Competing in a U.S.-style Venture Capital

Friday, May 7, 2021
by Tony S., CFM Student

Challenges, networking, and a top four finish!

After winning first place in the Canadian division of the Venture Capital Investing Competition (VCIC), our team was fortunate enough to participate and move on to the global finals. There, we competed against teams from universities across the world including Georgetown University, Cornell University, UC Berkley, Brigham Young University, the University of Miami, and the University of Chicago. We also had the privilege to meet founders and diligence companies from the United States which was a networking opportunity that went beyond the VCIC and will impact my career positively going forward.

Going into the competition, we all understood the challenges that our team faced. We would be competing against American teams that were familiar with U.S.-style Venture Capital. Fortunately, we were able to rely on the School of Accounting and Finance’s robust network to prepare ourselves. In the weeks leading up to the competition, my team met with numerous knowledgeable investors who taught us the subtle differences between Canadian and U.S.-style Venture Capital and told us what to expect. These meetings informed critical decisions such as deal structure, valuation expectations, and deal terms.

By the time the competition started, my team and I were well prepared. After thoroughly completing the diligence for the VCIC companies and preparing a compelling investment thesis, we were confident in our pitch. Throughout the day, we worked effectively as a team to learn as much as we could and present our findings as clearly as possible. The efforts were rewarded with afourth-place finish, with the judges complimenting us on our extensive analysis. Most importantly, we received valuable feedback and gained a unique insight into American Venture Capital deals.

We look forward to future SAF teams building upon our learnings and achieving even greater success.