Five students at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School walked away with first place in the national Venture Capital Investment Competition last week at UNC.

The five (Ron DiFelice, Lizz Pawlson, Reed Toole, Susie Criscione, Paul Kuebler) are all seeking master’s in business administration. They won $10,000.

The victory represented a comeback of sorts for the five. The team had finished second in regional competition Colorado. First and second place teams advanced to the finals.

“The UNC team showed a remarkable understanding of venture capital and exhibited amazing overall communication skills,” said Mark Heesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association, which is one of the event’s sponsors.

The competition called for teams to analyze a series of actual business plans from firms seeking venture financing. They also quizzed executives from those firms after hearing sales pitches. And they also were tasked to develop an investment strategy based on what they had learned from those presentations and plans.

Teams from San Diego State, which placed second, Harvard, which was third, Wharton, Columbia, Texas, Duke and UCLA also participated.

The contest is sponsored by Kenan-Flager’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology Venturing.

For information about the competition, see: