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UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA Admissions and Related blogs

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Students gain first-hand knowledge about venture capital  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2019, 08:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Students gain first-hand knowledge about venture capital
Image
Students participate in UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC).

There is no education like experience. And
thanks to global VentureCapital Investment Competition (VCIC),
students get it at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

“Students play the role of a
managing director at a venture firm, structuring term sheets, building a cap
chart, and negotiating with founders,” says Hubie Haywood (MD/MBA ’20), a member of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s VCIC
team this year. “For anyone interested in venture capital or startups, VCIC is
the perfect way to gain the experience that no class can provide.”

That is the intention of Patrick
Vernon (MBA ’03), clinical associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship
and director of venture initiatives at UNC Kenan-Flagler. He began running the
competition while earning his MBA. Created in 1998 for MBAs to learn about
venture funding through five events in the U.S., VCIC has evolved into a
network of 50 events in 13 countries that includes 78 MBA programs and serves
more than 1,200 students annually.

“VCIC is valuable to students because it’s
real people doing real things,” says Vernon. “Venture capital is a unique
industry, one that students don’t easily get access to. Having real startups
pitching to students and offering students access to venture capitalists makes
for a dynamic and intellectually stimulating event.” 

The tables are turned, with students playing the role of venture capitalists (VCs)
and real-world startups presenting to the “VCs.” The competition judges are
venture capitalists who come to VCIC to reconnect with their alma maters,
network with other VCs and get a peek at early stage startups as well as bright
students.

One of those bright students is
Nelson Fleming (MBA ’20). With a background in the construction industry, he had
no real exposure to startups or venture capital prior to VCIC. “Since being
introduced to venture capital and entrepreneurship through the competition, I
landed an internship with a venture capital firm in the area and plan to pursue
venture capital as a career at some point in the near future,” says Fleming. “It
has been by far and away the most valuable learning experience I’ve had to-date
as an MBA student.”

In 2014, Vernon added an annual undergraduate VCIC and 34 U.S. universities competed in 2019. “There
is a lot of demand for undergraduate entrepreneurship classes,” he says. “And
while many schools now have entrepreneurship majors, very few have specialized
classes in venture capital.” For many undergraduate students, VCIC is the only
place they can learn about venture capital. “VCIC offers undergraduates the
ability to learn about what is happening today in venture capital through very
practical, real experience,” says Vernon.

Sunny Sun (BSBA ’20) competed this year on UNC’s team. “VCIC gives
a unique and hands-on chance to understand entrepreneurial finance but all
transferrable skillsets required are coming from classes I took at Kenan-Flagler
Business School, the fantastic guest speakers our professors brought from
industry, and essentially all of the best help I received from my professors,”
she says.

While Sun’s focus is on
investment banking and investment management, she says, “VCIC gives me a new
lens to evaluate business through an entrepreneurial mindset.”

Haywood developed an appreciation for venture capital
and the role it plays in commerce.  “As
someone with little experience in the startup and venture finance world, the
VCIC competition offered me and my teammates a crash course,” he says. “We
learned on the fly, building a bit more knowledge with every deck, pitch,
practice session and round of the competition. Even without taking a single
class, I now feel as though I could intern at a venture capital firm because of
VCIC.”
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Manager
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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
Posts: 244
A global shift in entrepreneurship  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2019, 09:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: A global shift in entrepreneurship
Image

The many
journeys of Yusheng Zhang (BSBA ’19) inspired his pioneering
research for his honors thesis on the intersection of immigration policy and
entrepreneurship. As a UNC Kenan-Flagler GLOBE® Fellow, Zhang’s studies spanned the globe – from Chapel Hill to semesters
studying at Copenhagen Business School and the Chinese University of Hong Kong,
and expeditions throughout 23 countries.

“I am an immigrant who was fortunate enough
to receive an education in this country,” says Zhang, who was born in China and
moved to the U.S. when he was 10 years old. “My thesis research is both an
academic exercise and a personal journey. I wanted to understand what the
future holds and where I make an impact in the world.”

Zhang shared highlights from his
research during a TED-style talk at the Harvard
College Project for Asian and International Relations Conference, which was attended
by hundreds of young professionals from more than 40 countries. In his presentation,
“2…3….1: What I Learned from Entrepreneurs Around the World,” he talked about types of entrepreneurs, indicators of the democratization of people and ideas,
and his perspective on the future
of his generation.

“Two types of entrepreneurs are ‘aspirational’
entrepreneurs and ‘necessity’ entrepreneurs,” says Zhang. “Aspirational
entrepreneurs have opportunities in industries that would provide them a very
successful life.  But they feel compelled
to take the risk of entrepreneurship to make life better for people around them
and to find a higher sense of purpose through their work.” He cites a woman who
built a company in Denmark that makes nutrition bars and teas from moringa, a
sustainably farmed, drought-resistant plant from the Philippines.

By contrast, necessity entrepreneurs
choose entrepreneurship because they need to address dire problems in their own
communities or have no other choice to make a living. An example is Sunshine
Classrooms, which provides live-streamed lessons to elementary school children
in rural China where there is a shortage of schools.

Global improvement in government
policies, accumulation of capital and exponential growth in standards of living
and income throughout the world are the three indicators that have led to what Zhang
calls “a tectonic shift” in the global flow of entrepreneurial talent. “There
are more options today than ever to set up shop and secure capital,” he says. “It’s
also more difficult than ever for policy makers and institutional leaders to
retain entrepreneurs.”  

Zhang examines the reverse brain
drain, the phenomenon in which the U.S. is slowly losing market share of the
world’s most talented and highly educated people, including entrepreneurs.
“These individuals are moving back to their home countries or to other parts of
the world after receiving an education in the United States or after a successful
career here,” he says. “The pursuit of knowledge and innovation is no longer an
exclusive privilege of first-world Western countries.”

