Berkeley-Columbia Team Wins Venture Capital Regional Finals

A team of Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA students took first place at the Northeast regional finals of the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), held on March 5 at New York University.

Christopher Fong, Danielle Ritter, Tracy Saxton, Krishna Srinivasan, and Carter Trout, all BCEMBA 11, beat out five teams, including MIT Sloan, Cornell, and the London School of Business. They will go on to be one of nine teams competing in the VCIC international finals, April 8-10 at the University of North Carolina.

The Venture Capital Investment Competition is a "reverse business plan competition" in which students step into the shoes of a venture capitalist for a day, evaluating business plans of real entrepreneurs seeking funding. At the Northeast regional finals, teams were challenged to assess proposals from CalendarFly, a free scheduling solution, Dr. Chrono, an online practice management solution for small healthcare provider groups, and the forthcoming MusicVillage.com.

“I think that we came out on top since we picked the most attractive investment, asked insightful questions during the due diligence sessions, put forward an attractive term sheet, and held our ground during the tough Q & A session with the VCs in wrap up,” says Saxton. “Our general strategy was to show the entrepreneurs (and VC judges) that we could be a value add to the new company in ways other than just financial, via our knowledge of the field or people in our networks from whom we could gain advice for the new enterprise.”

Adds Fong: “Our team is still looking for help with preparations for the finals and will welcome any alumni involved in the venture capital industry or investing in startups to assist us. Please contact Christopher Fong at cfong11@berkeley.columbia.edu if you can help."

The competition offers a unique opportunity to aspiring entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to get an inside perspective into the industry and gain valuable hands-on skills to complement their work in the classroom.


Christopher Fong, Carter Trout, Krishna Srinivasan, and Tracy Saxton, all BCEMBA 11, with their prize from the Northeast regional finals of the Venture Capital Investment Competition.

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