Global Themes

On Globalization & Venture Capital

A VC for a day…

Or more accurately – how does it feel to be “A VC for a Day”?

I spent a good part of Friday and Saturday last weekend at LBS’ annual Venture Capital Invetsment Competition.

The VCIC  is one of the most innovative opportunities for MBA students to get aquainted with Venture Capital that I know of…

It began in 1998 and has survived the tech bubble and the dot-com burst. This year, it is expected to include 40 events across the world.


So what makes it unique?

“At the core of the event is a creative turn of the tables. Unlike business plan competitions in which students pitch their own ideas to investors, at VCIC the students are the investors, and real entrepreneurs pitch to them. It is a very powerful learning experience for both parties. Add to the mix a dozen VC judges, and you have what the VCIC website describes as a “win-win-win.” Students learn (and win cash), entrepreneurs connect with investors and VCs get an early peek at some viable deals.”

Sounds too good to be true? well, last year, a third of the entrepreneurs participating in the programme went on to raise $30M in venture capital! The average hit rate is now close to 20% and on the way up.

Upside? Some interesting deals for participating VCs, networking – of course, and a few hours of interaction with some very smart people (on both sides of the table – entrepreneurs as well as students).

Not surprisingly, quite a few competitors (students) end up at VC firms…Six VCIC alumni have gone on to participate in the prestigious Kauffman Fellows Program and there are many others in various VC firms (including Bill Earner who joined us last year).

As before, I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and heard some really interesting ideas…including one for aero sports and another for mobile ticketing…I would definitely encourage MBA students (both, current and prospective) to find out more here.

March 4th, 2007 Posted by | Venture Capital, What VCs really do | 3 comments


  1. As an MBA student who’s participated both years (runner’s up by 1 point this year), the VCIC is definitely one of the best experiences of the whole MBA programme. As they say, there really is no substitute for doing.

    Comment by Farhan | March 5, 2007

  2. I participated the weekend before (with Bill) and at last year’s VCIC competition. I agree- it’s a fantastic program for MBAs, entrepreneurs and VCs alike.

    The best take away for me was the 15 minute entrepreneur interview.

    Seeing the various teams brought to light how I might be perceived by companies I am meeting with and how I could improve my own meetings- I saw some really good teams that really impressed the entrepreneurs with relevant questions.

    Comment by Jason Ball | March 5, 2007

  3. Thanks Shantanu for mentioning this. At London Business School we have the luxury of seeing a lot of different pedagogies, and VCIC is a remarkably value-add programme and does a great job of creating a dynamic situation in which the different stakeholders engage with each other.

    I should point out its very challenging for the students and pretty intense for the VCs and the entrepreneurs as well, and we’re very appreciative of the efforts of yourself, Jason and the 16 other VCs who took part in 2007, as well as the 10 entrepreneurs and 75 students.

    Comment by Johanna Walker | April 2, 2007

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