Resources for those interested in venture capital and private equity

PE and VC resources

Jason Heltzer
Mar 31, 2019 · 11 min read
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Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

This list of resources that was originally for my students in Chicago Booth’s Private Equity and Venture Capital lab as an augmentation to the class. I’ve assembled it since 2001 when I started in venture. It was designed to assist less experienced students learn more about the industry and for advanced students the ability to go deeper on topics of interest. Over the years, it’s grown to the point I decided to make it public to help others interested in the business. I hope you find it useful.

Email Newsletters and Blogs:

  • A VC: Blog of Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures in NYC.
  • StrictlyVC: Regular newsletter covering VC industry and deals.
  • Kauffman Fellows Journal: Content from Kauffman Fellows. Has a tilt toward LP content packaged for VCs.
  • Feld’s Thoughts: Brad Feld of Foundry Group and Techstars. One of the authors of Venture Deals, so if you like that style, you’ll like this blog.
  • Venture Evolved: Professor Heltzer’s blog on touching on getting a job in VC and the VC business and startups from the perspective of a former software engineer. And guides to hiking national parks.
  • Accelerated: Newsletter produced by twins who are recent Stanford grads and invest at CRV.
  • Mattermark: Good digest of posts around the VC/entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Techcrunch: Covers technology companies, including startups and venture firms.
  • Crunchbase Daily: Daily roundup of VC deals.
  • Both sides of the table: Blog by LA-based entrepreneur turned VC, Mark Suster (Booth grad).
  • Startup Digest. Published by the Kauffman Foundation. Good event calendars in major entrepreneurial hubs. Regular newsletter on startups based on geography.
  • Venturebeat: Similar to Techcrunch.
  • Venture Capital Journal (Thompson Reuters).
  • Pando Daily. Paid site. Self-proclaimed “the site of record for Silicon Valley”.

Twitter

I put together these curated Twitter lists so you can get up to the minute information on the industry. They are by no means comprehensive but is a great place to start. Consider using Tweetdeck to separate these from your normal feed.

  • PE Resources (various news resources covering PE)
  • PE Firms (official twitter feeds for esteemed PE firms)
  • VC Resources (various news resources covering VC and emerging technology)
  • VC People (personal twitter accounts for esteemed VC’s)
  • VC Firms (official twitter feeds for esteemed VC firms)
  • Entrepreneurs (personal twitter accounts of esteemed entrepreneurs)

Many of these lists include folks on RepIQ’s list, but not all.

Podcasts

  • Startup: Podcast about an entrepreneur starting a podcast company (so meta). Totally behind the scenes and unfiltered. It’s fabulous and a must for entrepreneurs and those interested in VC.
  • Masters of Scale: Podcast by Reid Hoffman, Linkedin Co-founder and partner at Greylock. Interviews Silicon Valley founders/execs.
  • How I Built This: Podcast that features founders walking through the history of their high-profile companies.
  • 20 Minute VC: Host Harry Stebbings interviews prominent VCs and founders.
  • The Pitch: A realistic Shark Tank format with real companies and real VCs.
  • This Week in Startups: Hosted by Jason Calacanis, Founder and CEO of Mahalo and former EIR at Sequoia. Longer format.
  • A16z:Published by Andreessen Horowitz. Covers wide range of topics mostly focused on various industry trends
  • Running Through Walls: Venrock’s podcast.
  • The Full Ratchet: Devoted to angel and VC investing, with interviews with prominent VCs, tech companies on how deals got put together, why companies started, etc.
  • How to Start a Startup: Series of lectures (videos) from CS 183b at Stanford. Includes luminaries like Peter Thiel, Sam Altman, Ben Horowitz and others. Useful advice for entrepreneurs and VCs who want to better understand how to build a company.
  • Recode Decode: Podcast hosted by Kara Swisher, a fixture in tech journalism for the last several decades. Not 100% tech, includes politics, Hollywood and other topics.
  • 52 Founders: Interviews with founders with host Crissy Costa (former Booth student)

Trade Associations/Industry Data

These two trade associations are great sources of industry news, statistics and listing of member firms. Both also provide industry background publications, although from a biased point of view.

  • American Investment Council. Industry association for PE.
  • National Venture Capital Association. Industry association for VC. Publishes VERY helpful yearbook each year.
  • Prequin. Company focused on data and intelligence for the alternatives assets industry. Tends to focus on PE and not VC. Frequently publishes useful free data/reports as marketing pieces.
  • Moneytree Survey. Reports on VC investing and fundraising each quarter.
  • Pitchbook. Company also focused on PE data. Free reports in the Library (most done with McGladrey) can be useful.
  • Hamilton Lane. Consulting firm advising large investors regarding investment in alternatives.

Interesting News Stories

Due Diligence

Due Diligence Resources:

  • Crunchbase: crowdsourced database of venture backed companies, venture financings and VC firms.
  • Wayback Machine: shows websites as of a given time in the past. Great to see how management team, messaging, customers, and a lot more has changed over time.
  • Patent Search: USPTO Patent search.
  • HireRight: Inexpensive, pay as you go, background checks.

