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Getting a VC Job

Hello, and welcome back !

After my last post, I had to rush to UK again to work with a valued customer for 3 weeks.Came back in December, and then went off on a vacation. Must write a post on Maravanthe beach this weekend:-)

Thought I will start posting here again (During my hiatus, I posted couple of times at TWIN ) . Especially after reading this post on Venturewoods.

If you are still here, or have come back after reading the great post and the comments on Venturewoods, read on for my take:

1.Firstly, I don't think one needs an MBA to be an analyst at a VC firm. It is a different matter that majority of the VC crowd seem to think that way. It is more a question of being able to do basic math and demonstrating a lot of common sense, networking skills, interpersonal skills, etc etc. And of course, decent amount of domain knowledge in one or more areas, and yes, the ability to be an 'aggressive learner'. Some one who can read up on a new domain for a week or so, apply existing knowledge and common sense, and can ask the right questions.

2. Secondly, I fully agree with Alok that the best way to get a VC job is through a hot reference. But since most of us do not know a VC or even some one who knows a VC very well, that rules out getting a reference. So, the next best thing is to join a startup funded by a big VC and get to know the VCs that way.

3. Thirdly, and this is the best route for some one like me- become a VC myself. One need not invest millions in a high-tech startup to learn the ropes. One could do micro investments to start with, if there are enough friends to pool in their money in the fund.

4. Create a VC fund (however small it is) and start buying small stakes in seed-fund starved companies; start attending conferences in your area (depends on the number of such conferences in the area actually) and do the networking. You may not be a big play VC, but if you are seen as some one who knows and is working with small startups, people may want to talk to you, even if it is to get a feel of what is happening at the seed level. No one wants to miss out, right?

Once you are in the circle, if you are doing genuinely good work, you will get noticed and either you will become successful in your own right, or be asked to join a seruious VC shop.

Caveat: The above is just a theory, but I think it will work, if you give it enough time and energy ( Say 12-15 months). Supposing you are an IT or Services professional, making good money in a metro, instead of whiling away the weekends or stressing yourself too much with office work, try to network with startups in need of some extra hands or seed money to survive 2-3 months more. At the least, you will meet several energetic young people and that could have a positive influence on you. And who knows, you may become a VC yourself. Life is amazing !


Anindita said…
Hi. Would like to know your thoughts on PC's budget proposal (2007) about taxing VCs.

Kumar Narasimha said…

Thanks for the question. I will do a separate post on this issue - basically a compilation of some the blog posts I have read.