BeAVC's aim is to give undergraduate students exposure to the Venture Capital community by connecting teams of 3-4 students with a VC industry mentor as they prepare a written and oral presentation for a panel of current VC professionals.
Student teams of three to four will put together a 15 minute presentation addressing the case given in the Context section below.
Venture capitalists spend a large amount of their time identifying and tracking emerging technologies and behavioral trends. Investments in the venture business typically have an incubation period of three to five years before realizing an "exit" - the act that converts the VC firm's original investment for shares in a company back into liquid/cash assets, typically through acquisition or IPO.
One approach that many venture capitalists take to identify intriguing investment opportunities is to develop an investment thesis from analysis of emerging markets. An investment thesis helps to focus the investor on the type of company that will best take advantage of emerging market opportunities.
Your venture firm has significant interest in the following sectors: Consumer Internet, Software-as-a-Service / Cloud, and Mobile, and has turned to you to recommend an investment thesis and related investment opportunity in a company within one of those sectors. As your firm is an expansion / growth-stage fund, the company must have already raised a Series B or later round.
Deliverables due by 11:59PM on Tuesday, April 16 include:
A 10-15 slide Powerpoint presentation (Appendix with supplemental information will not be included in this count)
A 1-2 page executive summary
Some issues to consider addressing include:
- Market Opportunity- How big is the market opportunity in dollars today? How big will it be in five years? What macro drivers are affecting the development and growth of the market, how has this evolved over the last few years, how is this expected to evolve?
- Competitive Landscape - Who is competing in this market and how do their products, services, offerings compare / differ? What are the barriers to entry for this business? Is there anything to prevent competitors (both mature companies and start-ups?) from launching similar products / services tomorrow?
- Value Proposition/Differentiation- What is unique about this company's approach that will allow them to become a market leader?
- Customers- Who is the target customer / end user and what does the customer really care about? What will users pay for? What will make users' lives better?
- Go-To-Market Strategy- Who does the company sell to? How does the company reach its users / customers? Who are the key strategic partners, what sales channels are important to compete effectively, are there disruptive distribution channels?
- Business Model/Monetization- How does the company make money? How much revenue does the company get from each customer? What are some possible alternative monetization strategies?
- Valuation- What are comparable public companies trading at? What are recent private acquisition multiples for comparable companies? What are the key financial / operating metrics used to value companies in the space?
- Capital Efficiency- How much capital does the company need? How capital efficient is the business?
- Management Team- How is this team positioned to effectively execute on the opportunity?
- Exit Strategy- How can this company return liquidity / cash to its investors in the long term? Will it be able to go public on the strength of its offering? Who might be likely acquirers? A formal exit analysis is NOT required.
Note: these are suggestions - please do not feel constrained by/committed to them. Use whatever approach you think is most effective at communicating the investment attractiveness of the company.