A New Classroom Venture

PROVO, Utah – Feb 08, 2018 – On Friday afternoons, you’ll find many BYU students driving home for the weekend, heading out with friends, or taking a much-needed nap. For forty-two finance students, however, Friday afternoons look a little different. Their schedule consists of lectures, modeling exercises, and deal analyses as part of a new elective course, Private Equity and Venture Capital.

Taylor Nadauld, associate professor of finance and the Goldman Sachs Distinguished Faculty fellow, worked with members of the finance faculty to create the new class, which started this semester.

“We felt it would be worthwhile for our students to have exposure to these topics to prepare them for their future careers,” Nadauld says. “There was a gap in our offering, and I was in a position to fill that gap.”

Nadauld cofounded a local software company and has funded new startup companies as an angel investor. His experiences as both an entrepreneur and an investor qualify him to explain venture capital and the process of financing young companies to students.

“We hope to help students develop a better conceptual understanding of how this asset class works,” Nadauld says. “We also want them to develop a good set of hard modeling skills.”

To help teach these skills, Nadauld is joined by Bob Winder, BYU Marriott alum and president of Logan Growth Advisors, who has expertise in the field of private equity. Each week Winder travels to Provo from Dallas to instruct students on financial modeling and related topics.

“It is exciting to have both an academic and a professional expert in the room to help us see these principles in theory and in industry practice right now,” says Philip Morgan, a finance senior from Salt Lake City.

Nadauld and Winder also strive to give students repeated exposure to investment deals. Students conduct analyses on current deals and create term sheets outlining the conditions of each deal. These exercises provide a detailed look into a topic that interests many of the students.

“A significant portion of the students hope to one day work in private equity and venture capital, so their efforts and attitudes are positive and focused accordingly, which creates a rewarding atmosphere,” Morgan says. 

The students’ engagement prompts rich in-class discussions. Nadauld says he enjoys seeing his students’ involvement and eagerness to learn. 

“Students seem excited to learn how deals are structured and priced,” Nadauld says. “I’m also energized by the topic, which is a good cocktail of factors that make for a good class.” 

Student laptop
A new finance class is opening the doors of venture capital and private equity to BYU Marriott undergraduates.

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Maggie Kuta