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USF Team Invited to Venture Capital Investment Competition


Start-up Entrepreneur pitches to a USF VCIC team.

USF has been invited to participate in the University of North Carolina's Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), our sixth year of participation.  This is an honor for USF, as the list includes the most prominent MBA programs in the world (click here for the full brackets).  Professor Mark Cannice's relationship with UNC's Entrepreneurship Program and USF's strong performance are the reasons for our continued participation.  In this competition, teams are judged on how well they perform as venture capitalists evaluating real startup companies. 

In our region, we will go up against UC Berkeley, Brigham Young University, Thunderbird, USC and University of Washington.  Although this is fairly stiff competition, we have done very well in these competitions - best term sheet in 2005, second place in the Regionals, and Entrepreneurs' Choice.  Our school does well because the winners are based on understanding startups, business plan evaluation, financial and legal structuring of term sheets, and communications skills — as distinct from other competitions where the teams take new products or services to market (usually based on a patent developed by their research university). 

This year, we ran an internal VCIC competition to select our USF team.  Two actual startups were here to present, go through due diligence, and negotiate term sheets with our four USF teams.  The teams were comprised of students from the School of Business and Professional Studies, Law School and Arts and Sciences (Economics department). 

Our judges were a combination of USF alumni (Alecia Muth, Aishwarya Balbasubramanian,Laura Flowerree), Barbara Domingo (MBAE alum and now USF professor), Dave Epstein (venture capitalist and USF professor) and Professor Larry Louie. 

The winning team was Team “Marquise,” comprised of Lock Bingham, Jacob Gelfand, Paul Schroeder, and Peiwen Yao.  They will be joined by Pamela Dang (she was our Alternate last year, which provides for an automatic spot on the following year's team) to form our 5 person USF Team.  We will be training the team over the Intercession break and late January with the competition scheduled for February 11.

The second place and Entrepreneurs' Choice awards both went to a first year MBA named Team “Trillion”, comprised of Adam Hunter, Ryan Kendall, Sam Leung and Jason Pfeifer.  Our other participants were Hayden Young, Vikram Reddy, Jake Martini, Naj Srinivas, Ada Ching Man Wong, Bo Huang, and Chris Guan. 

The organizers of this event are Pamela Dang (our MBA GBA president) and JC Sandler (JD/MBA student who represented USF last year at the VCIC).  They did an outstanding job pulling all of this together!  Thanks also go to Professor Rich Puntillo for promoting this event in his Venture Capital and Private Equity MBA class this semester.  We will keep you posted on how we do at the Regionals!

Go Dons VCs!
Written by Gene Thomas