How I got a job in VC

This is a list of things I did to prepare for a VC job search.  It is not all encompassing, but rather some things I thought would be useful to others.

Mark Davis Peter has a great series of posts on Getting the VC Job.  I read all of them and definitely recommend them.

Read everything
 – VC blogs – Larry Cheng has complied a list which he updates annually.  I added the top 20ish to my RSS reader to help make reading more efficient.  This will help you get some insight to how VCs think and what they are interested in.
 – Twitter – follow VCs and entrepreneurs.  Read what they link to.
 – Read BusinessInsider SAI and BetaBeat. SAI will usually link to the most popular postings of the day, so add that to your RSS list too.

Join the community
 – Network – attend events and shake hands with VCs and entrepreneurs (Meetups, pitch events) and then grow the relationship.
 – Twitter – start conversations by asking and answer questions
 – Comment on blog posts –  Add value to the discussion.
 – Join every alpha/beta/new product and play with it.  Take some pictures with Color, Check-in with Foursquare, get a Kohort username

 Process the information
– Take what you read/what you know/who you met and form an opinion.
 Will Company X be successful?
 How can Company Y monetize?
 What do you like/not like about Company Z?
 Know all the hot startups and some relatively unknown ones. Have an opinion.

 Help a startup
 From the networking events you attended, hopefully you made some connections.  Now reach out to the entrepreneurs and ask to help out.  Propose a plan that will leverage your skill set.  Got social media skills? … help with marketing.  Got finance skills? … help with an Excel model.  Got software skills? … well, everyone can use help here.
How you will help will vary on your availability, your skillset, and their needs.  It could be volunteer, hourly, project based.  Either way, you’ll learn something.

I consulted with numerous startup building Excel models, writing software, doing QA, and just thinking through marketing plans and providing feedback.  They all gave me some insight into their startup which was helpful in interviews.

Study up
Learn how to build financial models (Training The Street)
Learn about term sheets (
Learn about the different business models

Be lucky
Luck plays a role in any job search, so be prepared when your time comes. During Q12011, there were at least 4 openings – OATVSpark Captial, First Round and Time Warner.  I haven’t never seen so many VC openings in such a short period, and those were the advertised ones!  Each have their own specific requirements, but they all require the applicant to know the venture space and love it.

I’m happy to answer any questions.