Ideas with Impact
UNB Faculty of Management

UNB venture assessment students pass the test with top prize!

Author: Liz Lemon-Mitchell

Posted on Mar 27, 2020

Category: Programs , Students , Student Highlights

Working with the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) to learn how to assess ventures for startup funding has paid off for a group of entrepreneurship students at UNB’s faculty of management. Students in the Venture Assessment course just won the top prize in the graduate category of the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), beating teams from across the country.

Hosted on March 6 by Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the VCIC put students in the role of analysts in a venture capital firm assessing real startups as potential investments. UNB’s undergraduate team won the “Entrepreneur’s Choice” prize, while the graduate team won the grand prize in the grad division and received $1000.

Throughout the year students have described the Venture Assessment course as “the epitome of experiential learning” in entrepreneurship. Alex Sutherland said, “Getting to interact face-to-face with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists allows us to gain perspective on both sides of an investment.” In the days leading up to the competition, they thought of it as a true test of everything they were learning.

Competing with other students from across the country added another level of experiential learning for the team. Samer Alam, a graduate student in the class, said “VCIC was a great opportunity to learn first-hand about the venture financing process. We assessed valuation for early stage companies, conducted due diligence and negotiated term sheets with real entrepreneurs. Many thanks to NBIF for sponsoring us and to the Faculty of Management for their support."

Raymond Fitzpatrick, Director of Investments at NBIF and instructor of the Venture Assessment class, has been helping the students prepare for the competition and was with them when the prize was announced. “Their success is most definitely a result of this course being a hands-on learning experience where they meet real start-ups, and make real investments.”

This is the second time in three years students completing the Venture Assessment course with NBIF have won the top prize at the VCIC. “I feel like we’re starting to build a centre of excellence around Venture Capital at UNB Management,” said Fitzpatrick. “The momentum just keeps building!”

PHOTO: An excited group of UNB students show off the prizes they won at the 2020 Venture Capital Investment Competition hosted by Saint Mary’s University on March 6. Students are, left to right, Brandon McVicar, Simon Ferron, Alex Sutherland, Daniel Purcell, Robert Stepner, Amber Weekes, Holly Ayles, Sydney Rankin and Samer Alam with Raymond Fitzpatrick, Director of Investments at NBIF, on the far right.

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