Sunday, February 18, 2007

Preparing for a VC interview (and then waiting around for months)

Woke up on sunday morning and thought I should write a post today detailing the checklist of items to prepare before heading into a Venture Capital Interview. This proves that I am in snowy Philly with nothing better to think of that this amazing field of Venture capital. So here goes:

1. Fund Profile - Look at the commited capital, past performance, news articles related to the fund, and buzz in the market. Do you diligence on the fund as if you were doing diligence on a potential investment for the fund. After all, it is an investment into your career.

2. Partner Backgrounds - Read the bios closely. Note down points of convergence in your backgrounds and interests with theirs. If you find nothing, do not panic but if you find something be sure to bring it up in your interviews. Also, look out for red herrings. If you are interviewing with a ex-banker for a growth stage fund, you might get many more financial engineering questions than regular investment thesis questions.

3. Know thy Resume - It is amazing how few people get this in its entirity. When one heads into an interview, expect discussions on everything under the sun. If you had a gig in EDA (Electronic Design Automation for the uninitiated), you should expect a question about the industry in general, growth prospects, and investment ideas even though this may not be something you have worked much on, or thought a lot about.

4. Think about your Investment Philosophy - Mine is "Team, Problem, Solution (Plan B), Economics, Exit". Obviously, there is a lot more to it than just those five words however it is good to have a succint way of putting across your investment philosophy. Back it up with ideas, good VC practices, and practical insights. This is the question one gets asked a lot so we need to ensure that we can provide answers beyond mere cliches.

5. Read up those VC Bulk Packs - If you are at Wharton, then go buy the Venture Capital and Financial Innovation textbook or bulkpack, and read it from cover to cover. Be sure you understand how term sheets are structured. Be exposed to the various VC financial and legal jargon. Not knowing what a cap table is might not be the end of it but will definitely hamper your chances.

6. Venture related Extra-curriculars - If you have done any study project for a local VC, worked on any deals on a part-time basis, internships etc, then be sure to highlight them, read up on them, and talk about them in your interview. Nothing builds more credibility in front of a Venture Capitalist than prior VC experience.

7. Investment Thesis - This is probably the make or break part of your interview. Line up atleast 3-5 different investment ideas in the areas you are positioning yourselves in. For ex:
I position myself as a Semi/Wireless/Mobile Services guy, hence I have investment theses in:
a. Mobile Ads
b. Mobile Video
c. Mobile DIY
d. Semiconductor (Chips and chip technology)
e. Broadband Wireless Technologies
f. Mobile Computing
g. Others (a big bucket for the various other ideas that I have in spaces as diverse as Network Storage to Internet Services)

When thinking about an investment thesis, concentrate on three aspects:
- Idea
- Viability (Market, Competition, etc)
- Existing Startups in that space
- Any new startups that have not gotten funding yet.

After all, nothing gets a VC's attention more than a funding idea.


If you do all this and more, then you can sit around for months waiting for that elusive call. And the Kafkaesque search will start.

31 comments:

Baris said...

Great list Punit!

I was wondering what you think about network side of the puzzle. Do you need to show you have a network in the area that you're interested? Do VCs care about your network?

Cheers.

Baris

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your interviews. I have gone through some of what you are seeing. We should catch up sometime.

Cheers
RT

Punit Soni's Adventures in VCland said...

The network is obviously important. If you can demonstrate a strong network in the area you are trying to position yourselves for, then it definitely is a strong benefit. It will also help you build up some deal flow and that has its own attendant benefits.

Punit Soni's Adventures in VCland said...

RT...why dont you shoot me an email at punit@wharton.upenn.edu sometime? Would love to catch up.

Scott Scheper said...

I'm still a little unclear on what you mean by investment thesis. Can you provide an example of your investment thesis?

Thanks

- Scott
Newportventuregroup.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I found this site using [url=http://google.com]google.com[/url] And i want to thank you for your work. You have done really very good site. Great work, great site! Thank you!

Sorry for offtopic

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

Anonymous said...

Drug lamictal Get betagan World delivery prevacid Without prescription cipro 50mg lanoxin Buy tulasi

Anonymous said...

[url=http://pdw2010.uoftpharmacy.com/form/]Where Can I Viagra Buy Now[/url]

Buy thesis said...

this kind of blog always useful for blog readers, it helps people during research. your post is one of the same for blog readers.

buy Thesis Papers

Buy Thesis said...

After read blog topic's related post now I feel my research is almost completed. happy to see that.Thanks to share this brilliant matter.
Buy thesis

Cialis Online said...

looks like you have scheduled and ready for this occassion, you know what is the best part of this, you are put it a excellent example that what is the best way to do this.

Anonymous said...

