GBUS 8641 Venture Velocity


Creating a venture can be a lonely undertaking, leaving the Entrepreneur asking, “What to do Next?”  We’re going to turn venturing into a team sport and support each other as each student team builds their ventures towards viability as a side gig or a full time work. We will use the class to further develop entrepreneurial fundamentals like partnering, customer sales, and managing your affordable loss. The cadence is two-week sprints alternating customized milestones and work on deliverables common to the class which will contribute directly to your venture. We draw extensively on Saras Sarasvathy’ s Effectuation theory methodology to guide action and ensure that progress doesn’t stall even if the end point is a decision to move on from the venture at the end of the class.

No guest speakers or lectures. Guest mentors commonly join to give feedback. These will largely include founders and investors. Classes are Full semester, 3 credits, taught Fall and Spring. Substantial work outside class expected.

This class was originally created by Damon DeVito who was both an adjunct faculty and a long-time entrepreneur.  Most importantly, he believed in founders and that emphasis will continue.


Academic Course Objectives (35 to 70 words in bullet-point format and phrases):

Our mission is to work together to fight through the start-up jungle, navigating around trouble where possible, and fighting through it when foresight fails so you gain applied mastery over skills that will drive your future success as a founder or investor in other ventures regardless how this one fares. If you are putting in the time and effort you can accomplish great things:

-        Breakthrough a difficult go to market challenge

-        Find go to market fit

-        Get to the customer as a partner

-        Secure funding

-        Make a decision that changes the course of your venture and your life


Elements of the Course Grade:

If you care more about your grade than your venture, VV probably is not for you. But if you care about your venture and are coachable and willing to see your venture through change if necessary, your grade will be fine.

·        Class Contribution: 15%.

·        Milestones and Deliverables: 50%

·        Monthly Stakeholder Updates: 10%

·        Final Pitch: 25%

Application Process:

Application required. Open to 6-8 venture teams with preference to those with at least one Darden 2nd year in the class. Other UVA students welcome for credit w dept approval. Solo founders + teams welcome. Email CV, venture summary (including origin story and the problem it solves), and a brief description of the founder team including who does what and how you know one another to If available, send pitch deck and link to your venture’s website.  Don’t worry if you aren’t far enough along to have all items…you’ll be in good company. Interview required. Acceptance influenced by feasibility, stage, founder team. Apply anytime – even early. This class fills.