Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What did I do (and am doing) to position myself?

So I remember mentioning somewhere that I will list out the things one could do at school to position themselves for a Venture Capital job. Let me list out what I did and we can go into some detail on each. This is in ascending order of importance (in my opinion).

1. Take a VC class - Yeah, you could do that. It may help some. But as I have said before, the amount of process stuff that one needs to learn to do well in Venture Capital can be learnt in a few hours. The rest is (as they say) is experience and intuition. This means you got to have experiential knowledge.

2. Do a Field Application Project - Do a study on an issue of importance to Venture Capitalists as a self-study in school. I did one of these last year with Professor Steve Sammut (on oddly enough, Pharma sector), and it was an awesome experience from the point of interacting with Safeguard Scientific and learning about the business.

3. Do a VC Trek with your fellow students - This is a good one. A first year mentioned this to me recently and I think this is incredibly useful. I would say try to organize a trek if you can, but the next best thing to do is to go on it. One gets to meet a lot of VCs in a very relaxed atmosphere, and it is an easy way to make a few contacts in the industry.

4. Compete in VCIC - The Venture Capital Investment Competition or VCIC as it is known, is the single best, intensive course in Venture Capital one could take. A team of five are given a bunch of business plans. They have three days to diligence, evaluate, grill entrepreneurs and come up with an investment thesis. We won this last year at Wharton and barely lost the 2nd spot in the regionals. All in all, a fantastic experience.

5. Work for a local VC firm - I am an associate for University Venture Fund, which is not really a local VC fund but has enough reach and deal flow to keep me busy and teach me the inner workings of a successful venture fund. Try to get into a local VC firm or your university's Venture fund (if there is one), and this could be the best thing you could do for yourselves beyond landing a summer internship in Venture Capital.


And in the end, spend the rest of the time looking for an internship, networking and reading tech blogs:)
Between all these things, you should have enough on your resume to take a serious stab at a career in Venture Capital. Beyond that, it's fate, timing, luck, whatever you may call it.

2 comments:

Punit Soni's Adventures in VCland said...

Add the VC west coast trek info to this. It is a great way to work towards a VC career.

bipin said...

Hello Punit, I have been reading your blog for some time and it has provided me some of the pieces of the puzzle - Why MBA at Wharton for VC career? Would it be ok if I named names in my essay for this purpose?