With the fall semester at IU Bloomington under way, Innovate Indiana Fund associate Maggie Musgrave finds herself even busier than usual. Twice a week, she co-teaches a course titled “Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Finance” at the Kelley School of Business.
Along with senior lecturer of finance Gerry A. Hays, Musgrave guides three sections of about 60 undergraduate students each. Over the semester, their students gain a real-world perspective of how venture capital works and how to start a company.
Part of the experience is a seven-week program called the “Venture Game,” in which students develop ideas to start a company, prepare a business plan and deliver a pitch to Venture Game investors. Students with successful pitches move to the launch phase, while those whose proposals fall short assume roles as investors.
Students grade themselves and personal assessments are done so that companies are formed based on different types of personalities, Musgrave said.
“When you’re looking for skills, you may not learn a person’s strengths until you get to know them. At the same time, just because you like a person a lot does not mean he or she will make the best co-founder you could have.”
— Maggie Musgrave, associate, Innovate Indiana Fund
While Musgrave works with budding companies every day in her duties with the Fund, she also relates more closely to class members than the average university lecturer. Less than five years ago, the 2011 cum laude graduate of DePauw University and former Orr Fellow (2011-2013) was taking undergrad courses herself. As part of her preparations to teach the course, she spoke with some of its previous students.
“They’ve said it was one of the most beneficial, eye-opening classes they’ve taken at Kelley,” Musgrave said. “It’s a great learning experience and though the grades involve peer assessments, they are not easily attained.”