Miami business students win venture capital regional competition
By Sarah Mattina, university news and communications
Miami University students recently won the first round of the 2017 Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC).
The VCIC is an invitation-only international competition carried out over two rounds: a preliminary round held in five different regions with six-eight schools and a finals round with winners from each region competing for the international title. Student teams act as institutional investors representing a venture capital firm.
Miami was the only university in Ohio and one of just seven schools in the Midwest to be invited.
Each team is given business plans for three real-world startups, along with information about the venture capital firm that they represent and the profile of venture fund from which they are to make their investments.
Teams have 36 hours to conduct research on the startups, analyze the market, and prepare questions for a Q&A with the founders. On the final day of the competition, teams listen to and evaluate each startup’s pitch presentation and conduct a one-on-one interview with the founder of each company.
Teams then have two hours to decide how much to invest, prepare a sheet with terms and conditions of their offer, and defend their investment recommendation to a panel of venture capital investors.
These five students represented Miami at the regional competition in Chicago:
- Javier Avila, senior business economics major and entrepreneurship minor.
- Shane Hitzler, senior finance major and entrepreneurship minor.
- Jack Kellenberger, senior management and leadership major and entrepreneurship minor.
- Kasey Marenco, senior finance and business economics double major.
- Matt Gordon, senior interdisciplinary business management major.
These four students also served on the team by providing analytical support from Oxford to the team in Chicago:
- John Condon, senior interdisciplinary business management and finance double major and marketing minor.
- Joseph Conjerti, senior bioengineering major.
- Eric Eugene "Max" Davis, junior business economics major .
- Karolina Ulasevich, senior biology and journalism double major and entrepreneurship minor.
All students participated in a five-week training curriculum designed by the team’s faculty advisors. The team received mentorship from nine investment professionals from six different institutional venture investment firms and from one of the top private equity and venture capital attorneys in the Midwest.
With the regional victory, the team will compete in the finals round of the international competition March 24-25 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.