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The industry numbersHow big is the venture capital industry? The number changes dependingon what you call a “Venture Capital” firm. The National Venture CapitalAssociation estimates about 8,000 VC professionals. We came up with thefollowing estimates for the number of positions nationwide in the industry,about average.Analysts/Associates (entry level): 750-1,000Senior Associates/VP (partner track): 1,000-1,500Partners: 4,000Firms: 700-750The most authoritative source for companies of the types listed above isPratt’s Guide to Venture Capital Sources (published by ThomsonFinancial). You should check it out in the reference section of your locallibrary. However, if you call these firms, you’ll find out that a fair numberare either gone or winding down. And, some firms aren’t listed in Pratt’sbecause they are new and haven’t been added yet. Other firms simply don’twant to advertise themselves at all. Estimating the senior associate andanalyst/associate numbers is difficult because the turnover at thesepositions is rapid (two to four years). Our educated guess is shown above.Targeting the Firm You WantThe most prominent and traditional venture firms are located in the SanFrancisco area and Boston. New York tends to have later stage, lowertechnology firms with more capital deployed per transaction, and, as aventure capital city, follows closely behind the top two.Don’t overlook the less prominent, less competitive geographic areas withhigh entrepreneurial growth like Sacramento, North Carolina, New Jersey,Vault Career Guide to Venture CapitalThe Hiring ProcessVisit the Vault Finance Career Channel at —with insider firm profiles, message boards, the Vault Finance Job Board and more. 39C A R E E RL I B R A R Y
Utah, Colorado, Washington State, Atlanta, and Virginia. The growth ofthese venture capital communities is not far behind the rise of theentrepreneurs, and you can get in on the ground floor. Other reasons tocheck these locations out include:• It might be easier to get a job.• The day-to-day job is the same or better (because you’ll end uphaving more responsibility).• Quality of life will be better because of lower pressure, fewerconstraints on behavior and lower cost of living.Don’t just target the high-prestige, private funds. Look at university funds,SBICs and venture divisions of corporations. If your ultimate goal is towork for the better known firms, your best bet might be to pursue the lowerprofile firms, prove yourself for a few years, and then make the move to thebig leagues.On the other hand, working at the most prestigious firms gives you:• More job opportunities down the road.• Higher name recognition.• A better platform from which to meet people in the industries you follow.