I am hiring a Venture Analyst at TechCircle. The candidate will focus on research, writing and supporting early stage startups.
If you are interested, please read this thoroughly BEFORE you apply. If not, please share with people that are a great fit.
Role: Venture Analyst (Research & Portfolio Support)
Salary: ₦250K / month (net)
Location: Remote. Nigeria preferred
Commitment: Full Time.
Level: Entry – Mid
Application close date: On or before 20th August
What We do
TechCircle is a startup advisory frim, which does two things.
We run our own branded programs like Pitch2Win, which is an early stage startup competition, and OyaMakeWeGroove, an annual party for the startup ecosystem.
- Startup Advisory
We support startups at their earliest stage in the areas of fundraising, strategy, product development, recruiting, etc. In addition, I have some early stage investments. At the moment, there are over a dozen portfolio companies, six of which have gone to YC and all 12 have gone on to raise follow on funding.
We also support very select investors in their startup engagements, for instance sourcing of great startups and advising on market entry.
Context to the Role
The role focuses on the startup advisory part of the business.
I meet with founders who are post – MVP and work closely with them to be positioned right for a strategic fundraise. The type of work I do with founders ranges from writing their first deck, fine-tuning their business models, getting them to get their first set of customers, recruiting for key roles, product strategy, general brains-storming etc.
Post fundraise, I am typically less involved and become a soundboard that is always available to the founders. So far, it has worked, as my primary source of deals is inbound from my network.
From my experience, raising money is the easy part of the job, the difficult part is supporting the business to succeed and grow post fundraise. Due to the current economic situation, startups in general need more support, and I want to do more.
I work with at most 3 startups a year, since I am really hands-on. In 2022, I got another responsibility, which limited my bandwidth. As a result, I did not do any advisory deal in over 18 months.
Hence, I’m creating this role.
For now, the position is titled Analyst (Research and Portfolio Support), but I want to give context to what I need done by describing the various roles the person will play.
Role 1: Startup Engagement and Support
Stage 1: Pre Advisory: Selection – Before I work with a startup
Every week I get more messages than I can track from startups asking me to advise them, support them, etc. I also get requests from investors asking for deal flow. I would like to respond to everyone – I used to do so before, even if it was to encourage them, but now it is not feasible. You will act as the first filter for a lot of these communications. Distil the ask and ensure they get a good response, which can be a meeting, advice or a polite no. A polite no vs silence.
[In some cases, two months after talking to someone, I see a relevant message from the person, but there is no way to remember who it is. In order to solve this, you have to implement a system to keep track of these people and requests.]
Stage 2: During Advisory – I decide I will work with a startup and need to support them.
I typically work only with founders with whom I already have an interest in their industry. The next step is usually getting to understand their present situation (product, metrics, cap table, staffing needs, etc.). Basically a situation check to see the gaps and then help them fill them before the fundraising. I write a check, a deck, identify the right investors for them, and develop an investment memo to share with investors. There is usually more to this role for instance, I may help recruit for a position, in which case, I source and speak to talent.
Stage 3: Post Advisory – After the fundraising has been concluded, and they have a clear idea of the next steps.
In my initial structure, graduation from my advisory services culminated in raising a good round and most time, getting in to YC then I retreated into being a soundboard and a general adviser. The logic then was that the new investors usually have a good system to support the startup.
However, most of these startups still prefer engaging with me. In addition, as investors have grown bigger, they usually do not have a lot of time for every startup – like a child in a polygamous home. This sentence is a filter to let me know you read this JD. In the form, there will be a field called ‘other’, copy and paste this sentence into it. So I have found myself being needed more often in areas like go to market, investor reporting, follow-on fundraising, general brainstorming, etc. An additional plan is to create an external network of strategic support across legal, pr, accounting, branding, hr, etc.
You are to work with me on planning and executing the support. For example, in the case of investor reporting, we can share a template and work with the founder to implement it. For go to market, we will identify good partners, discuss with them and help our startups engage them.
Role 2: Research & Writing
There are many scenarios that will call for a lot of research and writing. Here are some examples of where your skills will be needed.
