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How to get into Venture Capital?

Veteran

Maryam Khazraee Jacksonville, FL

Having created my own company and using my GI bill to get my MBA/MS in entrepreneurship, I have really enjoyed the venture capital space and would like to pursue this career to be a voice for those who don't get their idea funded and adding diversity to that industry.

Besides trying to network via LinkedIn and speaking with contacts, I am not sure what is the best approach to break into VC. I think I have enough experience to go in without doing an internship as heard recent graduates sometimes land VC jobs just from who they know.

My ideal situation is joining a small VC firm where they can help teach and mentor me, in return I plan to stay for a very long time as can see myself really enjoying this type of work!

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Maryam

9 December 2020 5 replies Networking

Answers

Advisor

Amit Chaudhary San Jose, CA

more of a tip, investing folks use twitter quite a bit and some write articles on areas of VC.
https://twitter.com/paigefinnn
https://twitter.com/____hka?s=21
https://twitter.com/sriramk?s=21

Advisor

Marvin Reid

In your spare time you could research companys worth investing in, giving yourself a portfolio of possible future investments for what ever VC firm you join.

Advisor

Mary M. Burns Chicago, IL

Good morning Lieutenant Khazraee,
I'll contribute to the worthwhile responses already received and share a few additional ideas for you to consider as you explore VC in your area. As you mentioned in your post, moving into VC often comes about through networking. In most cases, the firms are small and they hire in real-time as need – they rely on a network to land new talent. You might look into your MBA alumni directory to connect with those in VC as a start. You might also widen your scope and consider the bigger market of Atlanta for more VC options. In my experience, I’ve seen my students at Kellogg connect with alums in VC for access, advice and potential positions.

Another path I have seen students take, especially when I-Banking isn’t part of their past or a current option, is to work for a new, emerging company that is well funded an on the way to scaling. This experience and being in a management role can be valuable to building your resume and giving you exposure to founders, funding sources and more. Some will then parlay this into a VC position. To learn more about how one VC in the Bay Area supports diversity-led/managed new ventures, check out Kapor Capital.

If you can can write me directly at mary@adviseu.net, I have an additional resource about breaking into VC. Please feel free to do so.

Thank you for your valuable service to our country.
Kind regards,
-Mary B.

Advisor

Matt Johnson Chicago, IL

I know of one vet who took this route - but he went to Chicago Booth, then worked at Goldman Sachs and HP's corporate development office before making the move over to VC

There's a lot of interest in VC given the rise of Big Tech and the gatekeeping is real. Fortunately, you come from a Top 25 MBA program so you'll be able to get through. What they usually want to see is some form of "time on the cross" in investment banking to demonstrate your ability to judge the financial performance of a fledgling company. It's possible to get in without it with firsthand experience as a founder who has been through the process of building and scaling a company while consultants may be brought on for their ability to quickly understand and assess market landscapes.

The emphasis on financials comes from the day-to-day grind. 50% of your day-to-day work will be due diligence, 15% will be writing investment memorandums, and 15% will be portfolio support, and then the rest will be filled with other supporting activities (networking, etc).

VC firms have no formal recruiting process and hire "on-time" when someone leaves the company or when a new fund is being raised . Successful VC applicants are familiar faces in the entrepreneurship community, attending Tech meet ups, utilizing social media outlets, and crossing paths with VC investors and entrepreneurs - which makes sense given that you should know the local start-up scene if you're going to discover the next Dropbox or Facebook. The firm will want to see you're well-connected and you'll want to be top of mind when that opening becomes available.

You'll want to understand a fund's portfolio (not always on the website) - and speak to which companies on it that you like). You'll want to stay on top of tech news (TechCrunch is good for this), have a PoV on the industry (who you would invest in and why). In an interview setting, you'll want to understand capitalization tables and ways of valuing start-ups.

Advisor

James Watters Norman, OK

Good morning Lieutenant Khazraee
There are a number of small venture capital firms in or near Jacksonville, Florida. I’ve listed a few below.

Mayport Venture Partners, LLC
50 N Laura St #1700, Jacksonville, FL 32202

Riverplace Capital Management
1301 Riverplace Blvd # 2130, Jacksonville, FL 32207

PS27 Ventures
7835 Bayberry Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32256

Lovett Miller & Co
1 Independent Dr, Jacksonville, FL

Warren Equity Partners
1030 2nd St S, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

Heritage Capital Group
4417 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207

There are many others firms there. Hope this is of benefit to you. Good luck Navy.

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