All Women VCIC Undergraduate Team Advances to Global Finals

Photo of the Undergraduate VCIC Team
Members of Georgetown's Undergraduate VCIC Team. Left to right: Erin Connery (B’24), Kate Gilles (B’23), Betsy Ratliffe (SFS’23), Tian Shi (C’22), and Sydney Yin (SFS’22).

Posted in News Story  |  Tagged , , ,

Georgetown undergraduate and MBA students are headed to the 25th annual Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) Global Finals April 8-9, 2022, to compete against 19 other national and international teams in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For the first time, Georgetown will be represented by an all-women team in the championship, including five female students and their VCIC coach.

“Competing as an all-woman team has been a very rewarding experience, and I definitely feel like we have stood out at times (in a good way),” said Kate Gilles, a member of the Georgetown undergraduate team. “In regionals, one of the judges told us about how excited he was that we were an all-woman team – he has daughters around our age and it was super inspiring to him to see women competing in a field that is typically male-dominated.” 

The undergraduate team, which includes Erin Connery (B’24), Kate Gilles (B’23), Betsy Ratliffe (SFS’23), Tian Shi (C’22), and Sydney Yin (SFS’22), won the undergraduate Mid-Atlantic Regional VCIC at James Madison University over teams from the University of North Carolina, Emory University, American University, and Elon University. 

Photo of Sarah Zulkowsky (MBA'14)
Sarah Zulkowsly (MBA’14), Georgetown Entrepreneurship Expert on Call

The team also received coaching support from Sarah Zulkosky (MBA’14), a Georgetown Entrepreneurship Expert on Call whose team won the global championship title in 2013.

“We prepared a month before the regional competition with Sara Zulkowsky,” said Shi. “Given her experience in VC and time coaching VCIC teams on both the undergraduate and MBA levels, she shares incredible insights into the competition.”

Each team is charged with evaluating real startups in an interactive, hypothetical simulation and then defending their investments to a panel of judges. The final teams will be evaluated on their investment decision, analyses of the business, knowledge of VC terms, and their ability to act like VCs in a pitch setting. All judges are current VCs – many of whom hail from the VCIC as former competitors during their undergraduate or MBA programs. 

“The VCIC is a great opportunity for students to gain firsthand knowledge and experience in the VC process, and we are thrilled to have both our undergraduate and graduate teams competing in the Global Finals” said Jeff Reid, director of Georgetown Entrepreneurship. “Notably, we are also proud to see McDonough represented by an all-female undergraduate team – an important indicator of the exceptional women students at Georgetown who are taking important strides in the startup and venture capital space.”

The MBA team also will compete in the Global Finals after claiming first place at the Mid-Atlantic Regional VCIC at Johns Hopkins University against teams from the University of Virginia, New York University, University of Maryland, Fundação Getulio Vargas, and Fordham University. The group includes Tarun Vats (MBA’22), Bridget Greaney (MBA’22), Adam Kuebler (MBA’22), Div Goel (MBA’22), and Rebecca Singer (MBA’22).

Global VCIC is the world’s largest venture capital competition with over 140 university and graduate school teams competing across 13 countries. The competition was founded in 1998 with a mission to educate and prepare students for careers as VCs and startup founders. 

“Through this competition, I am able to apply my skills as an entrepreneur and my conversations with VCs to a real-world setting, which has completely changed my career perspectives,” said Shi. “I’ve decided to pivot from being an entrepreneur to a career in VC, which has led to three internships with VC funds and two full-time offers to join the industry.” 

Georgetown McDonough’s MBA teams have consistently performed well in the global championships, bringing home titles in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. The undergraduate teams also won three previous championships in 2013, 2014, and 2021. 

Learn more about the Global VCIC Finals at www.vcic.org.