Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 1am

Venture Capital Competition Offers MBA Learning Experience: MBA News

Venture Capital Competition Offers MBA Learning Experience: MBA News main image

The 17th edition of the Venture Capitalist Investment Competition (VCIC), held annually at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, has attracted teams of MBA students from top business schools around the world. Winners of 11 regional events in the United States, Spain, England, India and China have progressed to this year’s finals, which begin today. 

Columbia Business School, Saïd Business School, Copenhagen Business School, Nanyang Business School and HAAS School of Business are just a few of the institutions in the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report  represented this year.

VCIC aims to encourage MBA students to engage with the investment process. Students take on the role of venture capitalists, listening to pitches from real entrepreneurs, evaluating deals, negotiating terms and investing in the most compelling business plan. The students then need to justify their decision to experienced venture capitalists that will then pick a winner.

The competition, launched during the technology bubble in 1998, began as a way for MBA students to learn more about venture capital. Now, it’s an internationally recognized program attracting 1,200 students from 60 business schools, 175 venture capitalists and 125 entrepreneurs. The program culminates in the international finals held at UNC's Chapel Hill campus, where the winning team takes home US$10,000.

Benefits of VCIC extend beyond MBA students

The students are not the only ones who benefit from the competition. Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to connect with investors and get an ‘early peek’ at some deals, 25% of entrepreneurs competing received funding worth US$10 million each. Of the five entrepreneurs that reach the finals, two go on to receive funding. On top of this, total venture capital funding stemming from all VCIC events stands at US$650 million to date. 

With over 100 renowned venture capital firms, the competition has become an extremely attractive marketplace for entrepreneurs seeking funding: Fidelity Ventures, Intel Capital, Polaris, Mobius and Intersouth Partners are just a few who have sent judges to VCIC events. However Patrick Vernon, VCIC executive director of the Center of Entrepreneurial Studies at UNC insists that the focus remains very much on students, “this is not a business plan competition….we focus on teaching students about financing new ventures… [and the best way to do that] is to give students exposure with the best deals and investors”.

This year’s international finals run from today, April 10th, until April 12th. Regardless of the result, MBA students eager to delve deeper into the world of business and entrepreneurship financing need not look very far as venture capital competitions like the VCIC bring the opportunities to them.