Valantis Vais, Thomas Jacobson, Dmytro Okhrimchuk, Audrey Leung, and Ricky Tan (left to right)
Feb 29, 2016

MIMS Student Victorious in Silicon Valley Venture Capital Investment Competition

Second-year MIMS student Audrey Leung swept to victory in the local and regional rounds of the Venture Capital Investment Competition, along with four teammates from Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

The Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) aims to educate and expose graduate students to the venture capital process and the investment criteria considered when evaluating a business opportunity. In the VCIC, students apply the art and science of venture investing and try their hand at selecting real business opportunities using strategic investment criteria, valuation, capitalization tables, term sheets, and other tools of the trade.

Students act as venture capitalists, evaluating real start-ups and interacting with entrepreneurs. Actual venture capitalists judge how well the student venture capital teams evaluate the startups. Real entrepreneurs who are currently seeking funding present their startups to the VCIC teams, while the teams are judged by experienced venture capitalists.

Audrey Leung (MIMS 2016) joined forces with Haas MBA students Thomas Jacobson, Valantis Vais, Dmytro Okhrimchuk, and Ricky Tan. Their journey began last fall, when the team came together to enter the competition. The five came in first from a slate of 35 Berkeley graduate students at the UC Berkeley competition January 29; the team then advanced to the regional competition.

On February 20, the five went head-to-head with teams from Stanford, UCLA, USC, UC Davis, and the University of San Francisco at the VCIC Silicon Valley Regional Competition; Leung and her Berkeley teammates again came out on top.

The team brought a diverse set of prior experiences and skills to the negotiating table, and the judges found that they excelled at due diligence, term sheet drafting, and negotiation tactics.

Following their regional victory, the team will compete for the $10,000 grand prize in the global finals in April at the University of North Carolina. In the final round, they will compete against teams from the University of Chicago, Notre Dame, BYU, UNC, and American University, as well as five international finalists from Europe, India, and Asia.

In the final round, the teams will again assess real investment opportunities in early stage companies by watching company pitches, conducting due diligence, and negotiating investments with real entrepreneurs.

Judges in the final round will include experts and top-tier venture capitalists from First Round, Jump Capital, .406 Ventures, Fortune Magazine, Presidio Partners, TrueBridge Capital, Foundry Group, DFJ, Pappas Ventures, Citi, Square 1 Bank, Grove Street Advisors, Harken Capital, Lyme Regis Partners, Silver Lake Kraftwerk, and more.

Last updated:

October 4, 2016