Italians do it better (the MBA)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

How not to win a competition

During the last three days, I've been involved in the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC).

The idea is the following. Students form six teams of five people each and analyze six business plans from real entrepeneurs. Due diligences and interview are done and then each team acts as if it was a real Venture Capital Fund and select one business plan to invest. A panel of ten real venture capital partners evaluate the investment decisions and the due diligence process made by each team and elects a winner.

We didn't win. Indeed, some signals during the days before should have told that in advance.

  • The day before the competition not all the team members were aware that we were the VC and not the entrepeneur
  • Lamberto was in charge of changing the slide during the presentation while Diego was commenting. He fell asleep and tried to recover after seeing Valerio waving his arms from the opposite side of the room. After being stuck on slide one for 3 minutes out of 6, the presentation lept ahead to the final slide.
  • Valerio wrote the executive summary of the investment without having read the business plan we choose.
  • I was supposed to be the king of the valuation and at 3 a.m. i was still reading through a pile of non-sense technical notes from HBS.
  • Only two people out of five have read the business plan. And they were smoking on the terrace while the others were working.
  • At 4 a.m. Lamberto finished the presentation of the investment decision leaving the name of the company blank (some XXXX).
  • At 4.30 a.m. the name of the company was on the presentation but instead of CV Warehouse the name was WcWarehouse... which posed some doubt among the team members.
  • Everybody before the final decision thought we were the absolute winners.

Finally this hassle is over and now we have an extra excuse to go out and party. My religion forbids me to read more than six business plan a week.


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