview of the role of PE/VC funds in the development and growth of companies at different development stages. The syllabus is designed on the basis of both Estonian and international practices, and the lecturers are experienced fund managers and experts in the field.

The syllabus consists of a total of seven thematic blocks:
  1. Introduction to the nature and role of private equity and venture capital in the economy; 
  2. Different strategies for private equity and venture capital and the links between financing and the life cycle of companies; 
  3. The main differences between private equity and venture capital in terms of investment management, risk-return profile, and valuation of the company; 
  4. The legal framework and operating principles of the private equity and venture capital fund; 
  5. Investment valuation and techniques; 
  6. Private equity transaction case-study (“buy and build” strategy); 
  7. Case study of a venture capital transaction (seed phase company). 
The course ends with a summary exam.

The lecturers of the new curriculum are experienced fund managers and experts in the field, including: Kristjan Kalda (BaltCap), Heidi Kakko (UniTartu Ventures), Martin Kõdar (BaltCap), Kristjan Laanemaa (Karma Ventures), Hendrik Reimand (Livonia Partners), Yrjö Ojasaar (Change Ventures), Indrek Kaldoja (eAgronom), Marili Merendi (Karma Ventures), Kaari Kink (Superangel), Mihkel Kolk (Deca Legal), Antti Perli (Ellex Raidla), Kalle Ahi (TalTech), and Ravi Kashyap (EBS).

TalTech will start the syllabus on February 2, 2022 in Estonian, and EBS will begin the syllabus on March 9, 2022 in English. The new curriculum is mainly aimed at university students, but to a certain extent, people not enrolled at either school can join through TalTech. For students enroled at TalTech, those interested in the course can also take it as an in-service training.

Martin Hendre, the fund manager who coordinated the project from EstVCA Management Board’s side, praises the universities for their cooperation: “We had been preparing the project for more than a year, and there was extremely constructive and meaningful cooperation between both universities. Today, there are more than twenty private equity and venture capital funds in Estonia with total assets under management of more than 2 billion euros. Funds are increasing their investor capital, and today companies can choose between different fund strategies according to their development needs, including venture capital, private equity, mezzanine, secondary, etc. There are nearly 500 companies in the portfolios of EstVCA members, and it has become more and more common to grow companies with the support of fund investments. A syllabus that delves deeper into the field is necessary for future and current entrepreneurs with growth ambitions as well as for ensuring future growth in the field of fund management,” explains Hendre.

"TalTech is always open to collaborative projects, through which we can give students a practical view of how the economic sector works. The cooperation between TalTech and EstVCA is a great example of how the expectations of the private sector and the university's desire to provide students with academic and practical education meet, ” commented Kalle Ahi, a lecturer at TalTech's Department of Economics and Finance, who is leading the project from the university side. According to Mr. Ahi, the syllabus of private equity and venture capital has so far received undeservedly little attention in university curricula, especially considering the growing importance of the PE/VC sector in the future.

According to Maarja Murumägi, Vice-Rector for Academic affairs at EBS, students are generally very aware of their choices and expect the school to offer such opportunities. Investment topics have always been popular among students, as exemplified by previous successful collaborative projects such as the Suprema Academy.

Kadri Lindpere, the Managing Director of EstVCA, confirms that according to the initial feedback, there is great interest in the syllabus. "We very much hope that we can give a very meaningful and practical view of the PE/VC industry and that this will be an opportunity for exciting cooperation with universities in the years to come. Together with students, we can open the growth path of such powerful technology companies as Bolt, Pipedrive, Veriff, Starship Technologies, and many others. We can also take a deeper dive into the development of more traditional sector companies that have shown great success stories, such as Thermory, Magnetic MRO, Unimed, etc.

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) is the flagship of technical and IT science and education in Estonia, where higher education is available at all levels in engineering and technical sciences, information technology, economics, natural sciences and maritime affairs. TalTech's mission is to be a promoter of science, technology and innovation and a leading provider of engineering and economic education in Estonia.

Estonian Business School (EBS) is the oldest private university in Estonia focused on economics education, with a total of 1,400 students studying at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral level, who can complete their knowledge at 60 partner universities around the world. EBS also includes a gymnasium with 120 students.

The Estonian Private and Venture Capital Association (EstVCA) is an organization uniting representatives of the private equity and venture capital industry and support service providers in the field, whose assets under management amounted to 2.4 billion euros at the end of 2020. Today, EstVCA has 53 member organizations, the main members of which are Ambient Sound Investments, BaltCap, BPM Capital, Change Ventures, Eften Capital, European Investment Fund, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Iron Wolf Capital, Kaamos Group, Karma Ventures, KredEx, LHV Varahaldus, Livonia Partners, Perot Jain, Siena Secondary Fund, SmartCap, Superangel, Swedbank Investment Funds, Tera Ventures, Trind Ventures, United Angels VC, United Partners, UP Invest, and Wellman.

Additional information:

Kadri Lindpere
Managing Director
Estonian Private and Venture Capital Association / EstVCA
+372 505 1239

Kalle Ahi
Lecturer at the Department of Economics and Finance

Maarja Murumägi
Academic Vice-Rector
Estonian Business School

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