McDonough School of Business
News Story

Georgetown’s VCIC Teams Advance to Globals


This spring, Georgetown undergraduate and MBA students competed in the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) and won their respective regional competitions. Both teams will advance to the final in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

In their competitions, the teams evaluated companies to hypothetically invest in, then defended their decisions to a panel of judges. The teams were evaluated on their investment decision, analysis of the business, knowledge of VC terms, and how realistically they acted like VCs.

The graduate team, comprising Matt Gittleman (MBA’18), J.D. Engelhart (MBA’18), Nika Ip (MBA’18), Liz Allbright (MBA’19), Brian Norville (SCS’17), and Rob Hayes (MBA’19), won the Mid-Atlantic Regional VCIC at Johns Hopkins University over teams from Wharton, Purdue, Georgia Tech, Maryland, and Villanova.

“It’s a great way to build relationships with both investors and entrepreneurs,” said Engelhart. “Because VCIC has built a solid reputation for itself, there’s a network of investors who donate time to serve as judges, and it gives student entrepreneurs an opportunity to practice their pitch and get some outside scrutiny before they go out and really fundraise.”

Georgetown McDonough teams have won Global VCIC three of the past five years (2013, 2015, and 2017). When asked what made Georgetown teams so successful, Engelhart, Gittleman, and Ip agreed that it had to do with taking advantage of the resources available, including alumni from past global championships.

Sarah Zulkosky (MBA’14), part of the 2013 winning team, and Eric Ellsworth (MBA’15) part of the 2015 winning team, were integral to the team’s success.

“Georgetown McDonough’s historical success in the competition is a testament to the great team of advisors and support we receive from the school,” said Gittleman.

Meanwhile, the undergraduate team advanced to their own finals. William O’Carroll (SFS’20), Joel Dunoff (C’19), Karina Chan (B’20), Luan Tian (SFS ’20), and Rishi Kshatriya (B’19) won the 2018 Mid-Atlantic Regional Finals at American University.

“I have always been passionate about entrepreneurship and venture capital,” said O’Carroll. “I knew that VCIC would be a great opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge and experience about the venture capital process, particularly in how venture capital firms evaluate startups.”

The undergraduate team received advice from Zulkosky and the MBA team, as well as coaching from Jeff Reid, founding director of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative.

“The most important preparation was a practice round we did with a local D.C. startup, Qoral Health,” said Dunoff. “We heard their pitch and performed due diligence the same way we would in the competition.”

The team agreed that what set them apart was their creativity in recommendations and analysis. “We created a narrative around our fund to help us add value to the startup, and we added special provisions in the term sheet outside of the standard template to aid in our recommendation,” explained Kshatriya.

Georgetown Entrepreneurship
Undergraduate Program