A Career in Venture Capital
In order to obtain a venture capital career as a general partner, you must be qualified with extensive experience in a particular industry (that matches the Firm’s focus) and a proven, successful track record. General partner positions are rare, highly sought after, and represent relative few venture capital job opportunities to industry outsiders.
However, there are many other positions available in the VC industry – even entry level venture capital jobs. An ideal candidate for a venture capital career has a background in business or finance, both academically and professionally. While MBAs are certainly prevalent in venture capital jobs, an MBA is not required.
Entry Level Venture Capital Jobs
Early career positions require strong analytical abilities, especially in terms of forecasting. Subsequently, there is constant need for accountants and financial analysts. In this VC role, you thoroughly analyze the business proposals brought to the firm, providing recommendations or rejections of investment prospects.
Of course, there is certainly a need for research in venture capital firms. Researchers with the firm conduct extensive analysis of the industries related to any individual business proposal. Researchers are generally referred to as associates, with many of these positions considered entry level venture capital jobs. Associates can then be promoted to Senior Associates before eventually being named a Principal – which is the final stop on the path to becoming a Partner in the firm. Depending upon personal performance, an entry level venture capital job could lead to a long venture capital career and eventually a position as a general partner.
The Venture Partner Path
A venture capital firm often will work with venture partners, which is an interesting VC role. These individuals are responsible for bringing new proposals to the table to be considered by the venture capital firm. Unlike the general partners who are compensated for every deal, venture partners are only paid for the deals they identify.
Business Support Roles
Like any other business enterprises, venture capital firm jobs require managers to oversee the daily business activity of the company. This can be a good foot in the door for someone wishing to break into the industry. Therefore, there are needs for human resource, accounting and information technology managers.
This type of staff is not only needed for the venture capital firm itself, but utilized by many of the new ventures that the firm funds. These roles provide tremendous exposure to both the VC partners and the portfolio companies’ management teams. These managers conduct the daily operations of the venture capital firm and ensure that all policies and procedures that the company has established are followed. They make recommendations for changes when appropriate.
With this exposure and outstanding performance, individuals who begin in these support roles eventually find themselves in leadership roles in young, newly funded enterprises.
Entrepreneur-in-Residence Jobs in Venture Capital
Consultants are commonly brought on to work on venture capital projects. However, unlike a career in venture capital, these entrepreneurs-in-residence are contracted on a project basis.
These individuals tend to be experts, especially in the industry in which the venture capital firm has invested. Subsequently, entrepreneur-in-residence jobs in venture capital involve individuals who are highly respected and experienced in their industry – and they are compensated generously for their work on a particular venture capital project.
How to Stay on Track in Your Venture Capital Career
A venture capital career is highly competitive and challenging. Staying relevant in this industry means showcasing a track record of enterprises that you have helped bring to the forefront of profitable success.
For the business-savvy individual seeking a career in an exciting industry with challenge and significant upside possibilities, jobs at venture capital firms are an intriguing possibility to be explored. Whether you begin with an entry-level venture capital job or have the experience to join the partner ranks, there is tremendous potential for a career in venture capital.