The venture capital (VC) industry began in 1946 when Georges Doriot (whom many consider the “father of venture capital”) and others started American Research and Development Corporation, the first publicly owned venture capital firm. Arguably its best investment was the $70,000 it spent in 1957 to help fund Digital Equipment Corporation. Eleven years later, that investment was valued at more than $355 million after the company’s initial public offering.
Venture capital consists of funds obtained from backers that are invested in young, innovative companies (often in the tech and health care sectors) in exchange for an equity stake that hopefully can be translated into a profit when the company goes public or is merged with or sold to another company. The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) reports that “venture capital is a catalyst for job creation, innovation, technology advancement, international competitiveness, and increased tax revenues.” Some of America’s most well-known businesses were founded with the help of venture capital, including Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Whole Foods Market, Google, FedEx, Starbucks, Staples, Dropbox, and Intel. Forty-two percent of U.S.-produced drugs approved by the Food & Drug Administration between 2009 and 2018 originated with venture capital funding, according to research released by Silicon Valley Bank.
Associates, analysts, managing partners, general partners, and entrepreneurs in residence are the key players in this industry, but venture capital firms also need chief financial officers, controllers, accountants, lawyers, and marketing, public relations, computer security, information technology, and office workers.
Venture capital firms are located throughout the United States, although most are headquartered in major cities. There are also opportunities throughout the world—especially in Europe, Israel, China, and India. Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia also have burgeoning ventur...