A team of five HBS students – Jason Kreuziger (OJ), Steve Davis (OJ), Benjamin Kramarz (NH), Ken Auspaker (NG), and Michael Jones (NF) – took second place overall out of approximately 70 teams in the annual National IPO Challenge hosted by the Chicago Graduate School of Business. This marked the best finish ever in the nationwide competition by an HBS team and signaled to the students of the more “financially oriented” business schools that yes, HBS students can do finance too.
The National IPO Challenge is a competition in which teams comprised of five business school students are presented with a case containing limited information about a company debating whether it should pursue a public offering. The team must develop a proposed offering along with a detailed valuation and suggested price for the transaction, then pitch the idea to a “Board of Directors” comprised of investment banking professionals and leading business school professors. After successfully navigating the qualifying round, the team was invited to Chicago where they were given a new case and 24 hours to build a valuation model, structure and position the deal, create a pitch book, and present the team’s ideas before a panel. After pulling a classic i-banking all-nighter, the team had to survive multiple rounds of pitching, each accompanied by challenging Q&A sessions and heated debate.
Despite the enormous amount of work that went into the competition, all members of the HBS team unequivocally agreed that competing in the event was one of the more rewarding personal and professional experiences they had been a part of at HBS. They also managed to take home a cash prize of $3,500.