SPITC consists of three phases:

Phase I: November to early January
During Phase I, students have the opportunity to learn more about SPITC by attending an info session and investment thesis overview. 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 in the Polsky Center upon request. Proposals are due to the Polsky Center in mid-January. Participating firms then review the proposals and select those they find most promising to continue to Phase II of the challenge. For a team to advance, a hosting private equity firm must advocate for the thesis proposal and be willing to provide support and mentorship to further the idea. Therefore the number of teams that advance varies from year to year and depends on the interest of the participating firms. 

  • Phase II: February to mid-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 Chris McGowan, adjunct professor of entrepreneurship and the senior advisor for SPITC, who provides coaching and presentation support.

    Phase III: Late April
    Each team submits its final investment thesis and execution strategy to its host firm by mid-May. Sample investment theses are available to review in the Polsky Center upon request. Host firms provide a venue for student teams to 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.

  • Student Feedback:

    “SPITC is probably one of the best ways for career changers to get hands-on experience in the Private Equity industry.”
    - 2017, worked with The Pritzker Organization
    “I found SPITC to be an excellent experience.  Finally getting the opportunity to put my understanding of private equity to use was rewarding, and I learned a lot throughout the process.”
    - 2016, worked with Sterling Partners
    “Great learning experience. It was interesting doing the legwork of primary research. I enjoyed bouncing my ideas off of industry veterans and seeing how they looked at an investment.”
    - 2015, worked with Flexpoint Ford
    “Awesome. I think I benefitted tremendously. Someone with my background has a hard time breaking into PE/VC. I applied for internships like everybody else, and got very little traction. SPITC gave me the opportunity to experience the industry without already having experience in the industry, as it were. I also got a great opportunity to learn from my teammates, something I wouldn't have been able to do in a typical internship.”
    - 2014, worked with Sterling Partners
    “Absolutely excellent experience and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process. It was without doubt one of the highlights of my first year here at Booth. I thought the process was extremely well organized with the appropriate amount of communication from everyone throughout it. I learned a huge amount too: from researching the thesis to preparing for the investment committee, it was a tremendous educational opportunity. I must also add I was fortunate to work with two great guys who made it even better. Thank you for the opportunity to participate and for running it so well.”
    - 2013, worked with Madiscon Dearborn Parners     
    “[SPITC] is a uniquely valuable undertaking - there are myriad similar competitions involving the venture space but few that give one the opportunity to propose a non-VC private equity investment.” 
    - 2012, worked with Sterling Partners