What skills do you need to be an analyst or associate at a venture capital firm?

What firms need what type of help varies, but to succeed as a non-partner, you need to be good at at least one of two things:

  • Picking and screening. This doesn’t mean coming up with reasons not to do deals. That is easy. And it doesn’t mean advocating tons of deals. That’s not a useful filter. What is very helpful is picking the Top 2–3 deals each month out all the ones that come in that the GPs haven’t been able to fully filter themselves. And/or
  • Sourcing. Going out and finding 1–2 great deals a year the partnership does or at least almost does (e.g., loses out but puts in a term sheet).

Or put differently — you have to be amazing at either inbound or outbound to succeed.

And ultimately, sourcing is more important. But picking + screening is often more valuable, especially by GPs already overloaded with deal flow.

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Published on December 20, 2017

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