U Chicago Takes VCIC Finals

I returned yesterday to the home office, after spending a few days as a judge for the VCIC Finals in Chapel Hill.

For the uninitiated, VCIC is a competition in which teams of biz-school students form mock VC firms and are asked to make investment decisions. They conduct due diligence with real entrepreneurs, submit term sheets, negotiate with the entrepreneur and then get pummeled with questions by more than a dozen judges (all of whom are actual VCs or LPs save for yours truly).

This year’s winner was the University of Chicago, which clearly stood alone among an extremely-talented field. In fact, I think five or six of this year’s teams easily would have won last year’s event. The UC crew was smart (asked the right questions), smooth (seemed prepared for most hiccups) and engaging (they understood how important it is to connect with a founder who may have multiple term sheets). Its members were:

  • Ryan Gembala
  • Gil Haberman
  • Matt Hankins
  • Josh Marehbian
  • Erin O’Neill

Second place was Oxford University, while UNC placed third.

More than one thousand B-school students participated in VCIC this year, either via internal competitions, regional competitions and/or the finals. If you are a VC scouting for young talent, I would suggest you participate next year. There’s a great new crop of investors just waiting to be groomed… Also would recommend it to first-time entrepreneurs in search of funding, as it’s a great way to get lots of due diligence practice without penalties for messing up.