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Spring 2018 VF Newsletter

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Spring 2018 VF Newsletter

  1. 1. 1 SPRING 2018 NEWSLETTER Twitter: @VentureFellows www.venturefellows.com A Word from Jim Nolen These are exciting times for Venture Fellows. We started officially holding class in the new Robert B Rowling Hall at the end of March and we have a great view of the UT tower from our 5th floor classroom. The VF Class of 2018 that will graduate this May set a record in the number of fellows who received permanent offers in the private equity industry. Andrew Alspaugh is headed to Paine Schwartz in San Francisco to work with former VF Spencer Swayze; Michael Massad will be at Elsewhere Partners; Ricky Garcia landed at Next Coast Ventures; Jon Broscious is going to Social Starts in San Francisco; Mason Rathe leveraged his entertaining weekly VC newsletter into a position at Live Oak Capital; Brendan O’Hara converted his internship into a permanent position at TRT Holdings (Robert Rowling’s Family Office) in Dallas; and Cole Bonner will assist former VFs Rajiv “New Daddy” Bala and Charlie Plauche over at S3 Ventures. Elsewhere, Next Coast, and Live Oak are all former Austin Venture partners who have raised their own funds. The rest of the Class of 2018 secured some pretty sweet offers as well as VF Director Josh Liss is going to Google and others are headed to Amazon, Apple, Barclays, and Evercore. And the Class of 2019 is off to a roaring start as well. The Fellows elected their first female Director, Katie Herbek, who was also the first woman to run for the position. Katie teamed up with current Fellows Ming Liu, Maureen O’Connor and Devin Mattson along with last year’s Fellows Jon Broscious and Ashley Hemphill to win the regional VCIC competition in Nashville and then went on to win Entrepreneurs Choice at National VCIC at UNC (our first trip to Nationals in a while). “VF was my best decision throughout my MBA experience. No other school has access to the venture capital community quite like UT, where all of the top funds are involved in the program.” -Mason Rathe, VF ‘18 In This Issue • Message from Jim Nolen • Introduction to the Class of 2019 • Success in Wharton Buyout Competition • Spring Trek Wrap-up • Accolades at VCIC “From the start, Venture Fellows gave me a network of colleagues and mentors to rely on for advice. This network proved invaluable when searching for a full- time position and will continue to support me through the inevitable highs and lows of becoming a successful investor.” -Ricky Garcia, VF ‘18
  2. 2. 2 VF Class of 2019 and Partner Firm: Nico Gayle (Blue Sage Capital) John Ratliff (Cavu Ventures) Maureen O’Connor (Wild Basin Investments) Drew Daniller-Varghese (Next Coast Ventures) John Grellner (S3 Ventures) Justin Pitcock (UTIMCO Natural Resources) Colin Bozarth (SpindleTop Capital) Matt Draheim (Stafford Capital Partners) Peter Fenelon (Strattam Capital) Blair Madole (Silverton) Devin Mattson (ATX Seed) Shale Gulbas (AV Capital) Aishwarya Nagarajan (Mercury Fund) Ming Liu (Elsewhere Partners) Wesley Gottesman (Brand Foundry) Katie Herbek (True Wealth Ventures) Heberto Alanis (Whole Foods) Brendan Scher (Escalate Capital) A Word from Jim (continued) VF also hosted the regional VCIC competition at UT that was won by Rice University who went on to win third at Nationals. We missed our McCombs VCIC team that was competing at Chapel Hill while the other fellows (and I) went on their NYC Trek to see Union Square Ventures, MSD Capital, KKR, and Greycroft Ventures. We had an VF alumni happy hour in NYC and were pleased to see former VFs Natalie Barnard, Aaron Schoen and Jamie Nissan as well as several of my former Small Business students in attendance. Jonathan Spillman continues to coordinate quarterly Austin VF alumni happy hours which he has moved from Wednesday nights to Thursday nights to try and get more people in attendance who travel during the week. Now that many former VF’s are starting to become parents, this is a great opportunity to get away from the kids for a couple of hours and re-live your think and drink days. Venture Fellows is capitalizing on Austin’s entrepreneurial success. Not only did we have more requests for interns than we had fellows, we added several new partner firms as well. Brand Foundry focuses on CPG companies; True Wealth Ventures and Stafford Capital partners focus on women-owned businesses and social impact investing; Mercury Fund in Houston returned to take a fellow; and AV Capital and ATX Seed Capital took interns for the first time. Hicks, Muse, Tate and Furst Center for Private Equity Finance hosted their highest attended private equity conference in February. The Finance Department introduced a new FinTech course that was oversubscribed, and several sold out blockchain conferences have been hosted by both McCombs and student groups, including VF partnering with the Graduate Blockchain Society. I want to thank all the VF alums and partner firms for their support of the program. For all of you that come back as speakers, mentor the current fellows, network with our alumni and open the doors of opportunity for our students, I hope you can see how successful your efforts are. And finally, congratulations to Matt Lyons and all the former Andrews Kurth attorneys and staff who have supported Venture Fellows for so long in your new firm, Shearman and Sterling. The Class of 2019 The Class of 2019 includes 18 students who are working hard to continue building the VF brand. The VF Class of 2019 heard from Manoj Saxena about AI and ethics during the spring speaker series.
