How to Get into Venture Capital

Getting into venture capital is not a walk in the park, but it is possible. A venture capitalist (VC) is someone who puts money into new businesses in the hopes of making a profit. The primary objective is to aid new businesses in their early stages.

To be a venture capitalist, you should get started with what you have. Like any other field, venture capital offers a wealth of opportunities for those willing to take advantage of them. Now that I have your attention keep reading this article to discover what it takes to get into the venture capital field.

4 Ways that you can use to succeed in venture capital

Despite the accessibility to information, breaking into the venture capital industry may seem daunting due to widespread misinformation. 

There is a common misperception that one has to be independently wealthy to engage in the venture capital industry. However, as you’ll find in the guidelines below, you need your wits, a solid educational background, and an entrepreneurial spirit to succeed.

1. Get the necessary skill set

Venture capital is one of the most competitive financial industries and professional experience is critical. Building knowledge necessitates reading newsletters and books, or even enrolling in a course but ensure the education program you choose should be geared toward venture capital. I also advise people to attend career fairs that educate people on “how to get into venture capital.”

Professional expertise is essential in the competitive world of venture capital. With a solid track record, you will only go far in the venture capital industry. To succeed as a venture capitalist, you need to cultivate the following qualities:


A business degree can be beneficial in this field. More than half of VCs have an MBA, and many of those degrees were earned at elite institutions like Harvard and Stanford.

II. Professional experience

Working for a respected business in technology, consultancy, corporate finance, media, or a startup is necessary.

III. Social media presence

Building a solid online presence on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter can help you meet influential people in your field. Also, it’s essential to keep tabs on VC blogs and tech news sites.

IV. Expertise

It helps if you have experience in a particular technology field.

V. Investment history

Gain experience managing your investments before taking this on as a full-time professional. Gaining investment experience is the best preparation method for a venture capital career. Create a diversified portfolio and put money into new businesses. You can also get advice from experts on where to find the ideal starting resources.

2. Understand the requirements

If you enter the venture capital world, you must learn what’s expected of you. You require a solid track record and related work experience. This is the most straightforward approach to outshining other businesses.

The path to becoming a venture capitalist is a long and tough one. To get the necessary experience, working for a well-known company can also be worthwhile.

3. Network with the right people

The startup industry is in high demand among investors actively seeking new hires. Visit local startup events to meet entrepreneurs in your neighborhood to build connections. You may find startup events by browsing the appropriate websites if you need help knowing where to begin.

The competition for venture capital is fierce. Venture capitalists often recruit persons who have previously assisted them. It’s possible to intern for a venture capital firm. Participating in events where venture capitalists are looking to invest could be a good move.

Invite them to speak at your events or share their thoughts with your audience. The venture capitalists are your target audience, so you should secure as many opportunities to engage with them as possible.

4. Routine is everything

If you want to make a career out of venture capital, you need to get off to a good start every morning. Get familiar with the appropriate online and print media. Select the periodicals that feature articles about investable leads. Check out the articles discussing the latest innovations in marketable products and startup companies.

Discuss crucial investment affairs with venture capital partners and other members. As a venture capitalist, you should know that you’ll spend most of your days doing the following: 

  • Due diligence
  • Meeting with founders
  • Supporting portfolio companies
  • Researching marketing opportunities

It is best to explore websites that cater to that field to improve on that particular field of expertise. In addition, venture capitalists focus on various publications that provide data on potential investments and startups. Everything you read and learn in could come in handy someday.

Maintain consistent communication with other businesses and hold meetings over meals. Get together with aspiring business owners after a long workday and learn about various industry trends. Get a grasp on the endeavors and a feel for their viability.

6 Must-have skills to succeed in venture capital

Here are some essential skills that you are expected to have in the venture capital industry:

1. Investment accuracy

You must know how to choose a firm to invest in and how much money to provide them. Careers in venture capital may benefit significantly from making well-calculated investments in startups that pay off handsomely. In hiring new staff, venture capital firms seek out candidates who are quick to act and have the business acumen to determine whether or not a particular startup is worth funding.

2. Determination

You need the determination to make it as a venture capitalist because it demonstrates to potential employers that you are serious about the profession and will work hard if hired. You can improve the accuracy of your investments by actively seeking out new opportunities and conducting an in-depth analysis of business proposals, both of which require a high sense of determination.

3. Teaching

Sharing your extensive business and investment expertise with your colleagues and new companies may be helpful. Having the capacity to educate requires sharing your own experience and knowledge in a readily understandable manner.

With this ability, you can provide vital feedback to young businesses, increasing the likelihood of their success and growth. You and your coworkers may benefit from enhanced communication and skill development, and your company will reap the rewards.

4. Business and economic understanding

Understanding business and economics will help you make better investment decisions and evaluate investment offers in the venture capital market. Taking into account the state of the market and the results of previous endeavors with similar goals is one way to assess the potential danger of an investment.

Remember that you will handle venture capital funds for various companies as a venture capitalist. You need a high level of economic understanding to increase profits for the firms.

5. Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is another quality you should have as you’ll have the upper hand over less emotionally intelligent venture capitalists. One of the most reliable indicators of success in the workplace is emotional intelligence. It is the capacity to control one’s emotions and those of one’s peers and superiors.

6. Creativity

One of the most significant abilities you can possess as a venture capitalist is the capacity to be a brand developer. You must be diligent in establishing a reputation and a network that attracts and retains portfolio firms. To build a successful brand, you need to state your company’s purpose, and values clearly, and what sets you apart from the competition.

