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Venture capital team wins VCIC regionals for 8th straight time

The tradition continues as the FSB VCIC team wins its regional competition again.

The Miami team of Kaylee Fickle, Gillian Louiso, Katherine McIntosh, Kia Molaei, Dev Patel, and Mason Seitz
Student Success

Venture capital team wins VCIC regionals for 8th straight time

For the eighth consecutive year, the John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship's venture capital investment team won a U.S. Regional Final in the Venture Capital Investment Competition, and, for the eighth consecutive year, has earned a spot in the Global Finals.

The Miami team of Kaylee Fickle, Gillian Louiso, Katherine McIntosh, Kia Molaei, Dev Patel, and Mason Seitz took first place at the University of Florida on Saturday.

“The weekend was an excellent professional experience, and extremely fun. We were able to talk to multiple highly-placed professionals in a variety of fields thanks to Tim Holcomb and the Entrepreneurship department's numerous connections. The amazing prep work we did with Theresa Sedlack and John McIlwraith set us up for success as we conducted our due diligence on the three companies, creating a robust terms sheet and analysis that the judges all loved,” Seitz said. “Our partner panel meeting went great, and the judges gave us great feedback on our performance.”

The VCIC is an invitation-only, international competition with student venture capital teams from top business schools around the world. This year, venture teams from more than 100 universities around the world competed in twenty regional competitions – 12 graduate and 8 undergraduate.

In the VCIC, venture capital investment teams assume the identity of a venture firm. On the first day of the three-day competition, each student venture team receives a profile of the firm’s venture fund (size, age, investment stage, targeted industries/markets, number and size of previous investments, etc.) and business plans for three seed stage companies. Teams are given 36 hours to conduct due diligence of the companies, their founders, and the market and prepare a term sheet for an investment in one of the companies.

On the final day of the competition, teams evaluate pitches made by each company and participate in a one-on-one Q&A with the founder(s) after which teams have two hours to finalize their investment decision. Each team defends its investment recommendation to a panel of current venture capital investors who assess each team’s investment decision and logic and then negotiate final terms with the founders of the selected company.

“Our quick 48 hours of competing allowed us to dive deep into three startups, tapping into the skills and knowledge we gained throughout the program while reaching out to Fortune 500 leaders, CEOs of high-growth startups, and investors of all levels to guide our research to prepare our founder and partner interviews and due diligence deliverable,” McIntosh said.

Miami students that participate in the VCIC are required to complete the Department of Entrepreneurship's 10-week Venture Capital Immersion program that immerses them in venture capital concepts, terminology, and practices. The Venture Capital Immersion Program is led by Theresa Sedlack, Visiting Instructor of Entrepreneurship, and introduces students to the venture capital model.

"I am so grateful to have had the opportunity with this talented team of students," Sedlack said. "Their work ethic is extraordinary and their team culture includes fun and support for each other - a winning combination!"

“I have never learned as much in a class as I have in VCIC. Miami’s program is one of the best in the country and that has consistently been shown to me. Professor Theresa Sedlack has created the most incredible curriculum as well as given this team the best opportunities to learn from real venture capital investors along with founders, CEOs, and more,” Louiso said. “Most notably would be the network of Miami alums and individuals we have been connected with because of this program, Professor Sedlack and Tim Holcomb have spent hours connecting us with the most amazing people. In the past 48 hours alone I have spoken to people around the country, at Fortune 500 companies, and in the most niche of jobs and industries, all willing and able to speak to us solely because of this university.”

The 2024 VCIC Global Finals at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in mid-April will feature venture capital investment teams from Dartmouth, the University of Michigan, Carnegie Mellon University, Boston University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of California-Berkeley, and a Canadian regional team to be determined next weekend. In the seven previous trips to the finals, Miami teams have taken third place three times and second place once.

“I am beyond excited to continue this program into April when we will compete at the VCIC Global Competition at UNC-Chapel Hill!” McIntosh said.

“I am so incredibly grateful to experience this with this team, our professors and advisors, and the network to support us. We cannot wait to head to UNC for the VCIC Global Competition in April!” Louiso said.

All groups meet at first meeting

The team smiles for the camera

The team in competition

Team continues in competition