First Time’s the Charm - VCIC Success in Chicago

March 2017

This past weekend was one for the record books for a group of our students. A team of FSB students was invited to compete in the prestigious international Venture Capital Investment Competition for the first time.

This invite-only competition includes undergraduate and graduate teams from 78 business schools from 13 countries across three continents. Some of the biggest names in business education were there: University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business and University of Michigan Ross School of Business were only a few of the teams on the list.

The competition is held in two rounds, the first of which took place this past weekend at the University of Chicago. During the event, students acted as institutional investors representing a VC firm. Teams were given business plans for three real startups, along with information about the VC firm students represented, and were tasked with deciding which startup to invest in - within 36 hours! This involved extensive research, listening to startup pitches and market analysis.

The result? The Farmer School team won! The regional victory means our team will be one of only twelve undergraduate schools (winners and runners-up from each of the six regions) to compete in the finals of the international competition, which will be held at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on March 24-25.

Five students represented the Farmer School in Chicago:

  • Javier Avila (Sr)
  • Shane Hitzler (Sr)
  • Jack Kellenberger (Sr)
  • Kasey Marenco (Sr)
  • Matt Gordon (Sr)

While four additional students provided analytical support from Oxford to the students presenting in Chicago:

  • John Condon (Jr)
  • Joseph Conjerti (Sr)
  • Max Davis (So)
  • Karolina Ulasevich (Sr)

Tim Holcomb (Cintas Chair in Entrepreneurship and Associate Professor) and Mary Dieglio’s (Assistant Director of the Page Center for Entrepreneurship) semester of work preparing the students was an investment that paid off - big time!

For more information about the VCIC, check out the website.

Venture capitalist team photo Venture capitalist team photo Venture capitalist team working in conference room