First-Time Challengers at the Global Finals – An Exhilarating Experience

Friday, May 7, 2021
by Yigga Z., AFM student

VCIC Finals puts Waterloo on the map and prepares a future “three”

Photo of Yigga
The Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) at the regional level was an exhilarating experience. Now a month later, we were doing it all over again — on a global stage. In retrospect, I want to talk about a funny phenomenon at the competition. You’ll often hear about the “power of three” in fairy tales, and I like to think that we were riding on some powerful “three” tailwinds as we pursued a “top three” placement. To begin with, we organized three advisory meetings, aligned with three faculty advisors, and did due diligence on three start-ups over three days of competition.

And we continued to inadvertently run with this idea of three. The afternoon we received our companies, we developed a plan of attach with three milestones. Over the course of three meetings next day, we wanted to start on deliverables by 3 p.m. In other words, we aimed to decide on our investment recommendation with the evening to spare.

It was an ambitious timeline, and we soon found ourselves perplexed by “three” as a challenge: We had three members raise concerns with the company we initially doubled down on. This led us to an important exercise of trust, teamwork, and agility that I would never wish to undo. Considering these uncovered concerns, we decided to divide into two teams of three and parallel path going into the competition day. I was and am still impressed by the dedication and drive of my team in this last stretch. It allowed us to be doubly prepared for whatever came our way on judging day and made us even more confident in our final investment pitch as a collective of six.

And so, while we did not finish top three at Global Finals, our fourth place was a victory for the University of Waterloo. It represents a story of successful communication, teamwork, and drive to deliver the best recommendation and results. I look forward to seeing a future School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) team iterate on our learnings. The VCIC Global Finals had better watch out for the completion of our “power of three” charge in the future — a “top three” spot surely awaits! On that note, come see how the SAF programs can similarly endow you with the power to shape your future.