Posted by: davidsandusky | May 6, 2008

Get Hired by a Venture Capital Firm

Another tough nut to crack is getting on the radar screen of a venture capitalist.  Whether it is to pitch a business plan for funding, talent to put on your company staff or board of directors or in search for a job. 

Since this blog is about being hire educated, we will focus on the getting the job with a venture capitalist part.  Although, the crossover may be worth your while if you have different agendas. 

So, you want to be on the due diligence or development team with a VC.  Perhaps your goal is to get hired with a VC’s portfolio company.  How do you crack that code in one of the sexy industries where a lot of smart and qualified people try and fail to “get in”? 

First, get noticed by doing great work elsewhere.  Ideally in investment banking or consulting firms that have a portfolio as smaller and rapid growth ventures.  In addition, experience within a start-up yourself would be a good idea to understand the culture and nuances of how these deals work.  This may also be a good test to determine if you really want to be in this environment.  With notable success and failure, you may create the kind of personal brand that gets noticed by the VC community.

If you are having success in the right areas yet don’t have the contact, you need to focus your networking and career strategy.  The common advice of getting a warm introduction works.  Be aware, however, that just because you know someone who knows a VC does not mean you are in the door.  The filters are tight.  That is why there seems to be a pedigree in this business.  The attorneys, portfolio CEOs, executive recruiters, etc. are just as tough to crack.  Remember “How to Get a Response from Recruiters“?  

During the dot com boom, I had a number of venture backed start-ups clients in the executive search business and was aggressively pursued myself by the corporate ship jumper who thought she wanted to run a start-up.  Many did not make the cut because of culture, and many who did found themselves going back to where they had the success in corporate progression.  Some did realized their true passion was in small and rapid growth environments.  A good test for all.       

Regardless, set the strategy to show the work ethic and success in evaluating deals, launching products and leading rapid growth teams.  Get these notches on your professional belt while networking and adding value to the VC crowd.  It will likely take time, but if this is where you want to be, it is worth it! 

Got some due diligence or business ideas?  Start a discussion in the due diligence forum.

 

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Responses

  1. […] David Sandusky’s Hire Educated wrote an interesting post today on Get Hired by a Venture Capital FirmHere’s a quick excerpt Ideally in investment banking or consulting firms that have a portfolio a… […]

  2. Invest in both team and task, collaborate with honesty, and you’ll survive to live another day if your first idea fails.


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