Exit to a Startup

Hey all, I've been looking at exit options and I've realized I'd prefer to be in a space with very small teams, exciting new products, and a bit less rigidity with respect to roles. What type of jobs would investment bankers be able to exit into for startups (excluding corp dev as I want to get away from transactions)? Not looking to join a 5 person startup, more closer to around Series B / C size

Comments (14)

 
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jan 12, 2021 - 4:27pm

Following - also what's the average comp package at these places?

 
Most Helpful
Jan 12, 2021 - 10:51pm

So I did this (kinda, i did IB to PE to tech startup). There were really 2 main types of roles I was targeting:

Finance: FP&A is the easiest route, but sometimes you will run into issues on comp. Depending on the company, sometimes FP&A will be a very vanilla role, while other times it will be more of a strategic function encompassing more responsibility. 

Strategy: Here I'm mostly talking about "chief of staff" or "management associate" type roles. There are a lot of names for the same type of job here, but basically it's a role where execs can delegate misc projects to you that may not fit elsewhere (e.g. general strategy, special deals like M&A and partnerships, plus filling in wherever as needed). Here's an example: https://www.builtinchicago.org/job/data/executive-strategy-analyst/1110…

 

If you just look around on LI/company websites, there will often be jobs where they're looking for someone with IB / consulting experience, so pay attn to those.

Other general areas could include ops, product, and marketing, but might require an intermediate step. One other thing I will say is that a lot of startups will be willing to offer flexibility in your long term role. For example, we've had people that started out in account management and are now in product, as well as people in finance who are now in marketing.

 
Jan 13, 2021 - 12:15am

CHItizen

So I did this (kinda, i did IB to PE to tech startup). There were really 2 main types of roles I was targeting:

Finance: FP&A is the easiest route, but sometimes you will run into issues on comp. Depending on the company, sometimes FP&A will be a very vanilla role, while other times it will be more of a strategic function encompassing more responsibility. 

Strategy: Here I'm mostly talking about "chief of staff" or "management associate" type roles. There are a lot of names for the same type of job here, but basically it's a role where execs can delegate misc projects to you that may not fit elsewhere (e.g. general strategy, special deals like M&A and partnerships, plus filling in wherever as needed). Here's an example: https://www.builtinchicago.org/job/data/executive-strategy-analyst/1110…

 

If you just look around on LI/company websites, there will often be jobs where they're looking for someone with IB / consulting experience, so pay attn to those.

Other general areas could include ops, product, and marketing, but might require an intermediate step. One other thing I will say is that a lot of startups will be willing to offer flexibility in your long term role. For example, we've had people that started out in account management and are now in product, as well as people in finance who are now in marketing.

Would be remiss if sales roles at startups didn't get a mention here. Obviously, not a great fit for all IB junior folk (e.g. people who are borderline asperger's probably won't be great at sales), but for those who are smart + sociable and looking to break into startups, I would argue that sales is the number one role and the one in which you could have the biggest impact.

It's really a shame that sales doesn't get more love from IB people who go into tech. All the ex-IB people I know in tech end up doing biz dev or ops. Really a shame...

 
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jan 13, 2021 - 1:17am

What would the sales role entail beyond marketing strategy/pitching? Excuse my total ignorance on this but it sounds like it would encapsulate some of the most detestable parts of banking instead of concrete transactional work.

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