Waterloo Wins Canadian Finals in Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) for Second Year in a Row and Advances to International Finals

Wednesday, April 7, 2021
by Keidon Robert Giles
team headshot

On March 5th, 2021, for the second year in a row, students from the University of Waterloo Student Venture Fund (SVF) captured the 2021 Undergraduate Canada Regional Finals Championship for the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC). The University of Waterloo claimed the title over the University of Alberta (2nd) and Acadia University (3rd) and has advanced to the International Finals being held on April 10.

The University of Waterloo’s VCIC team will be competing in the Global Finals on April 9th and 10th against eight prominent US universities: Berkeley, Brigham Young, Cornell, University of Chicago, Georgetown, Miami of Ohio, Oregon, and Pomona College.

VCIC is the world’s largest venture capital competition with over 120 university and graduate school teams competing. This year, undergraduate student venture teams from 48 universities across the US and Canada competed in eight regional competitions.

The six team members of the undergraduate team are all veterans of the University of Waterloo’s SVF. Clockwise from top left: Yigga Zhang, 4A AFM; Tony Shi, 4B CFM; Sean Mark, 4A AFM; Noah Simao, 4A AFM; Roberto Babaran, 3A AFM; Megan Boyd, 3A AFM.

As members of the University of Waterloo Student Venture Fund, the team already had experience in evaluating management, completing market research, valuing companies, conducting due diligence, and recommending investments in early stage companies.

Waterloo team member Yigga Zhang commented “I wanted a challenge and was pleasantly surprised when I got what I asked for.”

In VCIC, the team reviewed live pitches from early-stage technology companies to select and prepare an investment proposal and defend their investment proposal to a panel of VC judges.

“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.” - Roberto Babaran,  3A AFM 

“The complexity of VCIC combined with its compressed schedule made the event very exciting. As with winning any challenging competition, it was extremely satisfying to learn that our efforts were rewarded with a first-place victory.” - Tony Shi, 4B CFM

Although the VCIC undergraduate team is made up of brilliant students, the students couldn’t have done it on their own. As with all SAF competition teams, the students benefited from the guidance and support of faculty mentors Ranjini Jha, Frank Hayes, and Mark Arnason.

“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!” - Megan Boyd, 3A AFM

In addition, Waterloo’s Graduate division VCIC team finished a close second to the Rotman MBA team from the University of Toronto against a competitive field of MBA schools. “I’m so proud of the students on both our teams and am excited to see our undergrad team compete against the best in the world!” - Mark Arnason, SAF Faculty

You can read more about the students VCIC experiences and winning the 2021 Undergraduate Canada Regional Finals through their blogs:

Yigga Z, 4A AFM; Tony S, 4B CFM; Roberto B, 3A AF ; Megan B, 3A AFM.