Five MBA students have won the IESE Business School Impact Investing Competition, marking the third consecutive win for the School.
Allison Gates, Jayanth Kashyap, Maegan Moore, Juan Pedro Fernández Cueto and Daniel Stokley won the €1000 prize after competing against ten business schools from across the world. The event was held at IESE’s campus in Barcelona.
The competition, which saw the teams named after renowned painters to mask their identities from each other, asked the MBAs to listen to real entrepreneurs pitch their businesses before conducting due diligence and negotiating an investment offer, all within 12 hours.
The team found that a careful eye for detail and an ability to ask the right questions paid dividends. ‘Some of the pitches were very slick, and made the companies look fantastic. But when you actually got down to the detail, some were not all they seemed, so it really came down to scratching below the surface,’ said Allison.
‘The lessons we have learned at Oxford Saïd were immediately applicable to the competition and helped give us an edge,’ added Jayanth, ‘particularly the elective in entrepreneurial finance, which we had only just been studying.’
‘We also had a good team dynamic,’ said Allison, ‘none of us were too opinionated or pushing too hard either way. We were all comfortable debating and reaching quick decisions, as well as dividing up the work and trusting each other. It all happens so quickly, you can’t get bogged down in arguments, you have to move fast,’ she said.
When asked about how it felt to win the competition, Jayanth said that it was ‘tough to maintain decorum, we felt so relieved. But it’s a competition right? You’re entitled to celebrate a bit. It felt like we really accomplished something, especially as we have maintained Oxford Saïd’s winning streak.’
‘I hadn’t been that enthusiastic about competitions, but actually I was really glad I did this,’ said Allison, ‘you learn all these things about due diligence and term sheets in the MBA, but when you actually do it from start to finish in one day it really brings it altogether and makes it real. It’s like a crash course in how it all fits together.’
‘I felt like I learned so much in 12 hours’ said Juan. ‘It was an intense experience but fantastic to win, and being in Barcelona to celebrate was the cherry on top.’