Columbia Business School took home first place and $5,000 at the 17th annual Venture Capital Investment Competition® (VCIC), the premier competition for venture-minded and entrepreneurial MBA students hosted by UNC Kenan-Flagler April 10-12.
MBA student teams from around the world – the winners of 11 regional events in the United States, Spain, England, India and China – convened with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists for the global championship in Chapel Hill.
The Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder won second place and $2,500. The UNC Kenan-Flagler team won third place and $1,000. The Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University received the Entrepreneur’s Choice Award and $1,000.
Teams also competed from the business schools at Boston College, University of California Berkeley, Yale University, Boulder, Oxford University, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Copenhagen Business School and Nanyang Technological University.
VCIC simulates the entire investment process. Students played the role of venture capitalists, heard pitches from real entrepreneurs, evaluated deals and invested in the most compelling business plan. Venture capitalists observed and judged the entire process. After the winner was announced, teams assembled for one-on-one feedback sessions with the judges, which VCIC alumni have reported as a valuable to their professional development.
“The teams gave compelling performances,” said Patrick Vernon, VCIC director and executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UNC Kenan-Flagler. “To succeed the students had to apply what they have learned in their MBA courses— not just their business acumen but also skills in communication and negotiation and the ability build rapport with potential partners.”
VCIC features a network of 50 events on three continents before it culminates in Chapel Hill. Started in 1998, the internationally recognized program serves over 1,500 individuals each year—1,200 MBA students from 60 top business schools, 175 venture capitalists and 125 entrepreneurs.