MBiotech Students Excel in Venture Capital Investment Competition

Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 11:00am

MBiotech VCIC Team 2013Again this year, students from the Master of Biotechnology Program (MBiotech) have excelled in the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC), placing second against Rotman MBA teams. The Rotman Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Association (REVCA) organizes the VCIC each year as part of an international competition among the top business schools in North America.

The MBiotech team competed against seven Rotman MBA teams, with each team playing the role of a venture capital fund. After reviewing hearing pitches and reviewing business plans from three entrepreneurs seeking funding, the teams then had three hours to conduct a final Q&A period to assess the potential of each business. In the afternoon, the teams had to decide with which entrepreneur they would invest their fund’s money. Each team submitted a detailed term sheet, and entered into negotiations with the selected business where their rationale, interactions, questions, and deliverables were all judged by some of North America’s top venture capitalists.  

The MBiotech team, consisting of Olga Vorobyova, Amani Akhtar, Kanza Manzoor, Amanda Johnston, and Brad Henderson, put in countless hours to understand concepts and methodology of the venture capital space. “It took a little extra effort this year, as many of the previous years' mentors were busy with prior commitments, and with our team having full time work schedules, we really had to buckle down” said first year student, Brad Henderson.

As team member Olga Vorobyova put it, "The VCIC competition was an excellent opportunity to get familiarized with the structure of early-stage investment in a realistic environment where we have the opportunity to interact with entrepreneurs and VC judges. Although we may not have had the same background in finance and investment as the MBA competitors, several weeks of intense prep on VC basics evened out the playing field. Our critical thinking, business analysis and teamwork skills, placed us amongst the top competitors."

MBiotech has done very well in the VCIC in the past, finishing second last year and having twice won the Rotman competition and then gone on to represent the University of Toronto in the USA, competing against teams from the top American business schools such as Harvard and Wharton.

The team expressed how valuable the learning experience was and strongly encouraged future Master of Biotechnology students to participate. Amani Akhtar explained, “The VCIC is one competition where MBiotech students have an opportunity to truly bridge our science and business expertise. The preparation work was where we learned the most, but meeting key players in the industry and the experience itself was invaluable”.

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