A team of five MBA students from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University won first place in the wild card round of the Venture Capital Investment Competition Jan. 19 at Santa Clara University in California.
“It was an intense two-day competition, and we didn’t sleep much,” said Dan Hemmert, a second-year MBA student from Orem, Utah, and a member of the team. “Everybody helped out, though. It was really a team effort.”
The competition saw nearly nonstop activity for two days, as teams were given two business plans from actual companies looking for venture capital financing. After researching all aspects of the companies for a day and a half, the students were asked to make a case for the company that represented the best investment. Teams were judged on their due diligence research, as well as the quality of their arguments, which were made during a four-minute presentation and an eight-minute question-and-answer session with the judges.
Thanks to their win, the BYU team will advance to the Western Regional Competition at the University of Southern California March 1–3 in an attempt to reach the international final round. The final round will be held in mid-April at the University of North Carolina. BYU now holds an automatic bid in the Western Regionals for the next two years.
Justin Jory, a member of the BYU team from Shoreline, Wash., said his team was able to perform so well because of the unique venture capital investment curriculum at the Marriott School, including “Cougar Capital,” a class that doubles as a student-run investment firm.
“Cougar Capital provided our team with the experience we needed to know what kind of investments to make,” Jory explains. “Many of the judges asked us whether we had experience with the venture capital industry. They were very impressed that BYU provided students with such an amazing opportunity.”
Other members of the BYU team are Adam Robertson, from Santa Rosa, Calif.; Michael Anderson, from Cary, N.C.; and Rachael Hawkins, from Spokane, Wash.
Writer: Todd Bluth