HBS Team Heading to National Championships of Venture Capital Investment Competition

The HBS team placed Second at the Northeast semifinal of the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) Held at Babson College on March 03-05. Led to victory by co-captains Chris Bardon ’03 and Gaurav Grover ’03, the team also included Aaron Miller ’03, Daniel Dornbusch ’03 and Connie Cocroft ’04.

The top two teams will go on to compete in the national Finals to be held at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina on April 10-12, 2003. Business schools competing in the Northeast semi-finals included Harvard, Sloan, Tuck, Colorado, Cornell, Yale, Carnegie Mellon and Columbia. Joining HBS at the finals will be the first place winner, Columbia University.

The VCIC is an annual competition that allows MBA students to play the role of venture capital investors deciding among real investment opportunities. Teams read actual business plans, and meet real-life entrepreneurs that are currently raising capital. Companies come from diverse sectors including biotechnology, IT, and technology.

The teams are judged on their ability to perform due diligence, to interact with entrepreneurs, to write term sheets, and to present and discuss their investment decisions. Teams present their final investment recommendations to a panel of judges comprised of venture capitalists from top tier firms such as Polaris Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Prism Ventures.

Harvard team members included a team of both first and second year
students. Grover and Bardon selected the team from a pool of over forty applicants. Bardon reports that “this was a tremendous team effort where we leveraged everyone’s strength.” Each team member had a different background critical to the team’s success in the competition: term sheets (Grover & Cocroft), Health Care (Dornbusch & Bardon), and Technology (Cocroft, Grover, Miller).

Bardon and Grover brought critical experience to the team, having participated last year. For Grover, “the victory is especially significant, since this is the second time we had participated in the competition. I went into the competition with the belief that our strong team and the experience we had from last year would enable us to qualify for the national finals – and we made that happen.”

HBS and Columbia were very close in their final results. Given the intense nature of competition in the Northeast Regional, which includes some of the nation’s top business schools, the national championship has usually been claimed by the Northeast’s winner. HBS is hoping to break this tradition by edging out Columbia and others at the finals in April.