Drive Capital is a venture capital fund focused on building the next generation of great technology companies–outside of Silicon Valley. Founded in 2013 by two former Sequoia Capital investors, we’ve invested in more than 60 startups across the US and Canada, including Duolingo, Olive, and Branch. The investment platform totals $2 billion.
We are a diverse team of founders, operators, and investors; many of us moving lives and careers from Silicon Valley to pursue the opportunity of our lifetime in Columbus.
What we’re looking for
We hold strongly the belief that venture capital is an apprenticeship business. It can’t be learned in a book or by watching YouTube videos. For this reason, we’re much less concerned about your past experiences and much more concerned about your potential to grow into a world-class investor.
All things being equal, it helps if you are a founder in a tech startup. Founders are our customers, and understanding their journey is essential to your success as an investor at Drive. Founding a company is also the ultimate demonstration of conviction, a quality we highly value.
It also helps if you are a successful venture investor already, especially if you are succeeding at a fund where partnership dynamics are holding you back.
Operating experience in a startup that went through rapid growth in a critical function like product management or engineering leadership can also translate into a successful career in venture. Experience building companies as they create products, take them to market, and scale teams are incredibly valuable in guiding our founders. Many of our investors are former operators.
Regardless of background, we believe there are innate qualities that lead to success as an investor at Drive. We break down these qualities into three broad qualities: excellence, resilience, and appetite for risk. These are our only hard requirements.
A Habit of Excellence
Excellence describes both the presence of talent and the drive to continuously improve and, ultimately, win.
First and foremost, we are looking for someone who is exceptionally smart. You understand and can explain, in simple terms, complex ideas and concepts. You break problem sets down into first principles to explore various solutions. You are driven by curiosity and seek a deep understanding of new concepts through rigorous questioning. You fight to understand how things work. You might have taught yourself how to code, speak a foreign language, or build something from scratch.
Excellence manifests in a pattern of accomplishments across multiple pursuits. Your path demonstrates a history of thoughtful and intentional decisions. You are likely a standout performer in most endeavors you’ve pursued.
Many aspects of investing are a grind. Building a unique insight into a market is challenging. It takes time and requires months (or years) of incessant inquiry. Chasing down opportunities, helping our companies, and closing recruits all require an all-hands-on-deck attitude on a near-constant basis.
It takes a year or more to know if you are good at the job. Your losses will pile up before the wins. Our business model is predicated on being wrong the vast majority of the time. Thus, a proven ability to persist through adversity is an essential quality for any investor at Drive.
Appetite for risk and conviction in that which is not obvious
There are good and bad risks. Good risks sit on a foundation of preparation, research, credibility, knowledge, and debate. Good risks seem crazy from the outside but make sense to those who have done the work. Good risk takers see what others do not see and have the conviction to act before the outcome is obvious. They hold with conviction unpopular positions. They are prone to putting all their eggs in a single basket. And they are sometimes wrong.
If you feel that the above describes you, please email us at email@example.com and include a resume and LinkedIn profile.