Lessons learned from competing on a national stage

On Friday, March 5th, I had the Photo of Meganopportunity to participate in the Canadian Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC). With hard work and preparation, my team was able to place first overall! This competition was an enjoyable experience where I was able to gain insights into the venture capital space as my team attended pitches, led due diligence sessions, and pitched a deal.

When approached with this opportunity, I was excited as venture capital is a space that I am interested in learning more about. I was also interested in seeing how I could leverage the lessons I have learned as a senior analyst on the University of Waterloo Student Venture Fund to play the role of a venture capitalist (VC) in this competition.

At the same time, I was also worried about how I was going to manage school, extracurriculars and VCIC, especially given that it was midterm season. However, throughout the days of preparation, and during the competition, I quickly learned that I was lucky to have supportive teammates and advisors who helped me manage the process, and I was glad I accepted the opportunity.

In the days leading up to the competition, our team was able to connect and balance each other out well. We played on each other’s strengths and split up the work accordingly and worked together through many Zoom calls. I enjoyed being able to work with this group of students, some who I already knew and some who I did not know, and I am looking forward to working with them for the Global Finals in April!

The day of the actual competition came quickly, and I was curious to see how an online competition worked. My team came ready with our pre-made team background for our Zoom presentation, and the day started off smoothly. The platform that the competition was held on was relatively easy to use as you joined different pre-made Zoom breakout rooms for different events. The start-ups and founders we met were all interesting as they each had very different ideas and personalities. One aspect I did not expect was the unstructured nature of our deal pitch to the judges. I expected it to be fixed, however, once we began, we found ourselves being interrupted with questions and had to adapt. I realized the importance of staying flexible and confident in any situation.

Overall, VCIC was a fun experience and a great “ad-venture” from start to finish!

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