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April 10, 2006

UW MBAs are best would-be VCs

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 10:37 AM

For the second time in two years, MBA students at University of Washington are the best budding venture capitalists in the country.

A team from the UW business school won the Venture Capital Investment Competition over the weekend in Chapel Hill, N.C. It beat teams from NYU, Michigan, Colorado, Duke, Harvard, MIT, USC, and Cambridge, U.K. The UW won the event in 2004, as well.

The teams play the role of venture capital firms. They read five business plans from actual entrepreneurs seeking funding. They listen to pitches, meet one-on-one, perform due diligence and choose one or more deals. Then the teams produce term sheets and presentations for the judges, who grill them on their decisions.

"The Washington team was outstanding in every stage of the competition, with a poise that didn't even break when the lights unexpectedly went out during its due diligence with an online dating platform provider," wrote Daniel Primack, a judge and writer of PE (Private Equity) Wire Week, a daily venture capital newsletter.

The UW took home a $10,000 prize and "the post-competition bar tab," Primack wrote. "If you've ever wanted to see the spectacle of broke MBA candidates buying shots for loaded (multiple connotations) VCs, this is probably your only opportunity."

The winners from UW are: Andy Boyer, Chris Howard, Rebecca Lovell, Brad Parker and Ian Scrymgeour. Their faculty coach is Emer Dooley, lecturer in entrepreneurship.

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