Each year our Full-time MBA students are encouraged to compete in a range of competitions which supplement the core programme. They are a great addition to their CV, giving the students a chance to showcase themselves and practice any ideas they might have.
A group of students from the Full-time MBA class of 2023 took part in the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) towards the end of 2022. This competition is the world’s largest venture capital competition with over 120 participating universities. The concept of the competition is; the students are the investors and real entrepreneurs pitch to them, giving the students a chance to assess the investment opportunities and then pitch an investment strategy to the VC judges.
Satyam Sancheti from our Full-time MBA Class of 2023 shared his experience of the competition and the work that went into it for him and his group.
Getting ready for the Venture Capital Investment Competition
“When putting our group together for the Venture Capital competition we all took into consideration the experience that would be required by a venture capital fund. This includes experience in legal, entrepreneurship, valuation, marketing and audit. We also wanted a diverse team. Our group was made up of 5 industries and 5 nationalities. Having such a diverse group helped us to assess the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the start-ups, and meant we had very enriching and useful brainstorming sessions.
How the Venture Capital Investment Competition worked
The competition is split into two rounds. The preliminary round is made of 12 teams. We were given a real start-up pitch and in 2 days, we had to prepare a term sheet to invest in the company, only 4 of the teams went on to the final round.
The final round was a full-day event. Three entrepreneurs came to pitch their start-ups, the teams had to choose a start-up, and prepare and pitch an investment strategy to judges. The judges were experienced, venture capitalists. This led to a final round final round consisting of 4 assessed stages.
Immediately after a brief presentation by the entrepreneurs, each team had a due diligence meeting with the entrepreneurs to build rapport and ask useful questions which would help the team make a decision on their investment. Each team had to prepare a term sheet valuing the preferred start-up and based on that a detailed offer and conditions for investment. We also had to record reasons to invest in the start-up and reasons for rejection of other start-ups. After submission of the term sheet, we had a pitch round where we presented our offer to the investment board (judges) and answered their questions to provide any clarification they needed.
This year the competition included an individual partner round. Each team had 10 minutes with each judge to seek feedback and reflections from the other rounds.
What I learnt
As an entrepreneur, I decided to pursue MBA to get a global perspective and subsequently enter the start-up space working in strategy post MBA. The VCIC experience gave me a new career perspective, invaluable pragmatic learnings, and useful contacts. Networking with the judges, who were successful venture capitalists opened a new career path for me to explore and think about as I am coming to the end of my MBA studies. With prior experience in leading a business, understanding how to value and evaluate a new business was very useful for me. We were able to put learnings from our MBA programme such as Corporate Finance, M&A, strategy, OCV and consultancy projects to practical use. The due diligence and pitch meeting further sharpened my negotiation and presentation skills. The reflective sessions with each judge gave us a chance to evaluate our performance and understand how we can do things in a better way.
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