Venture Capital Learning on Hyper-drive

From the classroom to real-world simulations

Before participating in the Venture Photo of Brendan Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), I had very limited knowledge, if any, about venture capital. I was surprised at the responsibility to represent the University of Waterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) in our graduate team, but I jumped at the opportunity, nonetheless. As venture capitalists for the duration of the competition, we were responsible for assessing the start-ups presented, for asking questions to the entrepreneurs, and to present an investment strategy.

48 competition hours later, our graduate team was announced as second-place winners! I can confidently say I’ve never experienced such a fast-paced and rewarding learning environment. Although SAF courses cover most of the same content as the VCIC, there is just something about a 48-hour time crunch that fuels students to take their learning into hyperdrive. Not only do we learn the same concepts taught in a typical classroom, if not more, but we gained real-world experience. Of course, not every student is interested in taking on extra work, but competitions like VCIC are perfect for those who are passionate about learning and perfecting their skills in real-world simulations. Not only do you gain invaluable experience, but you are also eligible for cash prizes if you do really well without any cost to you (thanks to our school’s generous competition subsidy program).

Just like the perfect venture capital investment, participating in this case competition has minimal downside with unlimited upside.

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