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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Team Terrific Wins 2010 TLP Venture Capital Competition in Boston

This past Saturday marked TLP’s annual Venture Capital Competition which was once again filled with the drama and excitement that has come to be expected of a TLP workshop. This competition is one of the program’s marquee events as it turns the table on its entrepreneurial fellows pitting them against each other as teams of venture investors in analyzing and negotiating investment deals with real startups.

The rules of the competition are simple – each team must successfully negotiate a single investment term sheet with one of the four attending companies who can only accept a single deal. As context, the TLP teams are instructed that they only have $10M remaining in their $100M initial venture fund and that their current fund investments have thus far proven unsatisfactory. Upon conclusion of the competition, each team must present and defend their deal to a panel of VC judges in a 7-minute power point presentation followed by 8 minutes of Q&A. The judges then decide which team will be crowned the TLP VCC Champion!

The 2010 competition officially began on Thursday evening when each team was emailed executive summaries for the four startups selected. These companies were then asked to present in person on Saturday morning. The following is a quick synopsis of each company:

eXtendMobility: provides software and services to transform the way retailers and brands engage with consumers by providing a holistic view of the consumer-base across various marketing channels (SMS, Email, Applications, Direct mail, Gift cards).

Nimbo: is an enterprise sustainability software company that offers an innovative software-as-a-service (SaaS) package called RAIN, which helps organizations prepare for a carbon constrained, water stricken, clean economic future.

RelayTech: is a web-based analytics company that identifies promising drug candidates from academic research institutions and early-stage biotechnology companies.

7Solar: is developing a turn-key system for buildings that integrates PV/Thermal collectors, solar air-conditioning/heating, and a software control architecture that proactively minimizes a building’s energy cost by converting sunlight into electricity, heating and cooling in a single system.

The competition swung into high gear following the presentations as each TLP team was given 15 minutes to ask additional clarifying questions as part of investment due diligence. The due diligence sessions were followed by Wild-West-like negotiations as each TLP investment team jockeyed for time with the companies that had caught their eye and tried to lock down a signed term sheet before another TLP team could do the same.

As the clock hit 2:30, each team was asked to submit their investment recommendations and the presentations to the VC panel began. The presentations were going as expected until the final one by Team Incredible which was comprised of 2010 TLP fellows Will Adams, Bennett Fisher, Sidd Goyal, and Nitasha Manchanda. Team Incredible was the only team NOT to successfully negotiate a signed deal as they had purposely chosen to focus on 7Solar but were not successful in courting them. Despite their unsuccessful negotiation, Team Incredible did a great job centering their presentation on why they had passed on the other companies and why their particular valuation for 7Solar was in fact the correct one.

In the end, Team Incredible’s controversial strategy was denied by Team Terrific in an outcome narrowly separated by 2 points. Ariel Assaf, Kwa Liou, Jeff McAulay, and Emily Rothschild of Team Terrific chose to invest in RelayTech and did a phenomenal job selecting, negotiating, and supporting their investment decision to the VC judges. This year’s rockstar judging panel consisted of Geoff Mamlet (Principal, New Atlantic Ventures), David Shapiro (Managing Partner, Great Point Capital), Arif Padaria (Managing Director of Investments, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center), Bilal Zuberi (Principal, General Catalyst Partners), and Scott Yaphe (General Partner, ABS Ventures).

All in all, the event was an incredible experience for both the TLP fellows and the participating entrepreneurs. We would like to thank Cohort Awesome for all of their hard work and planning that went into putting together such a great event and our entrepreneurs and VC judges for taking the time to participate.

Congratulations again to this year’s VCC Champion - Team Terrific - for job well done!

1 comment:

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