How to Become a Venture Capitalist:

7 Ideas to Get Started in Venture Capital Investing


To an entrepreneur, becoming a venture capitalist (VC) is an appealing job with major opportunity for making serious money.  But if you have the opportunity to join a top venture capitalist firm or you are contemplating starting your own VC firm, read this article.

The definition of a venture capitalist is an individual who acts as an investor to assist small companies or start up ventures by providing capital. A venture capitalist should go way beyond just investing.  Top venture capitalist also serve as mentors, leaders, and advisors to a startup, months and years after the initial investment.  If a VC's goal is to take a company or startup public there will be tons of steps in between in order to make this happen. 

There are many ways to become a venture capitalist. Two traditional paths that one often takes before becoming a venture capitalist includes having experience with serial entrepreneurship and tech-oriented investment banking. To get you started, here are seven ideas to become a venture capitalist, from the leading VC firm at Angel Kings.  


How to Get Educated as a VC

Gain knowledge and experience through formal education
This is one of the most popular ways to become a venture capitalist. You could start with a 4-year business degree (Bachelors), but many people in the industry prefer to work first, and then obtain their MBA. This allows them to further their experience in an educational way. Once you have this education, you can gain further experience in the field by getting a job at top venture capital firms or through getting an internship during your educational programs. 

We recommend launching your own company first; that's the best education to become a VC.  Having successes and failures, building a team, and raising money.  You really don't need a degree to become a Venture Capitalist.  However, having a degree can help you build your network and eventually raise money for your VC fund(s).


Venture Capital Mentorship

Find a venture capital mentor
If you do not want to spend several years earning degrees, another way to get the experience is by finding a mentor. If you can find a successful venture capitalist that is willing to mentor you, you can learn a lot of hand-on experience. Keep in mind, however, with this method, the mentor may expect something from you in return, such as work in their firm. Many times you will be working for free with the understanding that you are exchanging work for the mentor experience.


Venture Capital Work Experience

Find alternative venture capital experience
Even if you cannot find a mentor to teach you the ropes, that does not mean you cannot get experience another way. You can find an internship to get some hands-on experience in the field. In this manner, you will also likely be working for free in exchange for the experience. At the same time, you may be able to find a mentor through the process. 


Invest First as an Angel Investor

Gain experience through trial and error
If you want to get the most hands-on experience possible, you could simply start investing in several different projects at the same time. This is known as becoming an angel investor first-approach. This is a risky way to begin but it can also be the most rewarding, which is why many people choose this route. The key to success in this method is to choose your ventures (and investments) wisely to diversify your portfolio. But you must pick a niche industry to begin... for example, if you like cybersecurity, start by investing in cybersecurity companies. Don't be too diversified.  


Find a Venture Capital Job

Work for a venture capital firm
If you can manage to get one, working with a venture capital firm is a great way to gain experience and become a successful venture capitalist. There are some people who can get this type of job without much prior experience but it is difficult. Often, you will need to get a degree in the field or have some experience beforehand but it may work out for you if you try.


Get an Investment Banking Job

Consider working for a tech-oriented investment bank
Even if you cannot get a position at a venture capital firm, working for a bank is not a bad place to start, However, you will want to find one that is tech-oriented so you can get the most experience possible from the position. Finding a bank that regularly invests in start up businesses or small companies and gaining a position that is directly related to this work can give you some experience that many other venture capitalists do not focus on. Knowing how the banks do it is a great advantage and is a great way to begin your career.


Invest In Your Own Ideas

Become a venture capitalist for yourself
This is a great idea if you have your own ideas that you can fund to get your own experience. This is only an option if you already have a few good ideas that you can work on building up. If you do not have several ideas, you will not have anywhere to start with this method. However, if you can show your credibility through the success of your own ideas, then you can gain a lot of respect in the industry.


If you'd like to invest in top startups and early stage companies, you should become a venture capitalist with Angel Kings.


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