MBA students win Venture Capital Investment Competition regionals

Winners of the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) regionals: Left to right:
Terry Kelly (Dorsey & Whitney, LLP), Nick Calcaterra, JD 20, Amy Fan, MBA/MPH 19, Andrew Briggs, Max Kubicki, Matthew Bond, and Alibek Dostiyarov, MBA 19.

As VCs for the day, a Berkeley MBA student-led team took home the win at the 2018 Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) regionals in Silicon Valley Feb. 23.

The team of five MBA students and one Berkeley Law student now moves on to the April 6-7 VCIC 2018 Global Finals at University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. Global VCIC is the world’s largest venture capital competition, with teams competing from the US, India, Asia, and Europe

The winning team includes Andrew Briggs, Alibek Dostiyarov, Max Kubicki, and Matthew Bond, MBA 19, along with Amy Fan, MBA/MPH 19, and Nick Calcaterra, JD 20. “Team Alpha” bested teams from University of Southern California; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of California, Davis, and University of San Francisco.

The group had already beaten 36 other UC Berkeley graduate-level teams to score a place at the regionals.

Time pressure and short deadlines

The team had a great dynamic, Bond said. “Everyone was able to competently work both independently and together under time pressure with short deadlines. During the due diligence startup meeting and partner meetings, we were all in sync, speaking equally with smooth transitions and allowing different members to answer questions based on their knowledge of the subject matter,” he said.

Bringing a diverse set of experiences and skills to the negotiating table while competing against other California-based teams, Alpha excelled at due diligence, term sheet drafting, and negotiation tactics, said Adeeba Fazil, program manager for the Berkeley Haas Entrepreneurship Program (BHEP). Prepping the team to compete was Terry Kelly of Dorsey & Whitney LLC, who led training workshops for the students prior to the regionals, and mentor Bill Reichert of Garage Technology Ventures.

“The regionals allow students to gain so much valuable experience as VCs for the day, and our team was truly passionate about the company they chose to invest in,” Fazil said. “This competition is intense—it’s back-to-back meetings before the students decide to negotiate with a startup of their choice. Our team stuck to its terms and really worked together to negotiate an agreement.”