The Venture Capitol Investment Competition selected Sabrina Ma, Mary Hanley, Ryan Hautigan, Jacob Davis, and Xin Er Gao as the winning team. During an interview with Venture Capitol, they described their experience.
The team was initially intrigued by the unique opportunity the competition presented. Sabrina noted that the team “wanted to see a new perspective of entrepreneurship. Instead of participating in a standard pitch competition, we wanted to see what the other side of the table was like.” They attributed their success to their team cohesion: pulling from diverse backgrounds, they deemed themselves “the Breakfast Club of VCIC.”
Their individual strengths proved applicable when confronted by the panel of venture capitalist judges. Some members of their team applied their previous experience, such as debate and mock trial skills, during the cross-examination. Ryan commented that the feedback the team received from the judges during this stage will “surely help [them] out a lot at Nationals.”
Their greatest surprised during the competition was “how much personality mattered” in business, not just numbers and hard statistics. As Mary Hanley said, “businesses are hard, no matter how much potential they have, so no matter how good the idea is, the people executing it are far more important at an early stage.” The team trusted their gut throughout the competition, “something [they were] rewarded for in the scoring.”
Cindy highlighted the support they received from the entrepreneurs and venture capitalist judges participating in the competition: “They all took the competition very seriously, playing into their roles and helping us get the best experience possible in the simulation. After the competition, we received valuable feedback from all the participants on our analysis and performance—the evident willingness for the entrepreneurs and judges to mentor us [was] incredible.”
When asked how they were planning to prepare for Nationals, Jacob alluded to the team’s confidence: “This internal guVCIC competition was really the first step to prepare, in that we already have a leg up on the rest of the competition; everyone else is going to be doing this for the first time, and we have already experienced, and succeeded in this environment.”
Congratulations team! We are proud to have you represent Georgetown at Nationals and wish you all the best. Hoya Saxa!