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Diverse Talents Give Students Winning Edge in Venture Capital Competition

Having diverse members helped the student team TRUNC Capital Partners Limited win the second annual Glencoe Capital Venture Capital Investment Competition January 27. “We were able to address different parts of the plan because we were strong in different fundamentals,” second-year student Teddy Cha said after the event. Students on TRUNC’s team included a board-certified physician, an experienced venture capitalist, and a former Israeli Air Force member. “We had a well-diversified team that worked well together,” said second-year student Reggie Nesbitt.

In the annual competition, students acted as mock venture firms, heard pitches from actual CEOs, and evaluated real business plans. Students performed due diligence, prepared investment memos, and presented their proposed investment to a panel of judges who work as venture capitalists. The event was organized by the student-led Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, and Private Equity Group, the alumni-led Chicago Private Equity Network, and the Michael P. Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship.

TRUNC evaluated four firms and decided a health care company with a novel device for the cardiology market would be the smartest investment. The team conducted a strategic evaluation of ideas, decided whether they would fit the venture capital it was representing, and determined whether such a deal could be executed, said second-year student Naftali Golzgaker. “We passed on three ideas and accepted one,” Golzgaker said. “We explained how we were going to structure the deal and why it’s a good fit with our fund.”

Other members of the TRUNC team included second-year students Uri Zror and Tony Brusguland first-year student Charles “Chip” Hodgkins.

TRUNC competed against five other GSB teams and advanced to the central region competition February 9-11 at the University of Colorado, where they won the Entrepreneur’s Choice award. “It was a great learning experience and we were proud of our work,” Cha said afterward. “Plus the venture capitalists were trying to hire members of our team!”

Sponsors of the January competition who also provided funds for future student travel included Glencoe Capital, Crain’s Chicago Business, the EVP Group, the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship, and OCA Venture Partners LLC.

Phil Rockrohr