Archive for February, 2007

VCIC

February 17th, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

We’re going to Atlanta!

Yesterday, my team won the Maryland round of the Venture Capital Investment Competition. If you see Moshe, Shad, Skye, Tom, or me during the next few weeks, wish us luck. Our next stop is the Southeast Regional Competition in Atlanta from March 8-10. We’ll be competiting against Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Emory, Indiana, UNC, Wharton, and Virginia to determine who will go to the International Finals in North Carolina in April.

The VCIC is a chance for business students to play the roles of venture capitalists. The competitors evaluate real entrepreneurs over the course of two days and then present their investment thesis to a panel consisting of VCs (and in our case Professor Kyle who teaches Venture Capital and Private Equity). This is how the competition went:

On Wednesday night, we received the two business plans that we had to evaluate. We all read the plans on our own and then met on Thursday night to come up with questions and valuations. On Friday morning, we were due at Van Munching Hall at 8:30. We watched the entrepreneurs’ road shows and then got a chance to interview them individually. Our executive summary and term sheet were due at 1:00. After that, we had less than two hours to practice our presentation before we presented our investment thesis to the judges. The longest part of the day was waiting for the judges’ decision. I was absolutely thrilled when our team was announced as the winners. We had a chance to talk to some of the other teams, and it was obvious that we faced some stiff competition.

The next few weeks are bound to be hectic. I know I will be studying as much as I can in addition to doing my day job and trying to find time to fit in my classwork. There is a lot of work to be done. The Smith School of Business hasn’t been to the finals of the VCIC since 2001. We’re going to do our best to make it this year.

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Coincidence

February 9th, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

In the first class session of Strategic Growth for Emerging Companies, we did some extreme networking. That’s like speed dating only it’s for business. Prior to class, we answered some questions regarding our entrepreneurial tendencies and filled in some biographical information. The site then matches up people based on a proprietary algorithm.

When we got to class, we were given a sheet listing who we were assigned to talk to for the next hour. Each interaction was supposed to last no more than four minutes.

The first person I met was a second-year student who expressed interest in the fact that I received my previous Masters Degree from Northeastern University.

“How did you end up there?”

“I was born in Massachusetts,” I replied, “and after going to college in Baltimore, I wanted to go to school in Boston. I ended up living near Fenway Park. Plus, my dad went there as an undergrad.”

“My dad went there too. What years did he attend?”

“Sometime in the sixties. I don’t remember the year he graduated.” In a four minute networking session I didn’t have time to calculate what year my dad would have been 21.

“Was he in a fraternity?”

“Yes, he was in TEP.” That’s Tau Epsilon Phi for the non-greeks who are reading along.

“My dad was, too!”

The coincidence seemed incredible, but it turned out to be true. She went home and contacted her dad. This week in class she said he remembered my father as the one who always forgot to come to meetings – hence his nickname, The Forgotten Son.

I told my dad about the meeting and he knew exactly who I was talking about. He asked me to get the contact info for his long lost frat brother. They haven’t talked since graduating.

What a small world.

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Billboard

February 9th, 2007 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

This semester, I am taking my classes downtown at the Ronald Reagan Building. It is an easy drive into the city from my office in Lanham, MD. The drive down Route 50 to New York Avenue is a lot more visually interesting than the trip around the Beltway to Shady Grove. On the way, I pass the headquarters of a number of famous DC-based businesses including the conservative Washington Times and XM Satellite Radio. This semester, I also pass by a tremendous billboard with an advertisement for our school.

Somehow I never got the memo that we’ve changed our ad campaign to deemphasize the focus on “Leaders of the Digital Economy.”

The new advertising slogan is “Therefore I am”. The billboard features a picture of an alum who graduated a few years ago and has now started her own business. I get the basic message – she owes her success to having graduated from Smith – but I don’t really get the tag line. It is obviously derived from the phrase “I think, therefore I am.” Without the Smith School of Business, would I cease to exist?

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