Pretending to be a VC

16 Jan
Venture Capital

Venture Capital (shamelessly lifted from

With a blog called “The wannabe VC”, it would be quite remiss for me not to write a post about this weekend’s activities.

Since Week 0, one of the things I had most been looking forward to in the year was the Venture Capital Investment Competition, where the business school students act as Venture Capitalists and have to review some business plans, conduct due diligence, pick a company to invest in, create a term sheet and negotiate terms. As a wannabe VC, this was something I could not miss!

Oxford has a pretty good track record in this competition. The past two years we have won the European final and last year we came second at the world final at the University of North Carolina. So expectations are high!

This weekend was the internal competition to decide who would be representing the business school in the European and, hopefully, World finals.

We assembled a rounded team with experience in finance, law, entrepreneurship and pie-making. We felt pretty confident we had a competitive team, but when we saw the schedule for the day we saw we were drawn against the team most people considered the clear favourites.

We got business plans at 5pm on Thursday night, which gave us enough time to review them all and get an early idea of which company we would likely invest in. On Friday we really got stuck in to our research in to the company research, and were in locked a seminar room at school till late followed by more research over at RAC till the wee hours.

Saturday was the competition day, where we heard pitches from the entrepreneurs, held 10 minute due diligence sessions with them, then structured our proposed deal, then did some negotiations with them. It was a pretty intense day all-in-all!

In the end the favourites did win our section, but I don’t think it’s unfair to say there was a bit of an upset when another team won the Oxford heat overall.

It was a very deserved victory though! I’m told they had basically started from scratch on Monday not knowing much about Venture Capital, and had spent the week reading up on it and even practising with entrepreneurs. So it goes to show that hard work pays in the end! I think one of their main advantages might have been that with all of them learning it nearly from scratch together, the team would have been very even, which would have been apparent to the judges.

I’m very happy for them and sure they will do Oxford proud at the European finals. There were a whole bunch of teams that had the potential to do well in the finals (*cough* including Team A1 baby! *cough*) so it’s a shame we can only send one team!

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