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Venture Capital investment competition

A team of Southern business students has earned a berth in next month’s Northeast Venture Capital Investment Competition after securing a victory recently in a similar statewide event.

The team of Peter Blanchet, Alec Santo and Paul Barlow turned back stiff competition from Quinnipiac and Fairfield universities in December to gain the win. It marked the second straight time a Southern team won the Connecticut Venture Capital Investment Competition. Last March, the trio of Santo, Barlow and Egzon Dauti took the inaugural edition of the state competition.

Student teams from Connecticut colleges and universities presented business and investment plans. The investment plans were evaluated by investment industry professionals.

“It was a wonderful achievement for our students,” said Adam Abugri, chairman of the Economics and Finance Department and faculty advisor. “To qualify for competition against schools such as Harvard, MIT, and Cornell speaks to the capabilities of Southern’s students. We all should be proud of our students.”

In addition to the trophy, the team earned a $500 grant from the Entrepreneurship Foundation Inc. to support the travel expenses that will be incurred for the trip to Boston for the regional competition. The team’s entry fee for the regional competition has also been paid for by the foundation.

“Your students acquitted themselves well,” said Mike Roer, president of the Entrepreneurship Foundation, to Abugri. “You should be very proud of them.” Roer plans to present the trophy to the team at a future event on campus.

“Applying classroom investment techniques in a competitive, hands-on atmosphere is truly exhilarating,” Santo said. “This experience motivates my passion to pursue a competitive career path.”

Blanchet expressed similar sentiments.

“I learned a lot from this experience and it was exciting to hear pitches from so many passionate student entrepreneurs,” he said. “I was impressed by how dedicated these entrepreneurs were to their start-ups, and it was interesting to negotiate with them as if we were truly in a position to invest heavily into their companies.”