“This change is a net gain for
the world,” says Zhang. “There is a massive diffusion of knowledge and entrepreneurship
throughout the world.” He believes that global policy leaders need to
acknowledge that they are together in fluid ecosystems. “We need to stop
thinking that entrepreneurs moving throughout the world is a zero-sum game,” he
says. “We have to start thinking across borders.”

Zhang’s perspective is that his
generation needs to choose to be the drivers of the tectonic shift in the
global flow of entrepreneurial talent. “We need to look out into the world and
find those places with welcoming government policy, ample flow of capital, and
booming, sustainable growth that align with our values,” he says. “We must
choose to be the democratizers of people and ideas.”

He says that his college experience changed his
perspective on the world. “Honors Carolina, UNC Kenan-Flagler professors such
as TedZoller and ChloeGlaeser, and the GLOBE program sparked my
interest in entrepreneurship, geography and how the movement of people and
ideas shapes the world today and tomorrow,” says Zhang. “Carolina encouraged me
to conduct original research for my thesis, a 70-page narrative with data to
support my claims. Ted has been very unselfish in offering me his time,
expertise in and passion for entrepreneurship, and network to help me tackle
this big question on immigration and entrepreneurship.”

After graduation, Zhang will spend the summer
interning at the Global Entrepreneurship Network in Washington, D.C. before joining
EY’s consulting practice in August. He hopes to continue and amplify the
dialogue on immigration and entrepreneurship.

“I think entrepreneurship is what drives the world forward,” says Zhang. “We need to understand that the more exchange of people and ideas we have globally, the better story we can write for the future.”
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
Manager
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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
Posts: 244
Alex Bertelli’s mission is to keep people safe  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2019, 10:00
FROM Kenan- Flagler Admissions Blog: Alex Bertelli’s mission is to keep people safe
Image

Alex Bertelli (MBA ’16) is passionate about keeping people
safe.

Bertelli is CEO of HavenLock Inc., a manufacturer of
security technology products. He was inspired to start the company after his
Nashville neighbor’s home was robbed. “We knew there had to be a better way to
solve the problem of break-ins,” says Bertelli. 

HavenLock Inc. draws upon the knowledge he developed while
serving as a member of the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Forces, piloting
helicopters in direct action raids in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I landed in the
backyards of the bad guys every night, so our special-ops guys could capture
them,” he says.

He noticed that insurgents fortified their homes and
compounds by welding steel bars at the bottom, middle and top of their doors.
That insight inspired HavenLock’s high-tech, floor-based lock system, which is
10 times more effective than a deadbolt, Bertelli says.

His experience in the Army – which developed his ability to
set goals, offer guidance to others and then “get out of the way and let them
go execute” – is a great foundation for his work as CEO. He built on that in
UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA@UNC online program, which mastering the business skills
and knowledge to begin his entrepreneurial journey.

“I wanted to go to a top-20 MBA program to extend my network
and gain more insight into how companies do business,” says Bertelli.

The MBA@UNC program was the perfect fit as he transitioned
from the Army to the business world. “Taking two years off from the work world
to enroll in a full-time MBA program at that point wouldn’t have been a smart
move for me,” he says. “MBA@UNC allowed me to have two amazing experiences –
earning my MBA while working for the governor of Tennessee (as the director of
business development for the state) – that I would never trade for anything.”

Since he started his business in spring 2014 – soon after
starting at UNC Kenan-Flagler – he often aligned his coursework with the
development of HavenLock. “Ted Zoller also allowed me to do some independent
study focused on the business and see if I could catapult it,” says Bertelli.

He credits Zoller, T.W. Lewis Clinical Professor of Strategy
and Entrepreneurship and director of the Entrepreneurship Center, and Susan
Cates (MBA ’98), former executive director of MBA@UNC, for their support.

“They were both mentors of mine,” says Bertelli. “They
helped me think critically about how to get companies like Terminix, which is
my biggest customer, to bite off a huge purchase order and do business with a
small company like mine. They helped me with the strategy to get my
manufacturing partner, Berkshire Hathaway, to give me a large line of credit so
I could buy raw materials.”

His MBA studies provided Bertelli with the outlet to speak
to thought leaders throughout the university on how to frame his business and
determine the go-to-market strategy. “At Kenan-Flagler, I learned how to
understand the market; rapidly iterate, prototype and get customer feedback;
align strategic partners; and get buy-in from people,” he says.

Image
Alex Bertelli pitches HavenLock to the sharks on “Shark Tank.”

Another experience Bertelli benefited from was appearing on
“Shark Tank,” a reality TV show in which budding entrepreneurs pitch their
ideas to five successful entrepreneurs for potential funding. “In May 2018, I
drove seven hours to Chicago from Nashville, stood in line with 4,000 people,
pitched for three minutes, got in the car and drove back home,” he says. One
week later, he learned HavenLock was chosen to appear the show. 

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” he says.
HavenLock’s appearance became the most talked about episode of the season. “If
there’s one thing you gather from our appearance on the show, it’s that we’re
not quitters,” he says. “We’re going to do whatever it takes to make our
business successful.”

In the days after the episode’s broadcast, interest in the
company was high. “Our website was inundated with 20,000 views a day, we
received tons of sales opportunities, and got new distribution leads all over
the world.”

While the TV show brought attention to HavenLock, Bertelli
and his colleagues quickly returned to nuts and bolts he learned at UNC
Kenan-Flagler. “Success takes people, capital, vision and resources from all
partners,” he says. “We’re back to the basics of doing our business, which is
onboarding new customers and putting product into the homes and classrooms of
customers to make them feel safer.”
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Alex Bertelli’s mission is to keep people safe   [#permalink] 03 May 2019, 10:00

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