Pre-MBA associate positions at VC/growth equity firms

cheetah's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 3

I'm in my 2nd year at a leading management consulting firm (with several tech-related projects) and am starting to look for pre-MBA associate positions at VC/growth equity firms. I graduated from a top college. I'd appreciate advice on how to organize my search, particularly since VC recruiting is so selective.

  • Do any other headhunters apart from Glocap have strong VC connections? I've found trying to work with Glocap immensely frustrating.
  • Should I start cold-emailing alumni from my college (many are in VC)? If so, any pointers on how to go about it (e.g. set up informational calls first or make interest in job explicit)?
  • Any firms that recruit directly without going through headhunters/personal connections?

Thank you.

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Comments (4)

Jan 25, 2009

i would start with alums at your school. shoot them an e-mail and tell them what you're interested in, ask them about their career path and then let them guide the conversation

Mar 7, 2009

Breaking into the VC world can be either near impossible or relatively (EXTREME emphasis on relatively) straight forward, its all about what channel's your in. People commonly (and mistakenly) jumble VC in with PE: Larger VC funds can often begin to blur the line between the two, but for the most part the "Silicon Valley" model VC firms (First Round, Foundry Group, KPCB) are all typically comprised of partners and analysts WITHIN the community. Another question to ask yourself is why do I want to be a VC and do I know what they really do? And most importantly do I REALLY know how portfolio goes from three dreamy undergrad CS majors to firedrill between four VC firms? I mean If you want to make boat loads of cash with a cool title work w/ a hedge fund (if they still exist). VC communities for firms that target angel, seed, and series A funding are typically simpatico with their local and sister entrepreneurial communities (SV, Boston, Boulder, New York, Austin). With really great VC firms the only difference between the entrepreneur's and the GP's is access to funds from LP's and some credit training (90% of the time if a VC does have a finance background its m&a). A lot of VC deals come from the partners friends from business school, someone the meet at the local Barcamp, or randomly on a ski trip. Its a very personal tight nit group, so if your some I banking burn out looking to make a switch (not saying you are:)) start hanging out at local tech events, look into maybe starting your own company first. What do you know about the development of twitter apps is heading towards? Why do programmers like AJAX or Phython better? Have you done a personal case study on all the selected companies from TechStars and YCombinator last year, and did you email your buddies a slam dunk investment opportunity for them to pitch to their bosses? At the VERY least techcrunch should be your homepage. Experienced entrepreneur's are typically sketched out by some ivy leaguer they've never meet before wanting to shove money into their project that is typically more than just company, its something that they've risked everything for for years and want to work with people who understand that.
Thats a little broad so I'll narrow it down for your immediate situation: Look at your friends career path, mirror some of their moves. I would probably looking into getting in with one of your consulting firms portfolio companies that have funding from a VC fund (type) that you would like to work for. See what roles you could make an impact and generate results (although VC's might be the hippies of the finance world they still are going to get their money) so if you want to impress a general partner show them the money. VC funds are typically a tenth of the size of PE firms (their nearest kin) so your paycheck is coming out of their cut of the carry. I literally got an summer analyst position because of the advice from this blog....http://www.thisisgoingtobebig.com/2007/06/how_to_g... , great place to start. Good luck (you'll need it).

Mar 7, 2009

Breaking into the VC world can be either near impossible or relatively (EXTREME emphasis on relatively) straight forward, its all about what channel's your in. People commonly (and mistakenly) jumble VC in with PE: Larger VC funds can often begin to blur the line between the two, but for the most part the "Silicon Valley" model VC firms (First Round, Foundry Group, KPCB) are all typically comprised of partners and analysts WITHIN the community. Another question to ask yourself is why do I want to be a VC and do I know what they really do? And most importantly do I REALLY know how portfolio goes from three dreamy undergrad CS majors to firedrill between four VC firms? I mean If you want to make boat loads of cash with a cool title work w/ a hedge fund (if they still exist). VC communities for firms that target angel, seed, and series A funding are typically simpatico with their local and sister entrepreneurial communities (SV, Boston, Boulder, New York, Austin). With really great VC firms the only difference between the entrepreneur's and the GP's is access to funds from LP's and some credit training (90% of the time if a VC does have a finance background its m&a). A lot of VC deals come from the partners friends from business school, someone the meet at the local Barcamp, or randomly on a ski trip. Its a very personal tight nit group, so if your some I banking burn out looking to make a switch (not saying you are:)) start hanging out at local tech events, look into maybe starting your own company first. What do you know about the development of twitter apps is heading towards? Why do programmers like AJAX or Phython better? Have you done a personal case study on all the selected companies from TechStars and YCombinator last year, and did you email your buddies a slam dunk investment opportunity for them to pitch to their bosses? At the VERY least techcrunch should be your homepage. Experienced entrepreneur's are typically sketched out by some ivy leaguer they've never meet before wanting to shove money into their project that is typically more than just company, its something that they've risked everything for for years and want to work with people who understand that.
Thats a little broad so I'll narrow it down for your immediate situation: Look at your friends career path, mirror some of their moves. I would probably looking into getting in with one of your consulting firms portfolio companies that have funding from a VC fund (type) that you would like to work for. See what roles you could make an impact and generate results (although VC's might be the hippies of the finance world they still are going to get their money) so if you want to impress a general partner show them the money. VC funds are typically a tenth of the size of PE firms (their nearest kin) so your paycheck is coming out of their cut of the carry. I literally got an analyst position because of the advice from this blog....http://www.thisisgoingtobebig.com/2007/06/how_to_g... , great place to start. Good luck (you'll need it).

Sep 18, 2009