OpenView is a unique venture capital firm, and the role of an Associate on the Investment Team is a unique opportunity. What makes us unique? A few things:
- Focus: We go deep on a particular sector (B2B software), and a specific stage (expansion stage).
- Operational depth: We have a full-fledged consulting team called OpenView Labs that works with our portfolio companies on recruiting and go-to-market acceleration.
Why does this matter? I wrote a blog post on why VC focus matters to entrepreneurs, but it also matters to our team. We believe that you can’t be good at everything. If you try, you’ll most likely be mediocre at everything. This applies to a company’s goals, and your personal goals or career ambitions. In investing, there’s a better chance you become a great investor if you focus on a particular strategy.
At OpenView, you have the opportunity to achieve depth and excellence, not just general skills. Our team (both the Investment Team and Labs) understands the operational dynamics of SaaS businesses. Who would be drawn to an opportunity at OpenView?
- Someone with a desire to experience more than just mind-numbing deal sourcing or repetitive model-building.
- Someone with a passion for software businesses, who wants to develop deep exposure to operational DNA of software companies and investing in them to accelerate growth.
What Does an Associate at OpenView Do?
Let’s start with what you don’t do. Most pre-MBA associate roles entail one of two things: (i) heavy direct sourcing, or (ii) heavy due diligence support. The sourcing-heavy roles involve a lot of brute-force data-entry, cold-calling, and pavement-pounding (basically you’re a salesperson). The execution-heavy roles involve a lot of Excel (basically you’re in a junior banker role, just technically on the buy-side).
At OpenView, you aren’t pigeon-holed into either of these traditionally narrow investment roles. Our Associates are responsible for developing new investment theses and sourcing strategies, however they don’t do the data-entry, database dupe-checking, cold prospecting, etc. That is supported by other systems, tools and people at OpenView. With this support, Associates can focus on building relationships with executives, analyzing businesses/markets, and learning how to make investment decisions.
In terms of an Associate’s role in diligence support, it’s intensive but it’s built on holistic analysis of a business, its operations, and the broader market. We are thesis-driven investors looking to validate a thesis through relevant quantitative and qualitative analysis that actually matters. We are not financial engineers looking to boil-the-ocean in Excel.
What is the Career Path for an Associate?
We have a strong track record of promoting from within, and two of our current Partners started as Associates. Heading to the “operating side” is also a proven path. The great thing about the role at OpenView is that if you love B2B Software (or “Enterprise” as it’s called by the ecosystem these days), your experience at OpenView can position you uniquely for a variety of operational roles from product to marketing to growth-hacking, and beyond.
OpenView is currently building its investment team, and if you are the Associate we are looking for, please contact Carlie Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.