(Back to help for students.)
Two Days Prior to Event
5:00 p.m. – Receive Pitch Decks
You will receive business plans and a fund profile by email at 5pm in the host school’s time zone. Make sure you can receive large files by email. Some university email systems catch it as spam. You have less than two days to do a month’s worth of due diligence. It is imperative that your team has a strategy for handling this workload. During this time your team needs to:
- Thoroughly research ALL of the startups. Do not dismiss one because you do not plan to offer a term sheet. At the event, you’ll need to perform well in front of all the judges, who will be split into different rooms during due diligence sessions.
- Utilize your school’s resources and network. That’s how VCs would do it! VCIC is a great excuse to connect with entrepreneurial alumni and expand your professional network. There is no longer a rule preventing outside help. Take advantage of that freedom!
- Fully prepare for due diligence sessions, including a list of questions and a strategy for each entrepreneur. Practice your questions with your teammates. Figure out a system so that you are not stepping all over each other nor shotgunning through a pre-decided list. Judges will want to see you hearing the answers and pivoting on the fly, as you’ll need to do to get the information you need from the founders.
- Customize the deliverables template and begin filling in some of the blanks so that you can quickly make changes at the event rather than starting from scratch.
- Create ready-to-go spreadsheets and/or other materials so that your team is prepared to plug in numbers on the fly at the event. You will not have time to create spreadsheets from scratch (e.g., cap tables, exit scenarios, valuation analysis). You are not required to submit these materials, but you may need them to answer judges’ questions, and some teams submit them as appendices to the written deliverables. Be warned that complicated appendices may hurt more than they help, especially if there is ANY mistake in them. Judges are pressed for time, too.
Evening before Event
We recommend you arrive the evening before at the latest. Get settled. Get a good night’s sleep. Practice your questions with each other in the hotel room. The specific words you use, the tone you adopt, the flow your team achieves…all of these will make a difference in due diligence sessions tomorrow. Try to anticipate some of the answers and be ready with follow-up questions. Don’t ask anything that you should already know! You don’t have time for that.
Day of Event
Most MBA events are on Fridays. Most undergraduate events are on Saturdays.
8:00 a.m. – Team Check-In
You’ll have a chance to check out the facilities, find your study room, connect to the host school’s WiFi and generally get the lay of the land. Arrive on time and go to your study room to continue preparing for due diligence. Organizers will walk through the schedule and take questions. Coffee, bagels and pastries are usually served (check with host).
9:00 a.m. – Venture Pitches
Each startup has 10-12 minutes to pitch. No questions are allowed during the presentations. Slides are not distributed, other than whatever materials were emailed prior to the event. Take good notes and be prepared to ask specific questions during due diligence that follow up on assertions made by the founders.