Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital: From Idea to Investment

Did you know that the business of venture capitalism is a *$330 billion industry, a number that nearly doubled since last year? How do entrepreneurs’ tap into those funds to help support new start-ups? This course takes you inside the fast-paced world of venture capital investing. Learn how startups raise money from external sources and understand the key concepts and terms of VC investing. Take on the role of an entrepreneur, and craft a convincing pitch to potential investors. If you’ve ever wanted to understand the various roles within this exciting field, this course is for you.

*SOURCE: Statista

Program Dates

Multi-length courses available throughout the year


For students ages 13 and up



How Entrepreneurs Raise Venture Capital

Learn the Core Concepts of Raising Funding

Find out how money, or capital, is raised by entrepreneurs. Determine the conditions under which entrepreneurs decide to source money, and understand when raising capital is the best option. 

Delve Into the Venture Capital Ecosystem

Study how VC firms make money. Understand the players needed to raise capital. Learn about market research and valuation techniques, which are essential to a pitch.

Who Are the Firms and Investors?

Who are the investors in a VC deal? Where do they come from? Learn how startups find investors, and describe the important relationship between VCs and entrepreneurs.

Create an Unforgettable Pitch That Funds Your Idea

Identify the key aspects of a pitch. Create a descriptor of your business. Describe its concept, the terms of the “ask” and the potential for your business.

What Happens After the Pitch?

Learn what happens after startups have a successful pitch with a VC firm. Describe the due-diligence process and follow a deal through closing and post-investment support. Learn about exit strategies and what happens when additional investing is needed.

Explore College Majors and Future Careers 

Topics covered in this course offer a good background for potential college majors and career paths related to entrepreneurship and venture capital investing, like finance, business, entrepreneurism or portfolio management.

How You Will Benefit

  • Understand an entrepreneur’s process of raising money from pitch to outcomes.
  • Define venture capitalism.
  • Distinguish VC from other sources of funds.
  • Deliver a pitch as if you’re seeking VC funds as an entrepreneur.
  • Discover the scope of the VC profession and upcoming trends. 
  • Complete a Final Project to demonstrate what you’re learned.
  • Earn a Certificate of Completion from William & Mary.

Three Learning Advantages Designed for You

Final Project

This online course culminates in a Final Project that allows you to demonstrate what you’ve learned throughout the course, which you can add to your portfolio. For this project, you will:

  • Create a six to eight minute recorded presentation, or pitch deck, that you would present to a venture capital firm. 
  • Assume the role of the entrepreneur of a business concept.
  • Look to secure funding from a seed-stage venture capitalist. Your pitch should be thorough and compelling enough to share with a real venture capital firm.


You’ll receive guidance from a mentor who can support you and deepen your learning experience. You can expect:

  • Encouragement and direction on all assignments. 
  • Inspiration, motivation and confidence to help you excel in your studies. 
  • Brainstorming and ideation to help you prepare for your Final Project.

Flexible Learning

  • 100% online learning that works with your schedule.
  • Flexible format: you’ll learn through video lectures. Tune in anytime that works for you.
  • 20-30 hours of total instruction and course work, including engaging multimedia, simulations and curated assignments for which you will receive guidance and support from mentors.

Apply Now for the Next Available Course

July 21 - August 4

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $1,295.00

Application Deadline: Sunday, July 14, 2024

August 4 - August 18

Length: 2 weeks

Cost: $1,295.00

Application Deadline: Sunday, July 28, 2024

All course options have the same educational content, learning materials and number of assignments. We are offering a condensed version of the course in order to accommodate students’ individual schedules.

Course Designed by William & Mary Faculty

Graham Henshaw, Executive Director of Entrepreneurship Center & Clinical Associate Professor

Graham Henshaw is a clinical associate professor at William & Mary's Raymond A. Mason School of Business and executive director of the Alan B. Miller Entrepreneurship Center. 

Prior to joining William & Mary, Graham was the director of venture development at New Richmond Ventures – a Richmond-based venture capital firm investing in early-stage socially driven startups. 

Graham brings to W&M a diverse background in product development, Fortune 500 strategic consulting and entrepreneurship. He leveraged his varied skill set to found Active Innovation Group in 2007. As a strategic consultant, Graham has worked with companies including General Electric, Kraft Foods, Toyota and GlaxoSmithKline to create products, services and messaging consistent with deep consumer insights.

Graham Henshaw earned an M.S. in mechanical engineering and a B.S. in mechanical engineering with a minor in industrial design from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

How to Apply

It’s easy. No transcripts or letters of recommendation are needed. Our application requires basic contact information for you and your parent or guardian. Then, tell us why you wish to take this course. Include your personal story through writing, video, photos — or any medium you prefer.

Note: Please submit all application materials in English.

Begin the guided process. It should take only a few minutes of your time to answer the questions.

Want to Know More?

Sign up for more information and we’ll be in touch.


Our application process is easy. You can expect a prompt decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will you be graded? What are assignments like? How much time do you have to turn around a project? When do you find out if you’re admitted? Find answers to your questions here.


We offer need-based scholarships in each cohort to students exhibiting high potential and an inability to pay full tuition. If you would like to be considered for a scholarship but you:

  • Haven’t applied to the program, complete your application now. The scholarship application is included.
  • Applied to the program and didn’t fill out a scholarship request, resume your application and click “Apply for Scholarship”.
  • Are unsure about whether or not you applied for a scholarship, reach out to us at support@precollegeonline.wm.edu for assistance.