2024 Venture Capital Investment Competition

Zell Lurie Institute
May 15, 2024

The Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) is the world’s largest venture capital competition with over 120 university and graduate school teams competing globally. Unlike pitch competitions in which students pitch their own ideas to investors, at VCIC the students are the investors, and real entrepreneurs pitch to them. Each year, VCIC includes 50+ events on four continents, serving over 1,500 students, 150 venture capitalists and 100 entrepreneurs.

Anne Perigo, Associate Director of Student Programs at the Zell Lurie Institute, selects and coaches the University of Michigan student teams who participate in VCIC each year. These student teams are formed from the winners of the Michigan Investment Challenge (MIC), hosted by the Zell Lurie Institute in the fall semester. This internal venture capital investment competition gives the students a taste of what they will experience at VCIC. The rigorous program involves workshops, written deliverables, direct exposure to outside entrepreneurs seeking funding, as well as Venture Capitalist judges.

Like years past, the University of Michigan had great representation at this year’s VCIC. This year’s U-M undergraduate team consisted of Keval Botadra (BS ‘27), Anjay Mital Skiff (BS ‘27), Connor Park (BS ‘26), Ben Smith (BA ‘27), Dana Thurnell (BBA ‘27), and Christina Zerka (BS ‘24). The team won 1st Place in the Undergraduate Midwest Regional Finals hosted by Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business. 

This year’s U-M graduate team consisted of all Michigan Ross MBA students—Rebecca Macies (MBA ‘25), Brianna Ross (MBA ‘25), Benjamin Sack (MBA ‘24), Tirth Patel (MBA ‘24), Andrew Haeger (MBA/MS ‘25), and Benjamin Kramer (MBA ‘24). The team took 2nd Place at the Graduate Regional Finals hosted by Texas McCombs School of Business and did an excellent job representing the University of Michigan at every competitive event.

Following the Regional Finals, the U-M undergraduate team consisting of five freshman—Keval Botadra (BS ‘27), Anjay Mital Skiff (BS ‘27), Connor Park (BS ‘26), Ben Smith (BA ‘27), and Dana Thurnell (BBA ‘27)—went on to compete at the Global Finals at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

This team was phenomenal! They treated each other with respect, kindness, and support throughout the competition and in the weeks of preparation leading up to it. They are brilliant, hard-working, and able to think on their feet. They earned the respect of other competitors, judges, advisors, and the startups they met.”

Anne Perigo,

Associate Director of Student Programs at the Zell Lurie Institute

The Venture Capital Investment Competition continues to be a highlight of the academic year for many of our student entrepreneurs. The Zell Lurie Institute is proud to support our students who competed in this prestigious competition. Congratulations on all your hard work and Go Blue!