Foto: m/vc blog

How we got a job at a VC

What is it like to work at a venture capital firm? Marina, Chiara and Videesha will be sharing their insights and knowledge in this brand new blog.

 

Why we’re starting this blog

We want to give our readers a chance to take a step into the small and exciting venture capital world, to understand our work a little bit more, and to understand what this job is all about from a young venture capitalist point of view. Cap table, vesting clauses, pivoting – so much of this fancy vocabulary have become buzz words and people not familiar with finance or the way we do things might be more impressed than necessary by it. This is why we want to share our insights into the world of venture capital, impressions and knowledge with our readers .

First, let us introduce ourselves:

Videesha Kunkulagunta

Who are you?

Most people see my surname and think I’m Sri Lankan but I’ll let you in on a secret; I’m not. I’m an Indian-born Brit who moved to Berlin two years ago. Now I work as a Principal for Redstone a firm looking to re-invent the traditional Venture Capital model.

How did you get into VC?

By being curious and with a little luck. I read a diverse range of things, constantly ask questions, have opinions and enjoy connecting with new people. By doing this daily I happened to be in the right place at the right time when opportunities in VC firms came up. I found my role at Redstone through a press release in Gründerszene announcing a new fund so reached out to the Partners Samuli Siren and Michael Brehm. My previous VC role in London working at PROfounders Capital was after I completed an entrepreneurial program called the New Entrepreneurs Foundation.

Marina Vukovic

Who are you?

I am an alumni from European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel, Ex-Investment Banker from BNP Paribas and now a passionate Investment Manager at CommerzVentures, the independent VC arm of Commerzbank AG. After 3 years in investment banking, which was quite an exhausting adventure, a couple of months ago I moved to the VC world in which I constantly try to get to know new start-ups, connect relevant people, and improve my sense of developing business. Privately, I am partner in a restaurant and wine-bar, hence I am very familiar with both, struggle and joy, founders experience everyday on their journey of growth.

How did you get into VC?

That’s quite a romantic story: Commerzbank was one of the core clients at my previous IB job and as an M&A analyst, having diverse Google alerts in place were a must-do to always stay on top of things. When Commerzventures was founded on 1st October 2014, I received an alert of the official press release which was 100 percent what I dreamed of for quite a while as an “exit” from investment banking. Hence, I searched if they are looking for team hiring and saw a job post on Gründerszene.

I am not quite sure, but I think that literally the same day I sent an email to my new bosses Patrick Meisberger and Stefan Tirtey with a few (obviously convincing) pro arguments why I should work for them. Luckily, now I am working for them and loving every day in this job.

Chiara Sommer

Who are you?

I’m an Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds, the most active seed fund in Germany. I’m a startup and tech enthusiast, always on the lookout for new ventures. I was born and raised in Frankfurt by Austrian / Israeli parents and studied in London and Milan. And one more thing: I love traveling!

How did you get into VC?

At a networking conference I met Michael Brandkamp, the MD of High-Tech Gründerfonds. We talked why Israeli startups are so successful and I made him laugh by showing him a video of Guy Vardi, one of Israel’s first high-tech entrepreneurs, explaining with some humor the reason for success of Israeli entrepreneurs: “Jewish mothers (…) we succeed because of the guilt we all feel. From birth we are told we have to be better, that we are such a disappointment.” When I was looking for a new challenge, I contacted Michael and although he meets so many people he remembered me. So the answer on how I got into VC is networking and humor. My personal motivation was and is to constantly meet exciting people who challenge the status quo.

Disclaimer: All views are our own and independent from our employers and/or companies we invest in.

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