SMU and UNC-Chapel Hill Announced as 2020-21 VC University LIVE Hosts

NVCA and Startup@BerkeleyLaw have selected SMU and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to host VC University LIVE programs in 2020-21, spotlighting the local venture communities and convening local and coastal industry leaders

May 18, 2020

Contact: Cassie Ann Hodges
Phone: 202-864-5923

Washington, DC – The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and the Startup@BerkeleyLaw initiative of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, are delighted to announce that SMU and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) have been selected as the next two hosts of VC University LIVE.

Launched in 2019 by NVCA and Startup@BerkeleyLaw, VC University LIVE is a three-day educational program on venture finance, held in partnership with universities across the country. VC University LIVE shines a spotlight on emerging venture communities and expands the focus on VC beyond the traditional hubs of California, Massachusetts and New York. The program serves entrepreneurs, angel investors, VCs, fund managers, attorneys and anyone else looking to unlock their venture finance skills and build their network, locally and within Silicon Valley. VC University LIVE served more than 120 participants across its first two programs at the University of Michigan and Tulane University in 2019.

“As a public university and a pioneer in developing curricula for venture finance education, the University of California, Berkeley, through our Startup@BerkeleyLaw initiative, is committed to democratizing access to venture capital. Our partnership with the NVCA, through Venture Capital University, allows us to reach underrepresented communities with an interest in entrepreneurship across the country,” said Robert Bartlett, UC Berkeley professor and co-founder of Startup@BerkeleyLaw.

“We’re thrilled to partner with SMU and UNC-Chapel Hill to build on the strong programs from our first year,” said Maryam Haque, Senior Vice President of Industry Advancement at NVCA. “Given the current economic environment, it is more important than ever to help support and grow the venture ecosystems across the country, which includes training the next generation of VCs. VC University LIVE will serve as an important opportunity to convene VC leaders and newcomers in Dallas and the Research Triangle Park region, to learn, discuss best practices and network.”

SMU will host VC University LIVE in Dallas, Texas from November 12-14, 2020, in partnership with the Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law & Leadership at SMU Dedman School of Law and the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship at the SMU Cox School of Business. In case public health safety measures prohibit a live event, the program will continue in a robust, highly interactive, and virtual format. The organizers’ top priority is to ensure the safety of participants, while continuing to deliver a high-quality educational and networking experience.

“SMU is excited to build on its long-standing relationship with NVCA in providing outstanding venture finance education to the DFW community by offering VC University LIVE with NVCA and UC Berkeley Law,” said Simon Mak, PhD, Executive Director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship. “We welcome VC University LIVE to SMU and Dallas,” said Eric F. Hinton, Director of the SMU Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law & Leadership. “The DFW Metroplex is one of the most dynamic business environments in the United States and SMU is central to that growth.”

In the spring of 2021, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in partnership with the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and The Kenan-Flagler Business School Entrepreneurship Center, will host VC University LIVE in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“We want to shine a spotlight on the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem and the increase in innovation happening in the Research Triangle Park area and throughout North Carolina,” said Vickie Gibbs, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Center at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. “With the depth and breadth resources and universities in our area, along with additional funding capacity, more successfully launched startups can thrive and grow. The UNC Entrepreneurship Center is excited to create additional momentum for this growth with education enabled by VC University LIVE, in partnership with NVCA and UC Berkeley Law.”

General tuition to attend VC University LIVE is $1,500 per person. A limited number of application-based scholarships will be awarded by NVCA for each program to cover tuition for applicants who are historically underrepresented within the venture capital industry.

NVCA, Startup@BerkeleyLaw, and the university partners are all closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. At this time, upcoming VC University LIVE events will take place as planned, but any changes will be made public well in advance. Details for the 2020-21 programs, including dates, application details and scholarship information, may be found at:


About Startup@BerkeleyLaw

Launched in 2015 at the University of California, Berkeley, Startup@BerkeleyLaw is a collaboration between the Berkeley Center for Law and Business and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. Startup@BerkeleyLaw delivers dynamic programming for law students, entrepreneurs, and investors on current and emerging issues facing early stage companies – delivering cutting-edge legal training for aspiring startup lawyers while enabling entrepreneurs and investors at Berkeley and beyond.

About National Venture Capital Association

The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) empowers the next generation of American companies that will fuel the economy of tomorrow. As the voice of the US venture capital and startup community, NVCA advocates for public policy that supports the American entrepreneurial ecosystem. Serving the venture community as the preeminent trade association, NVCA arms the venture community for success, serving as the leading resource for venture capital data, practical education, peer-led initiatives, and networking. For more information about NVCA, please visit