I get too many requests for interviews, podcasts, etc. I have been saying ‘no’ a lot, but I want to start saying yes more often. You will work with me to prepare for this by researching the topic, having a conversation with me, and putting together talking points and prepping.
I have many blog posts I’d like to write and presentations I’d like to give. For instance, I think I am well positioned to do a “How to put together your first seed round” presentation. It’s in my head, but I have just not had the time to do it. You will work with me to research and write these documents. I can send you a 10-minute voice note, and you can put together a draft.
Any other type of writing as it may be needed. It could be a newsletter or content for the website. There will be lots of writing. I look forward to us thinking up and me writing about problems we should encourage founders to solve, or predicting the future. I really like posts like this and this.
Role 3: Creating Documentation and Building Systems
“If you need to do something twice, document it; if you do it three times, automate it. Four times, create a system for it”.Adia or DHH 🙂
To do your job right, you need to create a system for all these tasks.
- As a foundation, you need to properly label my Rolodex using the right software. So you can get the right contact and context for everything. I have been studying clay.earth, attio.com & folk.app. You will research the best tool, taking into consideration cost and utility.
- Help me set up my calendar using Google Calendar, Cal.com, or Calendly. Ensure I have a routine engagement with all internal and external stakeholders. Founders, investors, press, sponsors, etc.
- You will create a good filing and retrieval system.
The right candidate
“Find a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”Confucious
I want someone who already enjoys doing a lot of what the role entails. Such people are self improving since even if they were not paid, they would still do it. Personally, I love startups, and I think the reason I am great at what I do is because I simply love working with founders. A typical holiday activity in a foreign city is to meet up with founders. So, yeah.
To be more specific, having the following attributes will be helpful
- You are very interested in startups. Preferably in venture capital and investing. You already spend hours reading newsletters & listening to podcasts about the industry.
- You know how to build systems using software. You can use Zapier to plumb together magic with Airtable, Trello and Google drive.
- You LOVE research. You like to dive deep to find and make sense of data.
- You love to read. For the first two weeks, your onboarding will involve reading a lot of stuff, including books.
- You love to write.
- You really want to learn about venture capital, sporting startups and everything else.
- You love to think, research, and write.
- You will fill out a simple application form that asks a few questions, plus your resume and cover letter.
- If shortlisted, you will be given a quite detailed assignment, and you will make a presentation. I will not use your submission for anything aside from assessing you. You will own 100% of your work. (To those that are anti-assignment in the job interview process” I hope I don dodge una dragging)
- You will be shortlisted for an interview with panel
- I will make you an offer.
The last time I focused on getting a Youth Corper. This time, I am open to someone with more experience, as this is no longer an experiment.
- I am open to all candidates. I will prioritise Nigeria since the role pays in Naira
- I will look at First Class candidates closely as a filter. But you do not need a University education to apply
- Previous experience will be an advantage in a similar role will be an advantage.
- If you are a terrific and experienced candidate, I am happy to negotiate the salary. Your performance in the process will convince me. That you need more money, or used to earn more, is not a convincing argument.
Why might you not want to work with me?
I remain quite demanding, unstructured, and give tasks without much direction, but on the upside, you will surely grow, learn, and have access to my superb Rolodex, knowledge and great opportunities. On the brighter side, I have started to give more structure to my requests, and I have split the role to give it a bit more focus.
Why should you definitely apply?
Aside from having an interest in this role, you should apply because if you are in my top 10, you will most definitely get other offers. The reality is that no matter how good you are, I can only select one person; however, people in my network are definitely interested in you. Of the 10 candidates that got to the final stage, 9 of them got other jobs in less than 2 weeks, and about 6 were direct referrals. The last person was travelled for further studies.
As with my other hires, the last person that did this job got a much better paying role after a year and says working with me definitely put her in a great position for the job. Before you accept the offer or not, I’m happy to put you in touch with all those that have worked with me so you can do your own due diligence.
PS: Unlike the last time I recruited where I waited until all applications came through before reviewing, I will be reviewing applications on 16th August. This means I may get a choice candidate before the application is due to close. Please apply as early as you can do a thorough job.
PPS: If you are hiring and interested in receiving the resume’s of finalists of this process, fill this form.