San Diego Venture Capital Case Competition

Think you have what it takes to spot the next Airbnb, Lyft, or Pinterest? Then welcome to the inaugural San Diego Venture Capital Case Competition. Through a series of 4 workshops, mentoring from top venture capitalists, and the opportunity to pitch to some of the most successful investors in the country, you will learn first hand if you have what it takes.


4 Workshops Taught by a VC
with 12 years of experience

Final Round Judged by Very Successful Investors


Teams mentored by top local investors

Network with other driven Students in San Diego


First Place:
Cash Prizes + Dinner with Judges

2nd & 3rd Place:
Cash Prizes

The competition is comprised of 4 training sessions and the final judging event.

  • Kickoff Event: Wednesday, February 13th 5PM – 7PM
  • Deal Sourcing Training: Wednesday, February 27th 5PM – 7PM
  • Performing Due Diligence Training: Wednesday, March 13th 5PM – 7PM
  • Making Investment Decisions Training: Wednesday, March 27th 5PM – 7PM
  • Final Event: Wednesday, April 10th 5PM – 7PM
Email List Sign up

*This email list is for those that would like to be kept up to date on the events, regardless of participation in the actual competition. Every event is open to any student that would like to attend.

How the Competition will work:

  • Connector.

    Kick off event February 13th

    The event kicks off February 13th. We’ll cover how the competition will work and start the training right away. Don’t have a team? Don’t worry – we will get you connected to others at the end of the meeting. At the end, we’ll help make sure everyone that’s interested in on a team. Teams will have until February 28th to sign up!

  • Connector.


    We’re going to teach you to be a real venture capitalist, which means you’ll have to find your deal, perform your due diligence on it, and convince your investment committee to invest. To help you, we’ll cover a number of topics over the 4 workshops: How to source a deal, How to perform due diligence, and How to make an investment decision.

  • Connector.

    Selection Process

    Teams will be narrowed down through a series of submissions until the final 5 teams are selected to present at the final event. However, all of the workshops will remain open to all student participants regardless of whether they are selected to advance on to the next round.

  • Connector.


    Teams that advance past the first round will be assigned a mentor to assist them with the due diligence and final presentation. These mentors are local investors and this is an amazing opportunity to network and learn directly from these individuals.

  • Connector.

    Final Judging Event

    Held April 10th, the final judging event will be modeled after a venture capital fund’s investment committee meeting: teams will pitch their investment and due diligence to a panel of 3-5 very successful venture capitalists. The team that does the best job will not only win a cash prize (to help them make their investment?), but they will also have the unique opportunity to join the judges for dinner.

Submission Deadlines

  • Sign-up Deadline: February 28th
  • Team Name and Team Members Deadline: February 28th
  • Top 3 Companies Submission Deadline: March 13th
  • Initial Due Diligence Submission Deadline: March 23rd
  • Final Presentation Submission Deadline: April 3rd
  • Final Event: April 10th

Workshop Videos and Presentations

SD VC Case Competition Kick-off Event

During the kickoff event we review a little bit about University Growth Fund and our program, but then spend the rest of the time discussing what venture capital is, how VC funds are structured, and cover the rules of the competition.

You can find the presentation I used here:
SDVCCC Kick-off Event Presentation

Workshop 1: Thematic and Opportunistic Deal Sourcing

In this workshop we cover the two main deal sourcing approaches used by venture capitalists: Thematic and Opportunistic. We finish it some guidance and tips on what to look for as you work on finding and screen potential investment opportunities.

You can find the presentation I used here:
Workshop 1: Deal Sourcing Presentation

Workshop 2: Due Diligence I

In this workshop we cover the various due diligence topics, including how to evaluate a business model and strategy, assessing markets, and evaluating competition.

You can find the presentation I used here:
Workshop 2: Due Diligence I

Workshop 3: Due Diligence II

In this workshop we cover additional due diligence topics, including how to evaluate the offering, the financials, projections, and potential returns. We also provide guidelines on the final deliverable.

You can find the presentation used here:
Workshop 3: Due Diligence II

Frequently Asked Questions

Teams compete in groups of 2-4, but if you don’t have a team, you should still sign up and we’ll help you find team members

While we HIGHLY encourage you to attend as many sessions as possible, we will also post recordings of all of the sessions to this website. Attendance at the final event is obviously required.

Teams that advance on to the final stages of the competition are paired with a local investor to help them tighten up their due diligence and prepare for the final pitch.

Any full time university or college student in San Diego is eligible to participate. This includes both masters degree students and undergrads. Teams can even be comprised of students of different schools. We want to make this opportunity to as many as possible and help expose them to the world of startups and investing.

Rather than send out a case study like many other competitions, we are teaching you to be like real venture capitalists: this means learning how to source your own deals, perform due diligence on them, and convince your investment committee to make the investment. So, your submission will be a deal that you find and you will be judged on the quality of the deal, the level of the due diligence you perform, and your ability to convince your investment committee that it is a good investment.

We’ve partnered with the University of San Diego to host the event. All of the workshops and the final event will be held at the Krok Institute of Peace and Justice, a beautiful building overlooking the bay. Parking will be available down the hill from the building.