Venture Capital Jobs – What Are They?
Venture Capital (also called VC or venture) is capital investment or a type of private equity funding provided to fresh, unquoted start-up companies and businesses with high potential for growth. Investments are made by venture capitalists (typically wealthy individuals or institutions with large quantities of ready capital) pooled as funds on fixed-life partnerships. Venture capitalists operate through venture capital firms. Venture capital jobs offer professionals careers as venture capitalists in VC firms.
Venture Capital Jobs – Job Profile of a VC Professional
As a Venture Capitalist or venture capital Professional, you are required to perform the following:
- Evaluate opportunities for investment
- Evaluate investment risks
- Analyse financial data
- Financial modelling
- Identify areas presenting key opportunities
- Conduct market research on competitive industries and evaluate their products and services, and the demand for these competitive products and services.
- Conduct meetings and present business pitches
- Interact with advisors, clients and bankers
- Seal and execute deals
Venture capital jobs involve a continuous learning process and include review and analysis of data from trade journals, business magazines, newspapers, etc. A venture capital professional is expected to stay up-to-date with market information and learn to identify profitable investment opportunities and business areas.
Venture Capital Jobs: Titles and Designations Offered to Venture Capitalists
Although professional titles may differ in every venture capital firm, the common designations for venture capitalists include the following:
Venture Partners – Venture partners examine potential investment opportunities for a venture capital firm. Their compensation is determined by the investment deals they acquire for the firm.
Entrepreneur-in-residence – Such individuals are specialists in either the managerial or financial domain, and are appointed by VC firms to assist start-up companies develop business ideas. An entrepreneur-in-residence is usually hired on a temporary basis.
Principal – Principals are mid-level venture capitalists, whose designation is usually considered a ‘partner-track’ position. Their growth opportunities may extend to positions of a venture partner following few successful years at VC firms.
Associate – The associate is an apprentice position. Professionals are required to hold one to two years work experience in investment banking or management consulting. Growth opportunities extend to positions of a senior associate, or principal, depending on the level of performance.
How to Qualify for Venture Capital Jobs
Venture Capital jobs are ideal for individuals with prior professional experience in the financial or managerial sectors of a competitive industry. Venture capital jobs require you to:
- Hold a suitable qualification related to finance and market following an impressive academic record
- Acquire sound market knowledge and awareness
- Develop strong interpersonal skills combined with an entrepreneurial outlook
- Develop ability to work in teams
- Develop excellent decision-making skills
Depending on the type of venture capital jobs you apply for in VC firms, you may also require experience in either investment banking, or private equity, or financial consultancy to pursue successful a career as a venture capitalists.
To qualify for venture capital jobs, you must:
Hold a degree from a good business school
It is easier to land a job at a venture capital firm with a degree from a B School, than without. Although there are many successful venture capitalists without a B School degree, if you are determined to pursue a career in venture capital, you must attend a top-level business school. Some of the top business schools in the UK are:
- London Business School
- University of Cambridge: Judge
- University of Oxford: Saïd
- Lancaster University Management School
- Manchester Business School
Hold prior experience in a start-up business
Your résumé for venture capital jobs, irrespective of your background, must state your experience in a start-up company that has performed well.
When you work as a venture capitalist in a start-up business, you gain experience in the financial and human resource management of the company, its production procedures, profits achieved, market value and so on. Your experience at a start-up will serve as a helpful backdrop to your venture career, as well as expose you to venture finance. Furthermore, time spent with institutional investors of your start-up company will help you jump-start your career in venture capital.
Start your own business
If you cannot find an exciting start-up business to join, start your own company. You will not only gain great operating experience, but also knowledge of the market, your competitors, services and products available, new technology ideas, etc. You will also enjoy the opportunity of meeting venture capitalists, learning from them and gaining valuable market information.
Hold experience of work in a consulting firm or bank
This is very similar to holding a top B School degree. If your résumé is backed by experience at an investment bank or financial consulting firm, it will be an indicator of your potential and skills in venture capital jobs.
Also, during your work in banking or consulting, you will have come across several venture capitalists. This will help enhance your experience in venture capital jobs. You can also build up a network for any investment project you have in mind for a later stage.
Venture capital jobs offer lucrative growth prospects. A successful venture capitalist can foray into careers like management or investment banking. Unfortunately however, the venture capital industry is highly concentrated and relatively small, and as such, it is not easy to acquire venture capital jobs.