Some people think the key to breaking into VC is getting a big break – getting one interview with a top firm, or getting a solid intro to a partner at a hiring firm, for example.
Let me tell you something. It’s not.
The most important thing – the key to your job hunt – is getting your ‘wedge’.
WTF is a wedge? The wedge is something you do that screams “I’m going to become a VC damn it.”
It’s the thing that shows the VC community that you can hustle and create opportunities for yourself. That you can ‘wedge’ yourself into the ecosystem and add value doing it.
Most importantly, it’s the defining event in your VC job hunt, because it creates huge leverage for you to open up other great opportunities.
My wedge? It was convincing a VC firm to sponsor me for an independent study during business school. Once I had that experience on my resume, I could mention that I had done work for the firm – in intro emails, to help secure interviews, and in interviews. It’s an understatement to say it opened some doors.
What’s your wedge? Maybe you’ve already found it or achieved it. If so, congrats! You’re well on your way and have as good a shot at securing a VC job as anyone.
Here are a bunch of things I consider to be great wedges for finding work in the venture capital business:
▪ Starting a well-attended meetup focused on startups, entrepreneurship, or VC (I know a guy who did this, and now’s he’s a VC.)
▪ Securing an internship or project work with a VC firm
▪ Starting an entrepreneurship organization on your campus
▪ Organizing a conference attended by prominent entrepreneurs and VCs
▪ Founding a startup or joining an early stage startup that ends up having moderate to major success
▪ Recommending to a VC firm a company in which they end up investing
If you don’t yet have a wedge strategy and you’re dying to get into VC, pick one of the wedges I suggested above and set a goal to achieve it by a certain date.
Or think of your own wedge that will make you stand out from the crowd. Then get to work!