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30 April 2019
UPCOMINGVC: an experience for discovering the VC’s world.

Feedbacks from Mickaël GROS-PRUGNY, student at Audencia Business School

Passionate about innovation in the last few years now and recently about financing innovation, I had the pleasure of being selected to participate in the third edition of UPComingVC, an investment challenge for Consumer & SaaS startup, which took place on January 28 at Station F, Paris.

This challenge highlights promising wannabe Venture Capitalists wishing to enter the closed world of Venture Capital. This is linked to funds that invest in startups, young & high-growth companies that offer an innovative product or service that can achieve strong and rapid growth.

The role of the candidate as a VC analyst in this specific industry is to process the deal flow of incoming startups using their pitch deck, high-potential entrepreneurs, and first interviews called pitchs.

During this day, concerning Consumer & SaaS startups, we totally abandoned traditional valuation methods or other mathematical formulas. We have given way to the other aspect of Venture Capital: the human level. The main VCs present all agreed on this point (while keeping a business orientation!).

Upon my arrival, I had the pleasure of being welcomed by a cocktail party organized by the Eldorado company and alumnus of the UPComingVC, former challengers, from previous editions.

After this cocktail, we were quickly immersed in the heart of the matter.

The goal of the challenge is to allow "wannabe VCs" challengers to put themselves in the shoes of a real VC in the analysis and selection of promising startups and for real startup founders to pitch their project.

As challengers, we have been made aware by Raffi Kamber (Alven Capital) and Camille Kriebitzsch (Eutopia VC) of the various questions that must be asked of a startuper during a first meeting with an investor.

It is essential for investors to determine different points before motivating a second interview:

  • The team: what is the founder's background? Is he 100% focused on the project? Is the team in line with the project?
  • The product: what is the product? Its nature? How does it work? Who is it intended for? Has he found his target?
  • The market: what is the addressable market? What is the size of the market? Possible margins? What is the competitive environment?
  • Metrics: what is the LTV? The CAC? Have you already generated a turnover?

These 4 points are essential to justify the investment decision. And it is on the basis of these that we were able to work throughout the day with my team of 4 members, with different and complementary backgrounds.

We were therefore able to study 8 Consumers & SaaS startups, per 45-minute session in the presence of a VC. During the first 30 minutes, the startuper would come to pitching their project and then followed a conversation ranging from the original idea to the long-term vision of the startup without forgetting to highlight the useful metrics. Then during the last 15 minutes, he provided us with his expertise and help in order to understand the levers for investing in each startup and also to indicate the positive points and those to be improved during our interviews with investors

Once we had seen all the startups, we had to send a presentation of the startup we wanted to defend to a fake investment committee in the presence of a jury from VC and all the Challengers. With my team, we defended the FOODETECTIVE startup which is a SaaS solution for restaurateurs. This platform concentrates in a system of operations different services such as Food Delivery companies (Uber Eats, JustEat...), social media (Facebook...) and websites.

Unfortunately, at the end of this day we did not win the challenge with my team, but this experience was undeniably rich and a real plus for my career, strengthening my willingness to work in innovation financing and eventually become an investor in Venture Capital.

Innovation Enterprise