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.