Feb 28, 2018

Tuck Students Compete in Venture Capital Investment Competition

By Jeffrey Wu T’19

Starting our journey at 5:30 a.m. on Friday morning, Dan Grande T’18, Guneet Sangha T’18, Claire Winiarski T’18, Cole Boskey T’19, Tucker Johnston T’19, and I made our way to Boston University Questrom School of Business to compete in the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), the world’s largest venture capital competition featuring over 70 business schools. Starting at 9:00 a.m., we began our due diligence sessions with the CEOs of three promising startups, officially kicking off our regional round against Yale, MIT, Babson, Saint Mary’s, and the University of Rochester.

On the Wednesday prior to the competition, the team received investor presentations from three diverse startups, including a commerce platform and a continuous integration service. Over the next two days, we combed through every slide and Excel worksheet, hosted informational phone calls with industry experts, and facilitated round-table discussions with our Tuck advisers to prepare ourselves to ask the right questions in due diligence. In order to properly evaluate each company, we were given 15 minutes with the CEO to ask questions regarding the product, market size, competition, capitalization, and management team answered to properly evaluate each company. Following each session, we received feedback from a panel of five-to-six venture capitalists acting as judges for the competition. The end goal was to eventually offer an illustrative term sheet to the company of our choice.

With a little over an hour to submit a deliverable, the team deliberated each startup’s strengths and weaknesses, pre-money valuation, option pool, board structure, liquidation preference, and other key terms. We eventually offered the CEO of the continuous integration service startup an illustrative term sheet and defended our work in front of 20+ venture capitalist judges in a grueling 15 minute Q&A. The highly interactive VCIC experience provided us an opportunity to simulate being venture capitalists for the day and offered us active feedback at each stage to aid us going forward.