HOW TO GET A JOB IN VC?
I've held several conversations on the topic with aspiring VCs, so, these thread shares insights I've gathered. Please chime in with additional tips / ideas / resources. Helping more people from different backgrounds get into a venture is Key to Rocket!
OK, there are 2 ways to get into VC — First, join an existing fund. Second, start your own fund which sounds a bit complicated, right?
This thread focuses on 1st one - joining a fund. When I use the word "fund" throughout, it refers to a traditional VC fund, corporate VC, angel group, or any entity whose team invests in startups. First, decide on three things you care about:
🌍 — Globe with meridians Where do you want to live? Is remote an option for you?
💼 — Briefcase What industry / area of focus do you care most about?
📏 — Straight ruler What stage of investing is of interest?
For example, you might say Moscow or NYC, hr-tech, seed to series A. Now that you have some direction, you'll create a spreadsheet (template
) to do your research + analysis. You want to look at as many firms as possible that fit your criteria. Most people will look at 10 - 50 in total. Which firms to put on your list?
Crunchbase Pro allows you to search for investors by city + type (it will cost you 348 dollars per year, but you will have 7 days free trial), BuiltIn
offers lists of VCs in various cities or you can also check out the VC Funds List
made by Shai Goldman (SVB) that aggregate VCs by stage. Two more quick resources for finding VCs are Active VC List
by DocSend and a List of 111+ Women Owners of Venture and Growth Capital Funds
& many of these will be growing quickly in the next few years compiled by Kate Brodock.
As you spend hours going through your firms of interest, you will start to get excited about a few. Mark these as high priority. Ideally, you end up with 3 to 5 highs. Now, you have to figure out how to connect with those VCs.
Identify someone at the VC firm you most resonate with. Don't worry if it's not a partner. Use LinkedIn/Facebook in Russia or LinkedIn/Twitter in US and the VC's website to learn about every single person at the firm. Then pick the one person you think is most likely to respond based on a tailored note you send.Craft your message in < 175 words. Format:
1. Connect - tie your story to WHY you love this firm (their focus, a portfolio they invested in, a blog they wrote, etc.);
2. Offer - we will cover this below;
3. Link to (or attach) one supporting item for #2;
4. Ask for 15 min call follow-up or chat about what you've sent*
*You could also offer to do a free or paid project/internship for the firm if they happen to need help (though this might be best saved for a later communication — do what feels right). Share 4-5 times that work for you in a week or two, including the time zone. Ask if they prefer phone or zoom and then offer to send a calendar invite once you hear back. You might even make them a personalized calendly
link!The offer is critical. What could you do for this firm? Some ideas:
💌 — Send them a strong deal that fits their thesis;
💻 — Share proprietary research you have done which they may find interesting / helpful;
📝— Suggest a project you'd complete for the firm based on your experience*
*Projects could be related to marketing, content, tech stack, operations, or investment. Be creative, and tie YOUR experience / interests with the FIRM's focus / needs. This takes time to get right, but you have to connect the dots. This is all about getting a foot in the door.Some ideas to link to/attach:
— Due diligence analysis you prepare on an interesting deal;
— Fake portfolio you would have invested in if you'd had angel capital to deploy (& why you would have made those investments);
*Keep it brief (