UBC Pacific Venture Capital Competition and Conference (PVCC) is a platform where university students present entrepreneurial ideas and financial valuations to an audience of industry leaders and seasoned venture capitalists. Boasting over 350 student competitors from dozens of universities around the globe, PVCC has undergone exponential growth with the backing of sponsors, such as McMillan LLP, to become North America’s premier undergraduate and MBA venture capital conference and competition.
Students can choose to compete as either an entrepreneur-team or venture capital team. PVCC provides various workshops, mentorship from business professionals, as well as the invaluable experience of building and pitching a start-up company to a panel of professional judges. This year’s competitors hail from top tier schools across North America, Europe, and Asia – including NYU, UPenn, UMichigan, UC Berkeley, IE Business School, Melbourne Business School, HKU, and Singapore Management University.
The winner of PVCC 2015 was Wearhaus Inc., a group of engineering and commerce students from the University of California at Berkeley. They developed the Wearhaus Arc — highly customizable, Bluetooth headphones that deliver top-quality sound and allow the user to wirelessly sync music with multiple nearby friends. With guidance from mentors, the team pitched to an audience of over 150 industry professionals and business delegates as they tested their product and business model at the competition.
In addition to receiving the cash prize, they generated investment interest from three judges, two of whom have become investors in Wearhaus Inc. They have recently graduated from the world-renowned Highway 1 hardware incubator while fresh off completing a highly successful Kickstarter campaign.
The final round was also a very unique experience for the venture capitalist team. They had the opportunity to present financial valuations and investment decisions in front of the most influential venture capitalists in the industry. Members of the winning team have now landed internships in venture capital.
“The competition compelled us to think as if we were real investors. The practical knowledge and experience we gained outside of classroom settings is what made PVCC priceless.” said Yujie Song, PVCC 2015 finalist.
For students who chose to attend as delegates rather than competitors, the highlight of PVCC 2015 may have easily been the keynote speech from Vikram Vij from the popular TV Dragons’ Den. Delegates also witnessed the rigours of starting a company firsthand, as well as the process of evaluating new ventures from an investor’s perspective.
The loyal sponsorship from McMillan LLP, Lawson Lundell LLP, Dentons Canada LLP, Wolrige Mahon LLP, Agentis Capital, Yellow Point Equity Partners, Mondo Capital Partners, and Fasken Martineau has allowed PVCC to become the largest student-run venture capital and entrepreneurship competition in Canada.
“For the upcoming year, we plan to expand the competition to attract more students abroad in the hopes of bringing the best entrepreneurial ideas to life.” said Joe Ip, PVCC Chairperson.
PVCC 2016 will take place in February. For more info, please visit their website at www.ubcpvcc.com.