22nd Annual Venture Capital & Private Equity Conference Reflection
Post by Jacob Spitz ’18
On March 5, 2016, I attended the 22nd Annual Venture Capital & Private Equity Conference at Harvard Business School. The conference started off with a morning keynote address by Joshua Harris, the co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of Apollo Global Management. Less than a month prior, Apollo Global Management was in the news for a nearly $7 billion buyout of ADT. It was extremely interesting to learn about Josh’s background leading up to co-founding one of the largest private equity firms in the world. I personally enjoyed hearing about Josh’s involvement in major league sports and his stake in Premier League team Crystal Palace. Following the morning keynote, I attended panel groups on the state of venture capital and cross border investing. I really enjoyed the cross border investing panel group because of the large emphasis on discussing venture capital investments in Israel by two of the panelists. Israel is a country with an extremely large startup environment, and it was very interesting to hear about venture investments that the two panelists have made in this country as well as their shock to how informal the work environment in Israel really is. At lunch, I was able to network with other students and professionals who are interested in venture capital and private equity careers. The afternoon keynote address consisted of a dialogue between Mark Gallogly, the co-founder and managing principal at Centerbridge, and Josh Lerner, the professor of Investment Banking at HBS. The conversation was focused on Mark’s background and his long-term outlook on the alternative investments industry. The second afternoon keynote address was from Ann Huntress Lamont, the managing partner of Oak HC/FT. She heavily focused on healthcare and fintech and addressed the increasing amount of unicorns in venture capital in recent years and her firm’s investments in several companies that are now unicorns. The final panel of the day that I attended focused on consumer and retail companies and private equity. Many of the panelists work for PE firms that are exclusively focused on consumer and retail. I learned a lot about trends in consumer and retail and what sub-sectors PE is currently targeting within consumer and retail. Thanks to the Undergraduate Professional Accelerator Fund, I was able to learn a lot about venture capital and private equity, which are two career paths that I am very interested in pursuing after college.