Ellen Farrell, left, of SMU with the winning team from UNB

Ellen Farrell, left, of SMU with the winning team from UNB

A team of four MBA students from the University of New Brunswick won first place at the Venture Capital Investment Competition, at St. Mary’s University on Friday.

Six teams from Canadian universities took part in the competition, where they assumed the role of venture capital investors with an imaginary $100 million to sink into one of the startups that volunteered to pitch.

“It was great seeing MBA students gaining an understanding of the venture capital by working through the investment decision-making with two real companies,” said Chris Moyer, Director at Pelorus Venture a seed-stage venture capital fund.

“During the partners' meeting portion, the judges asked hard questions forcing the students to think on their feet. A number of students thanked the judges afterward on making the competition realistic and not going easy on them.”

Senalda Rodrigues, Natasha Youssef, Seth Barkhouse and Grayson Beairsto made up the winning team at Friday’s competition, taking home the $1000 first-place prize. The team was coached by Raymond Fitzpatrick, a venture capital investment manager with New Brunswick Innovation Foundation.

The intense, day-long event ended with the venture capital teams negotiating with the entrepreneurs in a format similar to the Dragons Den. The overall results were judged by a panel of venture capitalists from organizations like Innovacorp, Pelorus and East Valley Ventures.

VCIC is a tri-continental investment competition that engages with over 70 universities worldwide. SMU is the first Canadian university to host the VCIC and in early February, its own team, Venture Grade, won second place at the competition in Boston.

The competition rules dictate that SMU’s team could not take part in its home competition. So last month, Venture Grade competed against teams from prestigious universities such as Yale, Dartmouth and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was narrowly beaten by Rochester University to take second place.

The teams at Friday’s event came from the following six Canadian Universities: UNB, Dalhousie University, Western University, Université Laval, Wilfrid Laurier, and the University of Toronto.


Disclosure: St. Mary's University is a client of Entrevestor.