Young alumni venture capital panel at Columbia
- Posted on [February 6, 2009 ] @ 4:37 pm
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Last week I attended an event where young alumni discussed their experience both working in and breaking into the venture capital industry. Panelists included Eric Wiesen from RRE Ventures, John Gannon from L Capital, Mark Davis from DFJ Gotham, and Bronson Lingamfelter from Rose Tech Ventures.
It was great to hear directly from recent CBS grads who are working in venture capital. Let me summarize some of their remarks here.
1. Getting into venture capital after b-school
* Not everyone likes VC, so first get an internship to see if it’s for you.
* Landing an internship isn’t easy. Network to find an opening or offer to take on a project for free (as long as you don’t waste their time).
* There’s no formal hiring cycle, so go out of your way to meet people. When an opportunity opens up, you want to the first person that comes to mind.
* Last year around 5 CBS grads went into VC. The panelists expect that number to get cut in half this year.
2. State of the venture capital industry
* Very difficult to raise money at this time.
* Promising investments have a source of cash flow and a breakeven point in the foreseeable future.
3. What makes a good VC?
* A balance of skills: operating and transactional experience — as well as interpersonal skills (you’ll constantly be networking).