Venture Capital: Chief of Staff Role - Input Appreciated

Hi Everyone,

Obvious throw away account here for anonymity. My question is pretty straightforward and would love to hear a few different opinions on it.

Currently a second year analyst at T2 Digital Consulting firm. High performer, but have always been fascinated with Venture and startups. Pretty well connected within the ecosystem, but as many of you know, Venture is hard to get into.

If I'm interested in being in Venture for the long haul, how do you monkeys view a Chief of Staff/Partner Operations Manager/Platform role within an up and coming early stage fund? Can't really give anything more away than that, but have had a few interviews and it seems like a really unique opportunity to be with a growing fund.

Comments (5)

Sep 20, 2018

I don't see why you wouldn't take this opportunity. Most people from T2 consultancies probably don't have a shot at entering VC to begin with, so why not jump on this opportunity and grow with the firm assuming they're > $50MM? VC is a networking game - the larger your network the easier it will become. I'd say get a few solid years in of this and help the fund grow then if they do well continue, if not, you're already in.

Just do it - Nike

Sep 20, 2018

The chief-of-staff role is one that is really dependent on who you work for and tasks are going to range from glorified assistant to replacement CEO. With that in mind, how you progress going forward will really depend on the quality of work and responsibilities given and how much the partner you work for (or other investment professionals) is going to spend time coaching and mentoring you. It's also a unique opportunity to built a very close relationship with a senior person and that can really, really help going forward. Similarly, things can turn sour really really fast if you work for a psycho.

From my limited experience (only know a few people who did this and not necessarily at VC funds), the experience was either absolute hell and didn't last long or it provided a huge leg up and opened doors that would normally have remained closed for several years. Ultimately, it all boils down to the conversations you had and how confident you are with whoever you'd be working for.

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Sep 20, 2018

Makes sense and agree. Basically the fund has a very flat hierarchy. One founding Managing Partner, another Partner and a third Principal. The fund has been doing very well in recent past and I was referred to them from a mutual colleague. The fund is well known within its specific geography (SF/BOS/NYC) and has multiple seed/series a portfolio of companies most people here would recognize.

My role would be around daily operations of the firm, outward marketing, community engagement, portfolio support, investment memos, diligence, etc.

I see it as a stepping stone with a growing fund, but could also be as you said, hell. I think it puts me in a great position to move up and bridge the gap between operations and investment.

Sep 20, 2018

I think it's very fair for you to ask about long-term career development (ie. where does this position lead to) and that should give you a pretty good idea of how the partners view your long-term potential. Some of the tasks you outlined (diligence, drafting investment memos and to some extent portfolio support) are the bread and butter of an Associate role and given there doesn't seem to be any junior investment professionals, I'm assuming they are planning to use you to fill some of that gap which would bode well for a future transition. In any case, I think going to such a small platform, there really shouldn't be anything you should feel afraid to ask and ultimately, you'll have to make the decision. Good luck!!

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Oct 5, 2018
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