The venture capital career path

As you work to become a venture capitalist, you can use several ways to join venture capitalism.

1. Angel investor

Venture capitalists invest in good industries with potential growth. You will invest your money in small firms or early-stage companies. In this case, you put your money into other small companies and get a return on investment.

2. Become an entrepreneur or investment banker

An investment banker can become a venture capitalist. The careers need high-quality skills that enable you to succeed in the venture capital industry.

3. Join VC firms

If you are a financial advisor, research analyst, technical business processor, or academic, you can finesse your skills and get into venture capital by joining a VC firm. You can get into the industry if you have worked in private equity or have any corporate finance experience.

Company hierarchy for venture capitalists

One thing you should remember is that the company hierarchy in the venture capital business needs to be standardized.

While some businesses have a relatively flat structure consisting solely of Partners and Administrative personnel, others have a much more traditional, hierarchical organization. Companies may mix the Principal and VP positions, while others may have a clear delineation between the two titles.

In addition, some businesses have just one tier of Partners, while others have two or even three.

This is how a typical hierarchy looks:

  • Analyst
  • Pre MBA / Associate
  • Post MBA / Senior Associate
  • Principal or VP
  • Partner / Junior Partner
  • General Partner / Senior Partner

1. Analyst

As an analyst, you will be responsible for various administrative tasks, including data entry, research, and supporting Associates with tasks like due diligence and internal procedures.

You may gain experience in financial and market analysis, but you won’t be the one to push deals forward as Associates and Principals will. Even if you help with sourcing, you probably won’t be the company’s first point of contact.

2. Pre-MBA / Associate

Following the analyst is the pre-MBA Associate position, which you get after years of experience in a related field, such as management consulting, investment banking, business development, product management, or sales.

You will serve as the company’s first line of action in vetting potential companies and recommending only the most promising ones to the company’s Principals and Partners.

3. Post-MBA / Senior associate

This position is often awarded if you have earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, while straight promotions are possible in certain situations.

Daily tasks are similar to pre-MBA Associates, but as a post-MBA Associate, you have more opportunities to represent the firm and more influence with the firm’s principals and partners.

4. Principal or VP

You need to have an in-depth understanding of the company’s technology/science and the business case as the principal. You will be the most senior investment team member directly engaged in transaction execution and contract negotiation.

In the position of Principal or VP, you’ll have additional responsibility with existing portfolio businesses and the opportunity to sit on boards, privileges that Associates don’t have.

5. Partner / Junior Partner

Your duties and salary as a Junior Partner will fall between those of a Principal and General Partner (GPs). You will be expected to participate on boards and visit portfolio firms but to a lesser extent than the GPs. Deals can be closed with your help, but unlike General Partners, you lack ultimate discretion over whether investments are approved.

6. General Partner / Senior Partner

To be a General Partner you must have proven experience as an entrepreneur or executive, or you have worked in the venture capital industry for several years and have been promoted. Your duties will include fundraising, public relations, final investment decisions, being part of board seating, and having a say in human resources.

Venture capital salary guide

Here’s an overview of what you can earn as a Venture Capitalist at various levels:

Average salary for VC Partners
Average salary for VC VPs and Principals
Average salary for VC Associates
Average salary for VC Senior Associates
How to get into venture capital

Examples of successful venture capitalists

Here are a few successful venture capital firms that started small:

1. Founders Fund

Established in 2005 by Peter Thiel, Ken Howery, and Luke Nosek, Founders Fund is now one of Silicon Valley’s most successful venture capital organizations, investing in businesses including SpaceX, Airbnb, and Stripe.

2. Andreessen Horowitz

 Founded in 2009 by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz has since become a key player in the venture capital market, investing in businesses such as Slack, Coinbase, and Instacart.

3. First Round Capital

 Josh Kopelman founded First Round Capital in 2004. It is now a well-established venture capital company with investments in firms such as Uber, Square, and Warby Parker.

4. Sequoia Capital

Founded by Don Valentine in 1972, Sequoia Capital is one of the world’s oldest and most successful venture capital organizations, investing in businesses such as Google, Apple, and Oracle.

5. Accel Partners

Founded in 1983 by Jim Swartz, Accel Partners has grown to become a renowned venture capital company, investing in firms such as Facebook, Slack, and Dropbox.

6. National Enterprise Associates

C. Richard Kramlich founded NEA in 1977. It is now one of the biggest and most successful venture capital organizations, including investments in businesses such as Box, AppDynamics, and Tableau Software.

My verdict

I assure you that working in venture capital is quite rewarding. If you aspire to get into the field, you still need the correct information, abilities, and attitude to achieve your goals. The venture capital recruiting process is not structured. I advise people to create strong networks that will earn referrals.

Becoming a venture capitalist is more complex than most people imagine. Achieving your goals requires a systematic, patient approach requiring substantial resources, connections, and time investment. You must be constantly alert and have a talent for seeing untapped profit potential to succeed in venture capital.

You need a long-term plan and a vision for the future to succeed in the venture capital industry. Many resources are required to start, including money, contacts, and time. Get excited about meeting new individuals and exploring new profit potential. The payoff will be substantial if you succeed in this venture.


Hi, I’m Avadhut, Founder of FinanceWalk. We help you make a rewarding career in any field based on your Inner GPS 🙂.

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