Sterling Partners Investment Thesis Challenge (SPITC)

Sterling Partners Investment Thesis Challenge (SPITC)

Key Dates & Deadlines

SPITC Info Session //

Application Deadline //

  • Application Deadline – Thursday, January 4, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. CT.

Program phases//

  • Phase I: November to early January
    During Phase I, students have the opportunity to learn more about SPITC by attending the virtual info session on Monday, October 16, 2023. During the late autumn, students form teams (visit the SPITC Team-building Worksheet to find other Chicago Booth students interested in participating in the program) and draft their investment thesis proposal. Sample proposals are available for review from the Polsky Center upon request. Proposals are due via the online application in early January. Participating firms then review the proposals and select those they find most promising to continue to Phase II of the challenge. To get accepted into the program, a hosting private equity firm must select a team’s thesis proposal to advance and be willing to provide support and mentorship to further the idea. The number of teams that advance varies from year to year and depends on the interest of the participating firms. In SPITC 2023, 17 proposals were submitted and 8 teams were selected to advance.
  • Phase II: February to April 
    Teams whose proposals have been selected by host firms receive a budget of up to $2,500 to support detailed research efforts and assist them in further developing the thesis and execution strategy. Each team works with an assigned mentor at their host firm, whom they are expected to meet with on a regular basis and keep up-to-date on progress. Depending on how the project evolves, the team may request additional budget support from its host sponsor. Time is also scheduled during this phase for student teams to meet with faculty advisor Chris McGowan, adjunct professor of entrepreneurship, and program advisor Duane Jackson, Polsky Center Investor-in-Residence, who provide coaching and presentation support.
  • Phase III: May
    Each team submits its final investment thesis and execution strategy to its host firm by mid-May. Student teams formally present their proposal to members of the firm’s partnership or investment committee. Firms offer the students constructive feedback and submit an evaluation form to the Polsky Center.

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