Farmer School VCIC team wins regionals again (and again, and again, and again)

Group photo of Andrew Gherlein, Emily Shirley, Gavin Tang, Jack Sherlock, and Jorge Nadjar

If the third time is the charm, what is the fourth? The Farmer School’s student venture capital investment team competed in the U.S. Northeast Regional Finals of the 2020 Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) in New York at NYU Stern School of Business, and for the fourth consecutive year, won the regional competition.

“I’m very proud of this group of Miami UniversityFarmer School of Business, and John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship entrepreneurship and venture capital investment students,” director Tim Holcomb said. “To win one regional finals is an accomplishment. To win a fourth consecutive regional final and be in a position to secure a fourth consecutive Top 3 finish in the global finals is pretty special. BIG shout out to Andrew Gherlein, Emily Shirley, Gavin Tang, Jack Sherlock, and Jorge Nadjar and to team leads Andy Newman and Laura Mena.”

Unlike business plan competitions where students pitch their ideas to investors, in the VCIC, student venture capital investment teams assume the identity of a venture firm. On the first day of the 3-day competition, each team receives a profile of the firm’s venture fund and business plans for three seed stage companies.

Teams are given 36 hours to conduct due diligence on 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.

To prepare the team, students taking part are required to complete an 8-week Venture Capital Immersion program that immerses them in venture capital concepts, terminology, and practices. The immersion program introduces students to the venture capital model, firm thesis and management structure, fund logic, funding rounds and stages, due diligence process, quantitative and qualitative deal analytics and valuation strategy, term and conditions, negotiating tactics, venture debt financing, equity crowdfunding, and the general implications of taking on outside investors.

This year, the program featured guest lecturers, panelists, and speakers from angel groups, business incubators, venture investment firms, and commercial banks from across the Midwest, including Queen City Angels, CincyTech, Allos Ventures, Cintrifuse, and Hyde Park Venture Partners, among others.

The FSB team took the top spot over teams from Boston University, American University, Columbia, Connecticut, and Pittsburgh. They will compete in the national finals at the University of North Carolina on March 27 and 28.

Group works on their presentation at the VCIC

Group works on their presentation at the VCIC

Farmer School group questioned by founders at VCIC

Team member talks to founders at VCIC

FSB group poses with oversized check outside NYU