Winners: Haas Takes First in Venture Capital Investment Competition

VCIC Winners

VCIC Winners: Amar Patel, Roy Aron, Carmela Aquino, Sammit Adhya, all MBA 15, and Berkeley Law student Natasha Arora.

The competition: Venture Capital Investment Competition

The outcome: Haas took first in the Silicon Valley regional round.

The team: EvolveVentures, comprised of Berkeley MBA students Amar Patel, Roy Aron, Carmela Aquino, and Sammit Adhya, all MBA 15, and Berkeley Law student Natasha Arora.

The Field: Six teams comprised of five UC Berkeley graduate students each competed to represent Berkeley in the regional round. After that UC Berkeley round, EvolveVentures took first against five other schools–Chicago Booth, Texas, USC, Santa Clara, and Washington–in the Silicon Valley round held on the Cisco campus last week. The team will be traveling to the University of North Carolina this April for the international finals, which attracts more than 1,000 MBA students from more than 50 business schools worldwide.

The challenge: Teams evaluated the business ideas of four local entrepreneurs currently raising capital, and then were required to select one investment opportunity to fund and negotiate the term sheets with their chosen company in front of a panel of partners from top venture capital firms.

In the regional competition, the Berkeley-Haas team had to choose from three startups. The team “invested” in a company that provides secure mobile access to enterprise data and applications. The other companies the students looked at were a medical device startup that supports rehabilitation after knee surgery and a company that offers cloud-based marketing automation software for retailers.

The H factor: “We owe a huge thanks to the Lester Center community and the previous VCIC winners for the invaluable support and mentorship along the way,” says Amar Patel, MBA 15.

“Many of us on the team are in the Entrepreneurship course taught by Toby Stuart and Rob Chandra this term. Throughout the competition, we found ourselves applying many of the lessons that we learned in class about creating viable business models and building businesses that can scale efficiently.”

“One of the keys to our success was our team diversity,” Patel adds. “We each brought something different to the table, which helped us ask the right questions and thoughtfully analyze a wide variety of startups.”

What made them winners: Judges praised the Haas team for their ability to leverage their industry expertise during due diligence sessions, as well as the team’s ability to craft and negotiate deal terms with entrepreneurs. “Probably most important,” says Patel,  “was how we functioned well as a group and how we were able to build rapport with the entrepreneurs who put so much time and energy into their companies.”

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