I want to break into Venture Capital

Long story short,

Graduated in 2013 from a non target, Bachelors of Science in Economics, concentration in Business & Finance.

I've successfully implemented my health tech startup in the Middle East and North African Region( capitalized on a non-saturated market) and was able to secure seed funding, office space, employed a small team of developers and marketeers. Received a lot of press and the user base is growing rapidly. I leveraged the talent into a second startup, small web development and digital marketing that operates worldwide. Offered company services in exchange for equity in two additional startups in the states(currently under development).

For me it is and always was about becoming a Venture Capitalist, ideally in NYC. Can anyone in the industry make any recommendations, give advice, and or point me in the right direction?

Comments (7)

Sep 27, 2014 - 6:08pm

Being entrepreneurial is a plus. A few questions:
1) Did you raise VC funding at your startups? If so, and it was a successful exit, your best bet is to network with your actual investors and see how they can help, either in terms of you joining their firms or having them intro you to other VCs
2) Why NYC? There are many more opportunities in the Bay Area, so just curious how set you are with NYC

Sep 30, 2014 - 9:34am

That's a very impressive background. I would recommend the following:

1) Go on crunchbase, see which companies you would see as competitors (or at least doing the same thing), and see what funds are involved. These are the funds that will be able to connect with you.
2) Go to Meetup and see what groups are in NYC (if you are in NYC) that focus on startups. There usually is one or two guys from a VC fund attending, but at least you get a feel for who the people are.
3) Have 3 companies that you think a fund should invest in. It shows that you know what's going on in the industry as well as understanding fit.

Your edge is that you have practical experience, and you will be able to judge the management team better than most applicants. I think now you need to show you understand the nuances of the investing side of VC funds (rather than the operational).

--Death, lighter than a feather; duty, heavier than a mountain
Sep 30, 2014 - 4:49pm

I'd second what brokencircle said. Talk to people who advised or invested you for sure. That's a easy first step. Make it very clear to them what your goals are and ask if they have any advice/how they got where they are today. Then networking! Take as many calls, coffees, lunches, and drinks as you can... something will click. You've got a solid background.

Oct 1, 2014 - 10:10am

Maybe I'm not interpreting this correctly, but if you've done all of this within ~1 year of graduating why not see it through? It sounds awful early to be jumping on to something else.

Also, in my opinion (I'm nowhere near VC) you'd have more value as someone who lead a successful startup or saw VCs to successful exit on your startup as opposed to a guy who raised money, ran it for 6 months and bailed.

It feels to me like there's some runway left for you on your current path.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy
Oct 1, 2014 - 2:32pm

It sounds like you have already accomplished quite a lot in the startup world. I think one of the best ways you can break into VC is by staying active in the startup community and simply communicating what you would like to achieve. If you are looking to do VC in NYC, I would highly suggest moving over there and bringing your experience and expertise to that community. I'm sure you can add a ton of value to the community whole and help many entrepreneurs

Why do this? It simply boils down to networking. VC's don't follow any typical hiring cycle and often recruit people based on spontaneous needs. They will often reach out to their network to fill those gaps. By being active in the startup community you want to be hired in, you are creating those ties and relationships.

The error of confirmation: we confirm our knowledge and scorn our ignorance.
Oct 1, 2014 - 9:20pm

I recently broke into the industry at the junior level. The way I did it was:

1. Investment banking experience in tech/healthcare/m&a
2. A strong pitch with why I wanted to do VC (easy to be genuine as this was a clear goal and why I did banking in the first place)
3. Scoured for job postings, yes there are public listings occasionally, don't rule this out
4, Networked with VCs

Pro tip is to network once you see a live posting. It's very easy to say "hey I am interested in learning more about your fund, my background is XYZ, would love to schedule a call if you have time"

They will usually say "you have great timing, we actually have a posting up right now" And boom, you have your first pseudo interview.

That is the best use of your time since they actively searching. Cold networking is a dice roll. Still useful, but I recommend the above first.

Also tracking funds that recently raised capital is helpful. Means they have their senior team largely in place, and are possibly contemplating hiring an associate or analyst. Probably not going to raise money and start talking about their awesome junior staff... which doesn't exist at that point and no LP cares.

I would say for you that you are very well positioned for an analyst role, especially since you have direct start-up and fund raising experience. That's more than I can say about myself. Definitely be proud of your accomplishments.

The only pitfall here is that, many funds don't have an analyst, and its rare to hire right out of school, even with start-up experience. Also, VC junior positions are few and far between as it is, so it nothing lands, its don't get discouraged, your background will always be very relevant in the future.

Just saying, work your hardest, pitch your story, which sounds like it should be easy to do given your background, but also have a backup plan in either consulting or banking. Can't hurt to split the net, and it probably smart to, need make sure you have a good job first and then get picky.

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