What VCs Want

What VCs Want


The UCT Graduate School of Business, together with Knife Capital and AngelHub will present a short course, Early Stage Investment: Find, Make, Grow, Realise, targeted at early-growth stage companies and potential investors from February 2013 in Cape Town.

“With growing interest from investors and pressure from local entrepreneurs on how best to access these investors, the opportunity arose to further build and strengthen the local venture capital eco system by sharing our experience in the investment trenches in a formal structure with the GSB,” says Keet van Zyl, Knife Capital.

Learn the funding formula

A key objective of the 4-week course is to demonstrate that start-up companies can be a viable, alternative investment class in a balanced portfolio. “We aim to teach investors how to safely deploy their money in a risk managed approach.

And on the other side of the coin, we will teach start-up companies everything from how best to pitch and market their ideas to how to aggressively grow and eventually exit. We’ve succeeded using a formula – and that’s the formula we want to share as a step by step practical approach,” says van Zyl.

The blueprint for investments

The course will provide attendees with practical documents such as a due diligence checklists, templates for valuation, non-disclosure agreements and draft investment term sheets. Attendees are encouraged to use these templates and apply them to their businesses as a blue print for investment. The course content is enriched with information through research by the GSB on business and entrepreneurship in Africa.

The programme

Early Stage Investment: Find, Make, Grow, Realise will be presented by Brett Commaille of AngelHub, and Keet van Zyl, Eben van Heerden and Andrea Bohmert of Knife Capital, all well known for their investment track records in early stage businesses. “To ensure that that the course is interactive and practical we are also incorporating guest lecturers that include Angel Investors, successful entrepreneurs and business experts,” says Commaille.

The programme is presented in four interactive sessions on Monday nights from 6pm to 9pm, and contains a balanced mixture of theory, discussion and practical examples based on case studies and best practises. Modules include:

  • FIND: Finding Lucrative Early-Stage Investments (the early-stage investment ecosystem; identifying potential investments; the investor pitch).
  • MAKE: The Investment Process (due diligence exercise; valuation principles; legal closure and key legal terms).
  • GROW: Growth Strategies (control mechanisms/ corporate governance; operational activities; strategies to scale a business).
  • REALISE: Realising Business Potential (realisation of business strategies; positioning a company for a potential investor/ strategic partner; a successful exit process).

Who it’s for

Whether you’re an investor looking for greater returns than you get from your regular portfolio, or an entrepreneur trying move your young/small business onto the same path as the high growth start-ups you usually read about, this course aims to give you the tools to take the next step.

Applications close on 21 January 2013 and delegates can register online at http://www.gsb.uct.ac.za/s.asp?p=333&c=240or by phoning Joanne Bolton at +27 (0)21 406 1431.

About Knife Capital and AngelHub

Knife Capital manages Mark Shuttleworth’s HBD Venture Capital’s South African portfolio of investments and was named the South African Venture Capitalist of the Year in 2012 by Acquisition International Magazine. The company boasts a significant track record as early stage growth equity fund managers, including Fundamo which was sold to VISA for $110m and CSense which was sold to General Electric.

AngelHub is South Africa’s first manager-led Business Angel Investment Group that pools funding, expertise & networks from a diverse range of early-stage Angel Investors for investment in high-growth ventures to accelerate growth & create value.

Alison Job
Alison Job holds a BA English, Communications and has extensive experience in writing that spans news broadcasting, public relations and corporate and consumer publishing. Find her at Google+.