Imperial College London

Dr Charles W. Donovan

Business School

Principal Teaching Fellow



+44 (0)20 7594 1540c.donovan




532Sir Ernst Chain BuildingSouth Kensington Campus




Clean Technology Investment - BUSI97015


Module Description

While global investment in renewable energy already tops $250 billion per annum, continued development of new ventures will be critical for the sector’s long term success.  There is a broad range of opportunities including: promotion of new technological solutions, implementing new service-based business models, and pushing into new frontier markets. In this elective, you will explore different elements of entrepreneurship in renewable energy such as technology commercialisation, product positioning, new market development and financing options.  


The module will cover the following topics:

Generating entrepreneurial perspectives;

Managing technology platforms;

Key stages in new venture financing;

Evaluating market potential for a technology;

Valuation of capital-intensive projects;

Regulation and subsidies in alternative energy;

Interactions between business strategy & government policymaking

Module Aims & Objectives and Learning Outcomes

The aims of the module are to make you aware of the numerous entrepreneurial opportunities in the energy space, and the challenges faced to make them viable.  Large scale opportunities using wind or solar require significant up front investments, making it hostile for new entrants with less capital.  Niche opportunities and technology-based ideas often show greater potential.  


The elective will be centred around case discussions, with short assignments to be written on different cases.  The cases will draw from both non-energy related areas such as consumer markets or services as well as renewable energy, allowing you to gain a broader understanding of the core principles of the new venture lifecycle.



Course Leader

Venture Capital Finance - BUSI97429


Module Description

The goal of the venture capital module is to understand what venture capital is, how it differs from other types of financing and to understand the decision-making process with respect to screening and selecting of business proposals, negotiating and structuring the deal, following up on investments, and exiting. 

The module is structured around the VC process from deal origination to exit. Even though the venture capital industry worldwide has been growing significantly over the last decades, the industry still retains an air of mystery. By learning about how the VC lifecycle, meeting venture capitalists, and learning about their real life experiences, the student will gain insight into the VC industry. In addition, the student will get the opportunity to act as venture capitalist or entrepreneur seeking venture capital finance as part of a simulation offered during the elective.

Module Aims & Objectives

The primary objectives of the module are:


(a) To develop knowledge of:

How the venture capital industry has originated and grown

The objectives of different kinds of VCs, including formal VCs and business angels

The differences between VC financing and other types of financing

How the European VC industry has developed in comparison to the US VC industry and how it still differs

What deals VCs are looking for to achieve their objectives

How VCs screen and select their investment targets

How VCs structure deals, monitor and add value to their portfolio companies

How trade sales and IPOs are monitored as exit routes


(b) To enhance and develop skills in:

Venture capital negotiations and deal structuring

Pitch presentations to VCs

The evaluation of business opportunities from a VC point of view


The course is intended to benefit:


Students who intend to start up their own venture

Managers of entrepreneurial firm (large and small) who wish to gain a better understanding of venture capital and its role in business financing 

Those who wish to develop their careers in the field of venture capital and private equity



Course Leader