Building Your Venture Capital Investment Thesis
“An investment thesis is more than a description of what you will and won’t invest in. It tells people who you are and what you believe in. It distills down all of your best thinking about what the future might look like in a given sector or business model or industry. In addition, by taking the time to put it down on paper, you are forced to digest everything you read and learn into a more synthesized point of view.”
Angela LeeFaculty Director
Components of a Thesis
What are the choices founding general partners have to make when thinking about what to invest in?
Professor of Professional Practice, Finance
Faculty Director of the Lang Center for Entrepreneurship
Angela Lee is an award-winning professor and former Chief Innovation Officer at Columbia Business School where she teaches venture capital and leadership programs. She started her career in product management and then moved to consulting at McKinsey & Company. She founded four startups and is also the founder of 37 Angels, an investing network that has evaluated over 20,000 companies and invested in over 90 companies. She also serves as a impact partner at Fresco Capital, an early-stage venture fund that focuses on the future of work, digital health, and sustainability.
She was awarded the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence at Columbia Business School in 2020 and won the Singhvi Prize for Scholarship in the Classroom in 2022.
Angela has spoken at the White House and NASA and is an expert in teaching online and making learning scalable. She is a sought-after expert on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, MSNBC, and Fox Business. She was recognized by Inc. as one of 17 Inspiring Women to Watch, by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of 6 Innovative Women to Watch, and by Crain’s as a Notable Women in Tech.
I’m interested in the Certificate in Business Excellence (CIBE), how do I get started?
At Columbia Business School Executive Education, you’ll be able to customize a unique learning experience by selecting programs that best interest you and are most suited for your needs. Any completed program, regardless of format (live online, in-person, or online), will count towards the Certificate in Business Excellence.
Which programs qualify for the CIBE?
Any completed executive education program, regardless of format (live-online, in-person, or online), will count towards the Certificate in Business Excellence. Partner programs will also count towards the certificate.
Which programs do not qualify for 25 percent tuition benefit?
- Advanced Management Program
- Executive Development Program
- Developing Black Leaders in Financial Services
- Strategic Wealth Manager
- Global Banking Program: Fintech, Digital, and Analytics
- Chief Financial Officer
- Chief Marketing Officer
- Venture Capital Private Equity
- Digital Business Leadership Program
- Executive Program in Management
What programs are considered partner programs?
Executive education programs developed and administered with our educational partners, bring the best of our combined knowledge, thought leadership, resources, and expertise. Kindly find a list of our partners here on our partnership page.
What are the costs of the certificate?
There’s no set cost associated with the certificate path since you’re able to customize your learning journey with in-person and online programs (price will vary depending on the program type and length).
Are there any tuition assistance or scholarships?
At Columbia Business School Executive Education, we offer non-degree and non-credit-based professional development programs to the global business community. As our programs are non-degree and non-credit, they do not qualify for financial aid.
How are CIBE credits determined?
Credits for a program are determined by the program duration and total learning hours.
Where do I find information on the credit value for a program?
You will find this information on each program page. Credits range from 0.5 credits – 26 credits per program.
How do I get enrolled in the CIBE?
Your certificate journey will start with your first program, and you have 4 years to complete your CIBE. You may register for any of our executive education programs on each program page. You may enroll using the “Enroll Now” button, and the application process should take 5-10 minutes.
How do I receive credits?
You are required to fully attend a program and complete all necessary coursework in order to receive CIBE credits. Credits are only awarded after you complete a program.
How do I check the status of my Certificate completion?
Kindly reach out to a Learning Solutions representative for any questions on the status of your CIBE credit count.
Do CIBE credits expire?
Credits are only valid for four years (Please note: While we are not able to offer in-person programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the duration to complete the programming has been extended to five years.). If you have not completed your CIBE within four years, we will only count non-expired credits towards your CIBE credit total.
Does the Certificate in Business Excellence expire?
Your Certificate in Business Excellence does not expire. Once you become a certificate recipient, you will join the greater alumni community at Columbia Business School.
I’ve reached 18 CIBE credits, what’s next?
Congratulations! You should receive a digital copy of your certificate at the end of your program. If you do not receive a copy from your program manager, kindly contact your Learning Solutions representative or your program manager for next steps.
