The Miami University Venture Capital Immersion program takes a practice-based, immersive approach to educating students about venture capital and early-stage investments. It is an eight-week “hands-on” course that introduces students to the venture capital model.
Run at Union Hall in Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine (OTR) district, considered the hub of southwest Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, the Venture Capital Immersion program is tightly integrated with the venture ecosystem, featuring guest lecturers and panelists from angel groups, venture capital and private equity, and venture debt firms from:
San Francisco: Silicon Valley Bank
Minneapolis: Arthur Ventures
Chicago: Hyde Park Venture Partners, Hyde Park Angels, Square 1 Bank
Detroit and Houston: Mercury Fund
New York: FTV Capital
Cincinnati: Allos Ventures, Blue Chip Venture Company, CincyTech, Cintrifuse, H Ventures, OCEAN Accelerator, Queen City Angels, River Cities Capital Funds, SaaS Capital, Thompson Hine, Valuation Research Corporation, Wunderfund
Each year, faculty nominate students to participate in the Venture Capital Immersion program, and nominees are screened by Entrepreneurship faculty for admission into the program. Students from all disciplines have participated since the program was launched in 2017. VCIC participants complete team-based work assignments and valuation and investment decision practice rounds with real Midwest seed and early-stage companies. This immersive approach requires students to vet each company and its founding team, assess the company’s addressable market and customer acquisition assumptions, and complete valuation and deal assessments as part of the investment decision.
Those chosen to participate in the program are eligible to compete in the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), an invitation-only, international competition with student venture teams from more than 70 elite business schools around the world. In the VCIC, student venture teams assume the identity of a venture firm. On the first day of each round, teams receive a fund profile (size of the fund, age, investment stage, targeted industries/markets, # and size of previous investments, etc.) and pitch decks for three real seed- or early-stage companies on the first day of each round and have 36 hours to conduct due diligence on each company, its founder(s), and the market. On the third and final day, founders from each startup pitch to competing student venture teams and participate in a one-on-one Q&A. Each student venture team is given two hours to make an investment decision, set the pre-money valuation and investment amount, determine the syndication strategy, and prepare a term sheet with terms and conditions of their offer, before defending its investment recommendation with a panel of angel and venture capital investors.
Miami University student venture teams have finished in the Global Top 3 in four of the first seven years of competition, and have won their regional finals seven years in a row.
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