Over the years, Enventure has provided trainees, young professionals, and the local life science innovation community with programs designed to help grow their network, learn more about industry, and discover future career opportunities. This year, we held our second Venture Investment Competition by Enventure (VICE). VICE is an opportunity to evaluate startups from an investor’s perspective. Venture investments provide capital to jump-start companies with a feasible business plan. A life science venture requires many forms of investment - from time to resources to capital - making venture investments a vital part of start-up success.
To mitigate as many of the risks as possible, venture capital firms must perform due diligence to determine whether a company is worth investing in. Due diligence is a systematic and comprehensive assessment of a potential investment. The diligence is reported in the form of a deal memo, a short document that provides a description of the company (including the product and the team), the business model, the market landscape, the competition, its strengths and weaknesses, and how much funding is being requested.
VICE allows trainees the opportunity to take the role of investors, perform due diligence on our partnering start-ups, write up a deal memo, and be judged by our investor judges. Through this experience, students gain valuable skills, network with start-ups and investors, and receive cash prizes! This competition provides value not only to students, but also to start-ups and investors. For start-ups, this is an amazing opportunity to practice your pitch, receive feedback and diligence, and network with investors (especially while you are still in the early stages of your company). Lastly, investors will receive free diligence from students and get an early look into our partnered start-ups for potential investments. They also provide mentorship to participating students to foster a new generation of life science investors.
The virtual platform this year allowed people from around the country to participate. We had over 100 participants, 25 deal memos, and 22 schools and affiliations represented. Students from various academic backgrounds were broken up into teams, which were assigned to 1 of 4 startup companies. With only a pitch deck and executive summary from the company, the teams had one week to do their own research and formulate a deal memo. Deal memos were evaluated and one team per startup company was chosen for the final competition day, where they had an opportunity to listen to the company pitches and ask questions. Afterwards, these four finalist teams presented their investment recommendations in front of a panel of venture capitalists to be evaluated for the cash prize. The four finalists were Alar Capitals, GGJR, Beluga Bayou Fund, and Carolina Ventures. Congratulations to Carolina Ventures (Michaela Copp, Braxton Cline, and Sisi Tran) for winning first place!
For trainees who are interested in the entrepreneurial side of life science, life science investing is a promising career path. VICE provides a fun and informative experience for students, startups, and investors to explore and learn.
For students interested in participating next time, sign up for our Slack here. For startups or investors interested in working with Enventure’s multidimensional, dynamic teams from top universities to execute high-value consulting ranging from comprehensive diligence on potential investments, market entry and sizing, competitive and IP strategy, and regulatory strategy --- all at an accessible price point, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated on our current events and programs!
From a participant: “I really enjoyed it. Would love to do VC in the future if I could find a way in.”
This is a very creative forum to gain insights into doing due diligence on start-up opportunities. I am unaware of anything else like this and I think it provides for a great experience for all participants. I was also happy to be introduced to some of the other investors. Thank you for including me, I had a great time! - Heather Steinman