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How to break into the VC world

By NexChange
Venture Capital

Venture capitalists are the cool kids of the finance high school world. But it's not easy to get to the top.

As one VC said, people have this "wry notion that it [venture] means automatic fun, wealth and thrills, sorry...it's just not that way," writes Inc. If you're willing to put in the hours, the effort, and have a traditional finance background, here's what else VCs recommend you have to join their ranks:

Be an entrepreneur. Success or failure, having experience building and selling companies can make you a VC's dream entrepreneur-in-residence. If you're not a business starter, work for a startup. Startup experience can give valuable insight for investing in new companies later.
Invest. Make a track record by investing in an angel deal or two with your own money. Added bonus? Sit on a startup's advisory board.
Network, network, network. It's vital to know and be known in the startup community. Attend events, blog, and utilize your current job's connections. Make your contact list irreplaceable.
Be smart and analytical. Be able to critically look at companies, analyze their potential, and know their finances. Good old fashioned finance skills are essential here.
Think about alternative career paths. Few people jump into their dream careers. It's unlikely you'll intern at a VC firm and work your way up the ladder. Consider gaining operating experience. Work in business development at a tech company. Join an angel group or family office in an investor role.

Photo: Michael

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