Helo ! Forex - Работа на дому на компьютере чашкой чая получать удовлетворение от работы стала независимой, пройти регистрацию forex [url=http://foxfox.ifxworld.com/]forex[/url]

Anonymous said...

why am i not ovulating on clomid | http://buyclomidcheap.webs.com/#10683 - buy clomid and nolvadex online, iui with clomid

Anonymous said...

clomid didn't work now what | buy clomid online uk no prescription - clomid price without insurance, fertility clomid

Anonymous said...

how much is clomid with insurance | [url=http://ordergenericclomid.webs.com/#76533]clomid without rx[/url] - buy clomid 50mg tablets, qhsy clomid days 2-6 success stories

Anonymous said...

A pink round bassinet with pink decorative bed linen can really look stunning
any time of the day or night. You can choose to purchase complete infant bedding sets,
which include the fitted sheet, quilt and other accessories to enhance the beauty of
the room. Check also for features like water- or flame-resistance.


My webpage Www.Szakibazis.com

Anonymous said...

Timex Ironman watches suffice the innumerable needs of athletes, cyclists,
skiers, mountaineers, kayaks, etc. All Haemmer watches
are watertight, resident to potential damages caused by temperature fluctuations, and impervious to scratching
or cracking from wearer use. Hamilton Mens Watches have always been known for their accuracy and simplicity, this model will not disappoint.


Feel free to surf to my web-site: http://www.redtube.org.uk/

Anonymous said...

Never consider it really is right for me. once i try
to choose female, it has both male and female selected and i cannot deselect male.


My website lean eating precision nutrition reviews

Anonymous said...

What house remedy can I use to help me stop clearing my throat of plegm?



my site ... teeth whitening home remedy methods

Anonymous said...

Wonderful write-up, nicely believed out! I packed my baggage and I'm transferring to Boston!

my web site: How to get a girlfriend

Anonymous said...

Keep on writing, great job!

Also visit my web page ... where can you buy vigrx plus in stores

Anonymous said...

Your useless on, I never go with all the Television stuff, I
go with all the "golden age", equally as superman was a lot more "super", not a residing
photo voltaic battery.

Look into my web site ... premature ejaculation spray boots

Anonymous said...

I am fifty six, and have misplaced 9lbs in a couple of month along with a
fifty percent. I take advantage of to become
an psychological eater, but read relating to this, and altered
my eating routines, the weight is definately come off.
You've to maneuver rather than sit in your butt all day long. I've began eating more healthy,
don't get me wrong, I really like my sweets, but I limit them now.
It does operate, I take 800mgs at lunch, and 800 mg at evening meal. Im in Canada, and i get mine at Costco $26.99 Cdn, and you get two bottles off 400mg capsules, with 60 within the bottle, less costly than purchasing online, or health meals stores. I thoroughly think within the green coffee bean health supplement.

Here is my weblog :: insane home fat loss download

Anonymous said...

to. You'll also feel more healthy and happier. For much more suggestions about how to make use of these food items, click right here.. var a2a_config = a2a_config

Also visit my weblog ... Metabolic cooking Access Center

Anonymous said...

I know this iif off topic but I'm lookiոg ihto starting mƴ
own bloog annd ԝas curious ѡhat ɑll iѕ neеded to
get setup? I'm assuming havіng a blog like yоurs աould
ccost a pretty penny? I'm ոot vеry web savvy sso І'm not 100% positive.

Αny recommendations оr advice ѡould bе greatly
appreciated. Cheers

Heree іs my pаge - dr oz pure garcinia cambogia

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.hethpoolhouse.co.uk/images/index.asp]Mont Blanc Starwalker Fountain Pen[/url]
Anterior to the Development in Areas may be the Celestial (as well as Armillary) Rectangular (Are generally sphre armillaire) commemorative to help you Woodrow Wilson, offered via the Woodrow Wilson Groundwork. This specific monument will be the design involving United states sculptor John Manship (1885 1966). Ariana Store additionally offers the Switzerland Memorial with Ceramics as well as Cup (Muse suisse de l . a . cramique et du verre).

http://www.andrewwright.co.uk/assets/main pages/Montblanc.aspx

Anonymous said...

I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!

Feel free to visit my blog post ... tampa truck accident lawyer

Anonymous said...

Somewhat at least a year later on this individual
had been having considerable tread wear about all four auto tires however with not many
mls in it. "The lineup includes Banff Springs, Pebble Beach, Bay Hill, Firestone, Torrey Pines, Pinehurst, Troon North, The Belfrey and several other well-known tracks,"
said Patenaude. These models are perfect for individuals who want control without compromising their top speeds.


my web site ... firestone coupons

Mary Santago said...

This blog Info is fabulous; I must wanna see best more from your writers.shailendra singh sequoia

Paul Smith said...

It's a well-researched article, I just wanted to thank you for sharing this article! Just bear in mind that our paper writers are well-informed and educated people. You can always let them write an article for you!