Case Studies

This listing contains abstracts and ordering information for case studies written and published by faculty at Stanford GSB.

Publicly available cases in this collection are distributed by Harvard Business Publishing and The Case Centre.

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Charles Ewald, Heidi Krauel Patel, Jaclyn Foroughi

In the fall of 2017, Beneficial State Bank, a triple bottom line community development bank serving areas of California, Oregon, and Washington, had completed its fourth successive year of normalized profitability while continuing to...

William F. Meehan, Ali Gara

This case explores the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) creative and effective use of the private equity business model as a tool to mobilize financing for economic development around the world. In its bid to provide...

Mark Hartmann, William F. Meehan, Meaghan Conway

This case assesses Actis’ optimal exit route for Umeme, a Ugandan electricity distribution company in their investment portfolio. Actis, a private equity firm that invests exclusively in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, had spent seven...

Ilya A. Strebulaev, Jaclyn Foroughi, Theresia Gouw

In mid-2011, as global markets corrected amid worldwide economic uncertainty, Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox, the fast-growing file synchronization and sharing company, found himself in a difficult, albeit enviable, situation. Houston, who had...

John Glynn, Tim Hsia

The case provides an overview and history of women in venture capital. The case examines the lack of funding that female entrepreneurs have had in the past. The case focuses on 4 women at venture...

Michael Kennedy, Debra McCoy, William Meehan III, Sheila Melvin, Paul Pfleiderer

This case describes the formation and operation of Leopard Capital, a “Frontier Market Private Equity Fund” from its establishment in 2007 up through the end of 2012. The case focuses on the fund’s founder, Douglas...

Peter B. Kelly, Lacey Wismer

The Vestige Capital case follows a search fund team comprised of two 2009 Stanford GSB alumni as they decide to raise a search fund in Mexico, procure search capital from U.S. and Mexican investors, and...

William Meehan, Paul Pfleiderer, Sheila Melvin, Debra McCoy

Zephyr Management was founded in 1994 with the goal of specializing in emerging markets, both in marketable securities and private equity. Having decided to expand in Asia, it chose India as the best location for...

Ilya Strebulaev, Theresia Gouw Ranzetta, David Hoyt

This note describes the tasks that fill the working day of a venture capitalist. Those functions involved in investing (deal sourcing, due diligence, and related tasks) often receive the most attention from students. However, interviews...

William Meehan III, Paul Pfleiderer, Michael Kennedy, Debra McCoy

This case describes the history of the International Finance Corporation’s Private Equity Investment Funds Group, which invests the IFC’s capital in private equity funds located in Emerging and Frontier Market countries. The IFC began investing...

George Parker, Alan Rappaport, Jaclyn Foroughi

Rina Castillo lived the American Dream. A recent graduate of the Stanford School of
Engineering, she was the first in her family not only to leave her native Mexico but also to attend and...

George Parker, Alan Rappaport, Jaclyn Foroughi, Vanessa Lide

Paul Schroder had recently celebrated his sixty-eighth birthday and was beginning to feel his age. While he recognized that there were many good years ahead, he also realized that it was not too early to...

George Parker, Alan Rappaport, Jaclyn Foroughi

Having identified his “needs and dreams,” Paul Schroder had to figure out what to do next.
Putting emotions aside, he needed to identify the best options to come up with the required amounts of...

George Parker, Alan Rappaport, Jaclyn Foroughi

Richard Lund had reached an important crossroads in his life. At age 65, Lund had had a great deal of success—and amassed much wealth—but he needed to devise a plan for the future. Namely, he...

Shai Bernstein, Arthur Korteweg, Sara Rosenthal

It was the spring of 2010 and Cindy Padnos had just been named to Fast Company’s list of “The Most Influential Women in Technology in 2010.” Cindy had worked in the venture capital (VC) space...

Michael Kennedy, Debra McCoy, William Meehan III, Paul Pfleiderer

The Global Environment Fund (GEF) is a private equity fund focused on investments in environmental and energy solutions in both developed and developing markets. The fund is currently examining the strategy of one of its...

Arar Han, Ilya A. Strebulaev

Angel investment in new technology firms has grown in prominence and popularity in the 21st century, particularly in the Silicon Valley. This case reviews the landscape of angel investors, describes the decision making process of...

Arar Han, Ilya A. Strebulaev

The world of early-stage financing has undergone many changes over the years. In this note, we first document the historical roots of early-stage investors, and describe important milestones along the developmental path. We then describe...

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Douglas Abbey, Chris Mahowald, Max Lamont

In March 2008, a group of investors considered purchasing 8,300 residential lots in 11 states from one of the largest U.S. homebuilders, at a price of 10 cents on the dollar. The deal would also...

William Meehan III, Paul Pfleiderer, Michael Kennedy, Debra McCoy, Sheila Melvin

This case describes the co-founders and leadership team of Asia Alternatives Management (“Asia Alt”), a private equity fund-of-funds focused on Asia, as they consider whether or not to invest in Vietnam. The case recounts the...