Yet Another (ex-)VC Blog

Cloud computing, startups, and venture capital

Associate VC Job at Incandescent in NYC

Incandescent is a strategy consulting and venture development firm; we conduct
research, advise leaders and develop our own ventures. As advisors, we serve CEOs of
Fortune 500 companies across a range of industries (similar to a traditional
management consulting firm), founders of early- and growth-stage ventures (often
compensated in whole or in part with equity in our client’s venture), and visionary
leaders in social sector organizations (with clients such as The Rockefeller Foundation
and Acumen).

Founded in 2013, we’ve been building a small team, slowly and carefully. Each team
member plays an integral part in developing Incandescent as a firm that discovers better
ways to create, build and run organizations.

The venture function at Incandescent has a unique thesis relating to entrepreneurship
and early-/growth-stage ventures. We engage in a wide range of roles: advising an earlystage
company, supporting an entrepreneur-in-residence, investing in our portfolio
companies, or playing a co-founder role in launching a venture based on an innovator’s
idea. We believe that entrepreneurship touches all parts of an economic system, and so
we engage across a range of companies as a way of being a catalyst in the broader
ecosystem. The unifying thread of how we work with ventures is the expertise that we
bring in management systems, organizational design, operations infrastructure and team
effectiveness. We have a small but growing portfolio of ten companies that range from
biotech to TV hardware. We are not a fund; instead, we relate to our portfolio companies
as true partners in their journey of entrepreneurship, and re-invest profits from our
advisory arm into our venture function.

Essence of the Role:

As our Venture Associate, you will play a key role in supporting and growing the venture
function across all initiatives, portfolio companies and projects. You will help to incubate
new ventures, define strategy, find talent, engage in deal sourcing and conduct due
diligence. You will have the opportunity to work directly with companies in our portfolio,
as well as their founders, and you will help create Incandescent’s long-term venture
strategy. You will report directly to the Head of Venture Development and will be based
in NYC.

For the right individual, this role will serve as an unparalleled opportunity to learn,
firsthand, the underlying systems and foundations of working with entrepreneurs. This
environment is more expansive than just technology companies; you will engage with
each venture through a multi-faceted lens, not exclusively an investment lens. An added
benefit of this role is the chance to learn from and be exposed to a range of contexts
through our work with the social impact sector, our corporate clients and the research
arm of our firm.

Responsibilities:

1) Talent Acquisition

  • Develop and cultivate long-lasting relationships with entrepreneurs and
    companies that fit our advisory and investment criteria
  • Build a recruiting engine for talent across a wide range of industries, company stages and seniority levels

2) Portfolio Engagement & Advising

  • Engage with our venture entrepreneurs, helping them design and
    implement core processes and systems to support growth
  • Develop meaningful working relationships with these leaders, advising on a broad range of questions pertaining to strategy, business planning and culture

3) Venture Function Management & Growth

  • Keep track of important developments across our portfolio (e.g., financing
    rounds, leadership team hires, strategic shifts)
  • Lead industry, company and entrepreneur research for the opportunities
    we are exploring
  • Support brand-building activities (e.g., networking events, thought
    pieces)
  • Help craft the overall strategy and direction of the venture function
    Attributes
  • You are relentlessly resourceful, embracing ambiguity and new challenges.
    You skillfully navigate in data poor environments, being scrappy about how and
    where to glean the information needed to inform decisions and arrive at the
    desired outcomes. You seek opportunities to make a difference, and feel
    comfortable taking the first steps independently.
  • You are empathetic with a keen ability to read people. You have a sense of both
    individual motivations and the needs of others. You have the capacity to imagine
    how the world looks to different people and to build bonds of trust even in
    difficult circumstances.
  • You have a low ego and a roll-up-your-sleeves approach to work. You
    possess humility and grit, willing to take on both “lower level” and “higher level”
    projects based on what needs to be done. The phrase “that’s not my job” is not
    something you would say.
  • You have excellent judgment. You have the rare combination of being able to
    make quick decisions with your gut and measured decisions with your head. You
    can rely on both strong analytical abilities and good instincts to make the right
    call across a range of decisions, small and large.
  • You have a bias towards action and can get an incredible amount of work done
    in a short period of time. You are a generalist at heart, but can also go deep and
    become an expert in any topic in a day.
  • You can see what lies on the critical path to success, even in the face of the
    many requests coming at you. You distinguish the “nice to haves” from what can
    truly move the needle on a venture’s prospects for success, prioritizing work
    accordingly.

Experience/Background:

This role is best suited for someone early to mid stage in their career and who has a
distinctively strong commitment to learning and development. Most likely, the right
candidate will have at least 2 – 5 years of professional experience. Experience with a fastpaced
startup team or in recruiting or finance would be relevant, but no particular
background is requisite, as the right candidate will be someone who can quickly learn to
do things they have never done before.

Why the Role is Compelling:

This role offers the chance to take part in growing an entrepreneurial venture.
Incandescent team members are exposed to an unusually wide range of people and
issues across both the business and social sectors. They are also involved in the internal
infrastructure and operations of a new company, and with the firm’s thinking and
research. Our team members develop a broad set of professional skills, honing them to
excellence in a demanding environment. We are building a diverse team in which each
individual is exceptionally strong and everyone is committed to the rapid development of
themselves and others. Essentially, you get the best of both worlds: world-class
professionals and clients in a startup environment.

To apply, please submit a resume to apply@incandescent.com with “Venture Associate – Your Full Name” in the subject line.

In lieu of a cover letter, we request that you answer any 3 of the 5 questions below. Please
attach your answers as a Word Doc in a Q&A format; 250 words max for each response.

Bonus points if you can get a warm introduction to someone on our team.

  1. If you were seeking to identify and connect with a startup in the NYC area, what
    would you do and who would you call?
  2. What is an example of a NYC startup you think doesn’t fit the traditional VC
    model but may be worth partnering with or advising? Sell us on this opportunity.
  3. What is a trend in the world that you are excited about and why?
  4. How would you go about identifying talent in industries in which you might not
    have a preexisting network? Walk us through your process.
  5. Share an example of when you were relentlessly resourceful. What was the
    outcome of the situation because of your involvement?

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Written by John Gannon

January 17, 2017 at 9:35 pm

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