Venture capitalists are employed by VC firms and corporations (such as Google, Intel, and Novartis) that have VC departments. Venture capital firms are located throughout the United States and the world. Many U.S.-based firms are headquartered in California and on the East Coast. Some top U.S. firms have offices in foreign countries.
“Even if you have a desired skill set, it’s not easy to become a venture capitalist,” advises Inc. “It takes networking, business acumen, plus founding a startup (or two), in order to be seriously considered.” There are several ways to work your way into a career at a venture capital firm:
Venture capitalists hold the top spots at their firms so there are few advancement opportunities. Very experienced and skilled partners can move into the position of managing partner, or decide to leave their current employers to launch new VC funds. Some venture capitalists become well-known in the industry by presenting at investor events, speaking at entrepreneurship conferences, serving as mentors, and being active on social media. Some become professors at business schools.
You can break into the field by working in lower-level positions at a venture capital firm. A list of venture capital firms and corporate venture groups that are members of the National Venture Capital Association can be found at https://nvca.org/about-us/members.
To get noticed by a venture capital firm, raise your visibility in the start-up community by speaking at entrepreneur events, participating in accelerator programs, and being active on social media (e.g., blogging, Tweeting, etc.).
Obtaining operating experience at an early-stage, venture-backed company will make you a good candidate for employment at a VC firm.