Brigham Young Wins Venture Capital Investment Competition at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

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MBA student play the role of VCs at an event with learning and networking opportunities with VC firms and startups.

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The University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School hosted the global finals of its 19th annual Venture Capital Investment Competition® (VCIC), the premier competition for venture-minded and entrepreneurial MBA students, April 8-9.

  • Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management took home first place and $5,000.
  • The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business won second place and $2,500.
  • Rentalutions of Chicago won the “Startup of the Year” Award for being chosen by the most student teams for investing.

Of the 78 schools that competed worldwide this year, 12 teams that won regional events – held on three continents – convened with startups and venture capitalists (VCs) in Chapel Hill for the global finals.

VCIC simulates the entire investment process in an extremely condensed time period, providing unique first-hand glimpse into the VC world for MBA students, said Patrick Vernon (MBA ’03), director of VCIC and venture initiatives and a clinical associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

Student teams evaluate pitches made by real entrepreneurs and choose where to invest mock dollars while real VCs observe and judge the entire process. After the winners are announced, judges meet with each MBA team to provide feedback to enhance their professional development.

“A creative turn of the tables is at its core,” he said. “Unlike startup pitch competitions where students pitch their ideas to investors, MBA student teams play the role of VCs. It’s an incredible learning and networking opportunity where you’ll find top students, VC firms and startups.”

Teams that also competed in the finals were from:

  • American University, Kogod School of Business
  • Boston University
  • Copenhagen Business School
  • Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, HKUST Business School
  • IESE Business School
  • India Institute of Management, Bangalore
  • National University of Singapore
  • University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business
  • University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business
  • University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School

The participating startup firms also included also included Admiral of Gainesville, Fla.; Volans-I of San Francisco; Jetzy of New York; and zGlue of San Francisco.

The 20 VC judges came from top firms: DFJ, First Round Capital, Fortune Magazine, NextGen Venture Partners, IDEA Fund Partners, Square 1 Bank, TrueBridge Capital, Jump Capital, CNF Investments, Grove Street Advisors, Lyme Regis Partners, Harken Capital, Pappas Ventures, UNC Management, Bull City Venture Partners and SJF Ventures.

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About the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School
Consistently ranked one of the world's best business schools, UNC Kenan-Flagler is known for its collaborative culture that stems from its core values: excellence, leadership, integrity, community and teamwork. Professors excel at both teaching and research, and demonstrate unparalleled dedication to students. Graduates are effective, principled leaders who have the technical and managerial skills to deliver results in the global business environment. UNC Kenan-Flagler offers a rich portfolio of programs and extraordinary, real-life learning experiences: Undergraduate Business (BSBA), full-time MBA, Executive MBA Programs (Evening, Weekend and global OneMBA®), online MBA@UNC, UNC-Tsinghua Dual-Degree EMBA, Master of Accounting, PhD, Executive Development, and UNC Business Essentials programs. It is home to the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.

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