His advice was aimed at candidates looking for jobs at start-up companies. But it applies just the same if you are looking for a venture capital job.
In a recent post for VentureBeat, Alex Taub writes that there’s a hidden goldmine for those looking for non-technical jobs such as business development, marketing and operations at startup companies. The big secret for landing these quickly-filled jobs is that they usually start with the investors at VC firms, and rarely get published.
Aside from providing capital, venture capitalists often help companies find talent. After all, when a company is raising funds, they have to inform investors about where they’re going to be hiring. So VCs have advance notice as to the types of people and skills these companies will be looking for.
Most venture capitalists have a gold mine of talent in their network, people they know from working together at previously successful companies. They can draw upon this list for new portfolio investments. But they’re also always on the prowl for new talent to strengthen the companies they work with.
So not only is it a fertile area to explore if you’re looking for operational experience at a startup. Chances are the same holds true for “unadvertised” entry-level venture capital jobs.
“In 2010, I was interested in joining an early-stage technology company in NYC, so I began reaching out to a few investors,” writes Taub. “Mo Koyfman, an Aviary board member who was recently promoted to General Partner at Spark Capital, thought that I would be a good fit to help with business development, so he introduced me to Aviary co-founders Avi Muchnick and Michael Galpert. I joined the company a few weeks later and the rest is history.”
His advice to making these kinds of connections? Instead of pursuing one company with a single job listing, go after a few investors with many companies in their portfolio. These investors like to be introduced to new people by people they know and trust. So you need to identify a mutual connection who is close to this person and ask for the introduction.
Have you managed an introduction to a venture capital investor through a mutual friend or colleague? What strategy did you use? Add your comments below.