Opera Philadelphia and Venture Capital

Hybrid models seemed to be a common interest among everyone in class, so I thought this would be fitting…

In this video, David Devan of Opera Philadelphia explains how they benefitted from borrowing business practices. By running programs through venture capital models they were able to enhance artistic innovation. They started with the idea of becoming the “HBO of opera,” stopped thinking about their profit and loss statement and budget altogether by eliminating their debt (because, you know, worrying about money stifles innovation), and started a capitalization strategy that resulted in a $1.5 million operating reserve and a $1 million risk capital fund — a board restricted fund that they can use for strategic initiatives, but the money has to be paid back by the project when it occurs. I haven’t taken financial management yet, so I’ll admit that some of this was lost on me.