75440 - Venture Capital Philanthropy

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

Students will learn the financial instruments to value investments, especially in terms of impact investing, venture capital philanthropy investments. Students will also learn how to structure a winning business plan, for venture financing purposes.

Course contents

The course focuses on Innovative Finance, Impact Investing, and Venture Philanthropy. It is  designed for second-cycle/ master students specialized in social economics. It is strongly recommeded the attendance (starting from the first class). In the first class, you will receive all the details about the course and projects you are supposed to implement. ATTENTION: PLEASE ATTEND THE FIRST CLASS, in order to partake to the organization of the projects to be implemented in the course.  In the first class, I will provide you with all the necessary information to implement all the simulations and project works you are supposed to do in class. You are STRONGLY INVITED to partake to the first class of the course, in such a way to partake to the entire organization process (included the groups formation).

The course has a practical approach and it assumes some basic knowledge on finance and financial analysis acquired in previous courses. So please, if you plan to add this course as an optional course, make sure to complete the courses of basic finance and financial analysis first. The main topics are:

  • Social Innovative Finance and impact investing
  • Differences between Venture Capital and Venture Capital Philanthropy
  • Due Diligence in Venture Philanthropy and valuation of social impact (in the moment of the investor's exit): applications to case studies
  • business plan (to attract venture philanthropist)
  • Other forms of financing social entrepreneurs, via Social Crowdfunding (applications to case studies)


The course has an applied nature and emphasizes case discussions, business plan simulations, exercises in laboratory.


As introduction, to help understand the characteristics of Venture Philanthropy and the differences with the Venture Capital finance, please see the following book:

  1. S. Zambelli (2015). La Finanza a Impatto Sociale: Sfide e Prospettive della Venture Philanthropy. Aracne Editrice, Roma.

As basic material for the course, I suggest the following book:

  1. EVPA (2016), "Venture Philanthropy and impact investing" available on line (upon registration) at the followingEVPA link [http://evpa.eu.com/knowledge-centre/publications/venture-philanthropy-and-social-impact-investment-a-practical-guide]

Other useful reference material (in English) can be found in the dedicated link of the course


Teaching methods

Business plan and business case simulation.

Class discussions are welcome.

Assessment methods

Written project based on a theme/problem underlying the investment cycle followed by venture philanthropists

Teaching tools

Each class is structured in terms of theory, applications, class discussion, exercises, business case simulations

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Simona Zambelli