Two teams of Berkeley MBA students won in the initial rounds of the Venture Capital Investment Competition on Feb. 5 here in Berkeley and on Feb. 12 at Columbia University in New York.
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.
Five first-year Berkeley MBA students emerged the winners from the record 185 graduate students who applied to compete in the seventh annual UC Berkeley Venture Capital Investment Competition. The winning team consisted of Buzz Bonneau, Gabor Foldes, Siddhi Saraiya, Ian Schworer, and Scott Shapiro, all MBA 11 (pictured below). They competed against five other teams, selected from graduate students from Haas, the School of Engineering, and the Berkeley School of Law. They will go on to compete in the VCIC Western regional finals at USC on Feb. 19.
A team of Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA students and aspiring venture capitalists competed at Columbia on February 12 and will go on to represent Columbia Business School at the Northeast regional finals on March 5 at NYU. Their team consisted of Christopher Fong, Danielle Ritter, Tracy Saxton, Krishna Srinivasan, and Carter Trout, all MBA 11. "The VC investment competition has been a great way to experience the art and science of the investment process and prepare for careers in this arena" says Saxton.
Says Fong: “We would greatly appreciate hearing from any Haas alums involved in Venture Capital to help prepare for the Finals, please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can assist."
International finals will be held at the University of North Carolina in April.
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. Last year the UC Berkeley team won the Entrepreneurs’ Choice Award at the USC regional competition. In 2005, the Berkeley team took first place in the international finals.
The winning team (l. to right): Gabor Foldes, Buzz Bonneau, Siddhi Saraiya, Ian Schworer, and Scott Shapiro.