A career with a venture capital firm can be rewarding and lucrative. Most venture capital careers fall into five main categories. These categories are venture partner, director, associate, analyst, and entrepreneur-in-training. Of course, there are many support roles in the venture capital industry, including human resources, accounting, and administrative assistants who help CEOs and venture capital firms run efficiently.
Typical venture capital careers start in the financial industry or take on an operational role in a start-up company. A venture partner is usually the one who makes decisions about the investments made by the venture capital fund. This could involve investing in a start-up company. The venture partner usually puts quite a bit of money into the venture capital fund and is a general partner. This role is typically a senior investment professional.
Directors are the next level below a partner. A director is typically a mid-level investment professional who has experience in the venture capital industry as an associate working to bring successful venture capital deals to the company. The top level in venture capital careers is a role just below a partner in the company. This is called a partner tracking position, which means that if you are in a top position, you have the opportunity to become a partner in the company. A director of a venture capital firm has typically earned a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).
The most common entry-level positions in venture capital careers are associates: those who handle deal sourcing for the venture capital firm. In general, associates who are on the partner track tend to be those who are hired at the post-MBA level. Bringing a successful deal to a company will typically accelerate an associate’s career. The entry level associate position is a junior associate. and the senior associate position is a senior associate. Advancement within the associate position is generally based on the performance of business earned.
After landing a prospective deal at a venture capital firm, an analyst performs the due diligence necessary for a successful deal. Due diligence includes extensive research and analysis on the prospective company and its market. The analyst will generally make financial projections based on the due diligence performed on a prospective deal. This helps assess the feasibility of the potential investment and how long it will take to return on investment.
Many venture capital firms hire an entrepreneur in training. An entrepreneur-in-training is an expert in a particular industry who temporarily joins a venture capital firm. The typical time frame for an entrepreneur in training with a venture capital firm is six months to a year. This position is intended as a consulting service. Not all companies offer this position, and the availability of this position depends on the industry of the potential investment deals.