[Partner] How should one think about the tradeoffs between General Partner vs. Venture Partner vs. Operating Partner (non-investing)?

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Community Member
Jul 19, 2023
Given how venture funds might be transforming and operationalizing, how do you think about the key tradeoffs of deciding to orient your career towards one of the following paths:
  1. General Partner at VC Firm
  2. Venture Partner (potentially across multiple VC Firms)
  3. Operating Partner / COO at a VC Firm
Are there rapid ways to perform skills self-assessments so that I can understand the option space and what paths might be a great fit / have the most interesting opportunities?

Thanks so much!
1 answer
Accepted Answer
Jul 19, 2023
Read this article: https://govclab.com/2021/10/28/venture-capital-roles/

1. It's VERY difficult to become a GP in a fund, even for those who are experienced investors. It's typically easier to start a Firm then to join one at as a GP which is a very senior role. Some, firms do have a career trajectory for junior people. But even for those firms, this typically takes 10-15 years to ascend to GP role if everything goes well.

2. Venture Partners are part time roles. These are typically reserved for part-time team members who can provide strategic, operating and portfolio support. Venture Partners are typically experts in a field like souring, domain, limited partners etc...

3. Operating Partner / COO at VC Firm - The vast majority of VCs don't have this role because they are too small. However, there are several enduring large firms with a high AUM, where this role is necessary. There are several ways to get experience for this role: 1. Join a company that managers operations for lots of VC Firms, like Decile Group 2. Join a new or emerging firm at an entry level role and learn the business together with the firm. 3. Join an accelerator like Venture Institute to rapidly develop the foundational skills.
Thanks so much Mike - reposted on the Venture Institute group. :)
Community Member
Jul 20, 2023 3:08pm
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