Saturday, September 02, 2006

My first steps into Venture Capital

So I decided that I will try to figure out where I can make a career in this field. Everywhere I talked to, people tend to be discouraging and do not think, there is a way to get a position in VC directly out of Business school. Maybe there is a grain of truth. There is not much you can contribute to a VC firm if you are just out of school. However, most of us are NOT just out of school.
Most of us have a few years of operating experience and even multiple degrees before we get to Bschool. Having said that, there is a profile which is especially conducive to getting in.
(This does not mean people with different profiles can't get in, this is just more conducive)
1. Have an advanced engineering degree (BS, MS in EE/CS/other engineering disciplines)
2. Have startup experience either through starting something or by working on the groundfloor of one
3. Have operating experience of some significance
4. Be a hustler

I think the last point is probably the most important one. You need to hustle quite a bit. Get in front of incredibly busy people, charm your way to an audience and then make the most ouf it. This is NOT IB/consulting, there is no set path. You should be genuinely interested in meeting other entrepreneurs/VCs because you are interested in getting to know them. And you can't do that unless you are 100% passionate about this technology and startups.
Which brings us to the main criteria to get a VC job:
VC jobs are not backups and you will not be very efffective recruiting for IB/Consulting/etc and try to get a VC job in the background. That said, startup jobs/tech operating jobs can be a consequence of looking for a VC job. You start talking to people to find a VC internship and suddenly, you get a great operating internship in a nice tech startup.
That happens more often than we would think.

So having spent enough time talking to 2nd years/VC friends, I decided I was going to go find myself a VC internship. And then process really took off.

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