Will I receive a physical certificate?
Yes, all certificate recipients will receive a physical plaque. If you completed your last CIBE credits through an online or live online program, you will receive a plaque in the mail. We will ask for you to provide us with your preferred mailing address and our vendor will ship the plaque directly to you. We kindly ask for your patience as the processing time takes a few weeks. Please contact your program manager for the status of your plaque. If you completed your last CIBE credits through an in-person program, you will receive a plaque at the end of the program.
How do I get access to my alumni benefits?
Once you complete your CIBE, we kindly ask for your patience as we process your alumni credentials. The processing time can take anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks long.
Can I refer colleagues to the Certificate in Business Excellence?
If you are a certificate holder, you may sponsor up to four colleagues each year for full-price in-person programs lasting up to seven days and all full-price online programs.
Can I add the Certificate in Business Excellence to LinkedIn?
Yes! We will provide you with instructions on how to add your certificate to your LinkedIn profile after you become a Certificate recipient.
Preferred Pricing and Tuition Benefits for Alumni
Are there preferred pricing options available for live online programs?
Yes, preferred pricing is available for groups of two or more. To inquire, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a Columbia Business School alumni am I eligible for tuition benefit?
Columbia Business School alumni and up to four of their colleagues are eligible for a 25 percent tuition benefit for this program. More on the Alumni Tuition Benefit.
Will there be any homework or assignments?
For select programs, there will be some assignments to complete after the end of select program sessions. Assignments will typically consist of readings, self-reflections, and brief assessments. This approach is designed to help you practice your learnings.
How long will assignments take?
We do not expect that homework assignments will take up a large amount of time to complete.
Will there be any examinations or grades?
There will be no examinations or grades for our live online programs.
When will I receive information on how to log in?
You will receive your login information immediately before the program start date. Kindly reach out to your Program Manager for further instructions on how to prepare and log in for the program.
What platform do you use to deliver live online programs?
We use the Zoom platform.
Will sessions be recorded?
Most live online sessions (depending on the faculty and program) will be recorded and will be available for you upon request. In-person programs are not recorded.
How long will they be available for?
Recordings will be available for the duration of the program. Depending on the program, some recordings may have additional availability post-program.
How do I gain access to the recordings?
Your Program Manager will provide you with further instructions on how to gain access to recorded sessions.
How do participants network during the live online programs? Will I participate in group work?
Our live online programs are fully virtual and highly interactive. Most programs also feature small group work for a high-touch learning experience. The virtual program experience allows participants to feel comfortable and productive learning at home while preserving the interconnectivity of an in-person program.
What are the networking opportunities during the live online sessions?
Yes. Examples of this may include: virtual lunches, virtual receptions, use of the chat function, and virtual office hours for you to connect with participants and faculty. Please refer to the agenda of the specific live online program you are interested in for details.
Live Online Format
What are live online programs?
Now, more than ever, executives need the knowledge and insights to help them adapt to change and solve complex problems. As the business world has evolved, we have applied new best practices to continuously improve your learning experience. With our live online programs, we are taking select in-person programs and are translating them to a fully live and virtual format, delivering the same interactive sessions with faculty and real-time application of the knowledge you would experience in person.
What is the difference between live online and online programs?
Compare our two formats for distance learning here.
What does “live online” mean?
Live online programs are fully virtual, highly interactive programs taking place in real-time, often featuring small group work for a high-touch learning experience. Our Columbia Business School faculty stream to you live and virtually, no matter where you are located.
Are all live online programs the same in terms of format and length?
No. Please refer to the agenda of the specific live online program you are interested in. For any questions, please reach out to the Contact person listed on the program's web page.
Do I have to attend all live sessions?
Participants are expected to attend all sessions. However, we understand that participants may have scheduling conflicts. Kindly let us know in advance whenever possible and your Program Manager would be happy to discuss how we can help you get up to speed. We will also record most faculty sessions, which you can review upon request.
Will I need to attend the live sessions even if I’m based in a different time zone?
You are required to attend all live sessions even if you are based in a different time zone. (Kindly reach out to the Learning Solutions team to learn more about our asynchronous program offerings, which consist predominantly of pre-recorded videos that you can watch on your own time).
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