The VCIC Reinforced My Passion for Investing

Lessons gained from competing on a national stage

robertoHaving participated in numerous entrepreneurship programs before university, the dynamics surrounding growing companies have always fascinated me. After getting involved with the University of Waterloo’s Student Venture Fund (SVF) during my second year in the Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) program, I combined my background in operations with a newly found interest: early-stage investing. Since then, SVF has opened so many new doors for me: from a co-op role in growth-equity to competing at the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) Canada Finals.

VCIC in my opinion is the fastest way to get exposure to the world of venture capital. Through an in-control, top-down approach, VCIC allows undergraduate students to experience the full investment process in just 48 hours – a perspective rivalling even an industry role.

Starting off three days before the conference, our Waterloo team received investment materials from three Maritime start-ups, which was key in getting us off to the races. From conducting research into various business models and industries to establishing appropriate investment deal terms, there was a lot of ground to cover before our presentation on the big day. When the big day finally came, we spoke with these founders to further clarify points surrounding financials, technology, and traction. After assembling presentation materials, we even presented to industry VCs in a mock ‘partner meeting’.

Going into this competition, I hoped to further understand the investment process, gain a well-rounded perspective on commercial due diligence, and develop soft skills in teamwork and communication. Fortunately for me, I touched on all these goals, and we won the championship!

Overall, VCIC has reinforced my interest in investing, and I hope to further pursue courses and co-op roles to expand my skills in due diligence and investment analysis.

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