MBiotech Team Places 2nd in Venture Capital Competition

MBiotech VCIC Team
Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 10:00am

Students from the Master of Biotechnology Program have once again produced outstanding results in the latest Venture Capital & Innovation Competition (VCIC), placing second against Rotman MBA teams. VCIC is the world’s premiere educational strategy competition for venture-minded and entrepreneurial MBA students in which the goal is to develop solutions to a business case. Only select business schools are invited to participate and U of T is the only Canadian university among them.

The MBiotech VCIC team was comprised of: Suthakar Sabapathy, Nasser Toukan, Sarah Heembrock, Marc Geadah and Mohamed Ahmed.

Each team received three business cases from real entrepreneurs on the evening of Thursday, February 16, 2012. They had only a little more than 24 hours to perform the necessary due diligence to support their preliminary decision to invest in one particular start-up at the exclusion of the other two. On February 18, teams heard a 10-minute pitch from each entrepreneur, followed by an opportunity to ask additional questions, finalize their investment term sheet and negotiate. The judges were evaluating everything from their questions, term sheet, to the way they interacted with each entrepreneur.

As team member Marc Geadah put it, "Months of due diligence and negotiations packed into less than a week was a true challenge, but very rewarding."

The MBiotech team, however, began preparing for the case competition weeks in advance, seeking coaching from various U of T faculty and external advisors, to make sure they had a deep understanding of the venture capital space.

"To be honest, I believe that the most relevant aspect of the process was in the preparation for the VCIC", says Suthakar Sabapathy, a second year student on the team. "Through this, we grew as a team, and gained insight into the the world of investments, specifically for start-up companies. It was an experience that really broadened our knowledge and provided us with real value, which I am truly grateful for."

MBiotech has done very well in the VCIC in the past, having twice won the Rotman competition and having then gone on to represent the University of Toronto at the next round in the United States, competing against teams from the top American business schools such as Harvard and Wharton.

Mohamed Ahmed, the only first year student on the MBiotech team, commented: "As the only non-Rotman team in the competition, MBiotech approaches the competition in a manner that differentiates us from other teams; our scientific mindset paired with our innovation-based business curriculum put us at an advantage over most teams. This approach has proven successful year over year, thereby demonstrating that MBiotech can deliver."

The five-person team expressed appreciation of the experience and encouraged future MBiotech students to take part. "We can not overemphasize the value of the opportunity the VCIC case competition represents and hope subsequent MBiotech classes continue to represent the program on an annual basis."

MBiotech is a 24 month, course-based professional Master's degree incorporating both science and business courses with 8-12 months of work experience in the biotechnology, medical device and biopharmaceutical sectors.