UO Team Takes Entrepreneur's Choice Award
A UO team of budding venture capitalists—Mike Platis, Jimmy Naughton, Dave Williams, Oliver Aguirre, and Karl McFadden—took home third place and the Entrepreneur's Choice Award at the Venture Capital Investment Competition western regional finals, held February 8 at Utah Valley University. The competition, sponsored by the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, is recognized as the premier venture capital competition for college students in the U.S. and attracts thousands of MBA and undergraduate participants from more than 100 collegiate programs who compete in 20 regional events.
Companies from Utah’s Silicon Slope pitched to the team, who in turn performed due diligence and pressed the founders to reveal their actual unit economics, inflection points of their business, and more. The team also had to create a competitive term sheet for an assigned startup company and their knowledge was tested by the competition's judges.
Winning the Entrepreneur's Choice Award—which is given to a team selected by the startup founders present—was particularly gratifying, according to team member Mike Platis. "Our friendly and informative line of questioning showed the founders that our team could provide them value as a potential fund. It was rewarding to be part of a team that could come together so quickly and perform well enough to earn the accolades of seasoned startup founders."