Internet Traffic/Mobile App Download Tools:

  • Quantcast: Best tool available for estimating traffic to a specific site. Note that the site uses a statistical extrapolation and often is off significantly, but can give you a good sense.
  • Alexa: Similar to Quantcast but less accurate.
  • Google Adwords Volume Estimator: This tool will estimate how many monthly searches are performed on keywords you specify. Dividing by Google 60% marketshare will estimate total monthly searches on the Internet. Helpful for judging marketshare.
  • AppAnnie: mobile app analytics
  • SensorTower: Data for mobile app ecosystem
  • AppFollow: Data on mobile app stores

Paid Databases/Reports (many available through Booth):

  • Capital IQ. Great for information about funds and their portfolios.
  • Prequin. Includes information about LPs.
  • Pitchbook. Good for information about portfolio companies and funds’ portfolios. One of the few that has valuation data/estimates.
  • Mattermark. Tailored to venture firms
  • Datafox. Newer company focused on intelligence and data on businesses, primarily for prospecting
  • Bloomberg
  • D&B Hoovers. Good to get competitors and industry financial data.
  • Investment bank research. Usually requires that you get to know analysts and show some credibility in the industry. Great for comps and competitive data.
  • VentureSource

Background Reading and Videos:

How to Raise Venture Capital:

  • How to Raise Money. Incredibly detailed and sage advice for entrepreneurs on how to raise venture money by super angel Paul Graham. However it is also extremely useful for aspiring VCs as it points out what makes a VC attractive or unattractive. It exposes some venture capitalists’ strategies on negotiation and getting into deals. Long post but worth the time to read it.

Business Models:

Books:

Anecdotes/War Stories:

History/Industry Emergence/Decline:

Reference/Textbooks:

Novels:

  • Barbarians at the Gate. Novel about KKR’s buyout of RJR Nabisco, considered the epitome of the mega buyout boom of the 1980s. Believe it or not, also a movie with James Garner.

Documentaries:

  • General Magic. Chronicles the startup General Magic, started by the Apple Macintosh team which conceived of the smart phone in the early 1990s.
  • Something Ventured. Stories from the original VCs in Silicon Valley.
  • The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley. Documents the trials and tribulations of the biotech startup Theranos, which is accused of a wide-scale fraud.
  • Fyre. Follows the development and catastrophic launch of an ambitious music festival.
  • Startup.com. A look into the dot-com era by following a startup’s progress.

Recruiting Advice:

Deals and Terms:

Fundraising/LPs:

Fund Operations:

Reporting:

  • ILPA reporting guidelines. Consider this a wish list from LPs. Also includes several helpful templates.
  • FAS 157 (as ammended). Full rules regarding Financial Accounting Standard 157: Fair Value Measurements. Not for the faint of heart.
  • SBIC form 468. Annual report form which must be submitted by SBICs to the SBA each year.
  • Form ADV. SEC form required for exempt funds and those funds subject to full reporting requirements.
  • Form PF. SEC form required for larger funds.

Geographic-specific Resources:

Chicago:

  • Built in Chicago. Social network/blog platform/event listing aggregator for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chicago.
  • Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. CEC runs 1871, the large and successful co-working space in the Merchandise Mart. The CEC promotes and helps grow Chicago companies, mostly startups.
  • Chicago Inno. Covers startup scene in Chicago (and also city-specific publishing in other cities)
  • Techcocktail (also in other cities). Large networking events focused on startups.
  • Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) (also in other cities). Focused on conferences and events for middle-market growth companies and investors
  • Crains Chicago. Local business newspaper published weekly.
  • TiE Midwest. Originally an organization of Indian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, now greatly expanded.

NYC:

  • Built in NYC: Job platform and event listing aggregator for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in New York
  • AlleyWatch: newspaper that publishes mostly New York specific startup funding news and interviews with VC along with a daily newsletter
  • This is going to be Big: weekly newsletter of NYC tech events and commentary

San Francisco:

  • SiliconANGLE: news website focused on enterprise and emerging tech
  • Techstars SF: newsletter covering all things startup related in SF
  • SF Tech Chronicle: Silicon Valley tech focused newsletter sent out 3x a week

Venture Evolved

Jason is a venture capitalist, business school professor…

Jason Heltzer

Written by

Dad, venture capitalist at @OriginVentures, @chicagobooth professor, Chicagoan. I was a nerd before it was cool to be a nerd.

Venture Evolved

Jason is a venture capitalist, business school professor and former software engineer. Jason is a Partner at Origin Ventures and he has been in the venture business since 2001. He also teaches the venture capital and private equity lab class at Chicago Booth.

Jason Heltzer

Written by

Dad, venture capitalist at @OriginVentures, @chicagobooth professor, Chicagoan. I was a nerd before it was cool to be a nerd.

Venture Evolved

Jason is a venture capitalist, business school professor and former software engineer. Jason is a Partner at Origin Ventures and he has been in the venture business since 2001. He also teaches the venture capital and private equity lab class at Chicago Booth.

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