BOULDER - A group of University of Colorado graduate students will compete Thursday through Saturday in the international finals of the Venture Capital Investment Competition at the University of North Carolina.

The team of Adam Block, John Cook, Nicole Reed Fry, Chris Kaffer and Chris White are all graduate students in law or business administration at CU. The team is sponsored by the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at CU's Leeds School of Business. Jessica Hunter and Caitlin Gallagher McDonald are alternate members.

The team's victory at the February regional round in California marked the 10th regional VCIC win in 11 years for CU. The team won $1,500 for that victory, in which it selected a startup, vetted the company and prepared financial projections and a proposal before negotiating terms with the company and responding to judges' questions.

The group has prepared by taking courses in venture capital and entrepreneurial finance at CU, while also meeting outside of class for sessions with chief executives of area startups in which the team got to make mock investments.

Up for grabs at the international finals is a prize of $5,000. Other schools competing include the University of California Berkeley, Boston College, Brigham Young, Columbia, North Carolina and Yale, as well as teams from the China Europe International Business School, the Copenhagen Business School, the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and Oxford University.

"CU-Boulder is lucky to be part of the Front Range's innovation ecosystem," CU associate professor of law Brad Bernthal, who helped teach the venture capital class along with the Foundry Group's Jason Mendelson, said in a press release. "Our students have an advantage because they're engaged with emerging companies in the classroom and in the community, and it's no accident that we enjoy a tradition of excellence surrounding VCIC."