  3. 3. 3 Venture Fellows Named Runner-up in Wharton Buyout Competition The Venture Fellows class of 2019 fielded a team composed of Matt Draheim, Peter Fenelon, Nico Gayle, and Justin Pitcock to compete in this year’s Wharton Private Equity Case Competition on February 23 in New York. Contestants from 25 top-ranked MBA programs came together at the Penn Club where judges hailed from several New York private equity firms including Court Square, Centerbridge, Atairos, HIG Capital, Apex Capital, and others. As first-year MBA students with little background in finance (only Nico could claim applicable experience), the team took a learning approach to the competition. Each team was given the same scenario and asked to give a recommendation whether to buyout Under Armour and at what Spring Speakers The spring speaker series featured the following distinguished guests: • Manoj Saxena • Sloane Child • Tom Ball • Brad Johl • Charlie Plauche • Bryan Burkhart • Kyle Reesing • Reed Hatch • Tony Schell • Rajiv Bala • Cole Arlege • Jim Offerdahl • Brian Bordainick • Brian Dillavou “I only invest in glass eaters.” - Tom Ball Next Coast Ventures Fall Trek The Venture Fellows class of 2019 will visit the Bay Area in the fall. For SF Venture Fellow alumni, be on the lookout for an invitation to the happy hour (and please reach out with suggestions). This year’s class is looking forward to making connections on the West Coast! and at what price. The VF team spent a weekend strategizing and modeling. Ultimately, the hard work paid off. The team presented to a panel of judges first thing in the morning and learned by lunchtime that they made the finals where four teams were selected. The finals consisted of a presentation for a separate panel of judges with the other teams from the competition in attendance. The McCombs team was the final presentation of the day and, 1. Oxford Saïd 2. Texas McCombs 3. MIT Sloan 4. Dartmouth Tuck after a long deliberation (in which the judges later said was highly contested between the top two), the results came in: The team won a combined $1,500 and can still claim to be the National Champions…not bad for a couple of military guys, a Chevron engineer, and a heavily relied upon former private investment professional. Venture Fellows’ 2019 Wharton Buyout Competition team (from left to right: Peter Fenelon, Nico Gayle, Matt Draheim, and Justin Pitcock)
  4. 4. 4 Venture Fellows Take on NYC Spring Trek 2018 Despite the very un-spring-like weather, the Venture Fellow Class of 2019 travelled to NYC for the weekend, starting Thursday, May 5, for the Spring Trek. The trip started Thursday with the class joining the McCombs Business School-NYC alumni organization for a happy hour at Spaniard in lower Manhattan. The following day, the class visited four firms: Union Square Ventures, MSD Capital, KKR, and Greycroft. At Union Square Ventures, the class went in-depth into the possibilities of blockchain and its ability to transform the economy. At MSD Capital, an investment office managing the wealth of a billionaire family, the class gained insight into the investment culture and philosophy of a firm that focuses on cash preservation and contributions to a charitable foundation. KKR brought conversations on unique employment options within large private equity firms and Greycroft delivered a discussion on the importance of operational experience when trying to add value to venture capital. The remainder of Friday was filled with the NYC Venture Fellows alumni happy hour at Monarch Rooftop Bar and dinner at Park Avenue Spring. Overall, the trip went smoothly and everyone had a blast. Thank you to all of our hosts, and Drew Daniller-Varghese and Heberto Alanis and everyone who lent a hand in coordinating the visits. The next trek will take the VF Class of 2019 to San Francisco in the fall. We would like to thank the teams, entrepreneurs, judges, and student hosts for a successful event. VF Co-Hosts Blockchain Roundtable Together with the McCombs Graduate Blockchain Society, Venture Fellows welcomed three panelists to discuss the possibilities and complications surrounding investment in blockchain and crypto currencies. Jon Broscious, VF ’18, moderated the panel consisting of Kyle Samani (Multicoin Capital), Hall Martin (Ten Capital Group), and Jonathan Kaplan (Numeris Capital). Brad Burnham from Union Square Ventures stands with VF Spring Trek attendees after he shared his insights into investing in disruptive technology. Special Venture Fellows menu at Park Avenue Spring “Do the right thing.” – Brad Burnham, Union Square Ventures
  5. 5. 5 Venture Capital Investment Competition VF Hosts and Team is Selected as National Entrepreneurs Choice In February, Venture Fellows hosted the Central Region Finals for the 2018 UNC Venture Capital Investment Competition (“VCIC”). The VP’s of Marketing pulled in an all-star team of judges including Brad Bentz (ATX Seed), James Brown (Arena Growth Partners), Chris Hall (Escalate Capital), Matt Cohen (Capital Factory), Kip McClanahan (Silverton Partners), Rosa McCormick (Wild Basin Investments), and Mitun Ranka (Spindletop Capital). The judges evaluated students from six MBA programs as they performed due diligence, developed a term sheet, and negotiated with three different start-ups all in one day. Later that month, the McCombs Venture Fellows won first place at the Southeast Regional Finals hosted at Vanderbilt. They competed against other top schools including Virginia, Duke, UNC, Emory, and American. In April, the team competed at the Global Finals of VCIC at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with 13 other regional champions. McCombs won the “Entrepreneur’s Choice” award, labeled by some judges as “that day’s most difficult award to win.” A huge congratulation to our VCIC team. VF team from left: Jon Broscious, Ashley Hemphill, Toolkite CEO Eric Blum, Katie Herbek, Maureen O’Connor, and Ming Liu. Stay Connected as an Alum Venture Fellows – Spring 2018 Newsletter • As part of plan to increase interaction in both the alumni base and between alumni and the current class, a new section of the website will be available in 2018. A password protected section of the website will contain the alumni database that everyone has done a great job at building over the past year. Look for the new section to be available in the “alumni” section of the website soon. • Follow our photos and event posts on twitter: @VentureFellows • Look for the class of 2019 to be in your city - This summer the fellows will be spread out in Texas and coast to coast. In the Fall, VF ’19 will be in San Francisco and possibly Denver.