What is the best way to start a career in venture capital?
Considering that the average income for the some 1,800 VCs in the USA is about $1.5 million, I am probably asked this at every one of my workshops, seminars, speaking engagements etc. Here’s my suggestions…
1. Graduate from Harvard Business school or Stanford Business School at the highest of the class–top five, #6 and below will get you nothing. Then get a fellowship through Kauffman to work at a leading VC firm as an “associate” for two years. (making $65,000 per year)
2. Win the lottery. Then just start a VC firm! OK, Marry someone very, very rich. Then just start a VC firm.
4. Invent something that tops: ICQ (Instant messenger) and sell it to AOL for $400 million. Start something that tops Skype and sell it for $2 billion. Start something that tops PayPal and sell it for $500 million. (Wow, I don’t think ebay will be buying anything new for a while) Then, every major VC firm in the world will want you to be on their “Entrepreneur in Residence” program.
5. Finally, just become the Vice President of the United States. Then hang out with Bono (or some other rock star). Then win the Nobel prize for telling everyone the sky is falling. Or shoot, just tell everyone you are a venture capitalist!!!