A few key resources for aspiring venture capitalists. I’ll be adding more as I come across quality ones, and I’ll be super happy if you’ll share your recommendations in the comments or directly 🙂
PS. If you’re building a startup, you might be interested in Startup guides.
Venture Deals by Brad Feld, Kauffman Fellows & Techstars
A free course on venture capital. A colleague has taken it twice and recommends it wholeheartedly for all who are serious about VC. The 7-week course takes just a few hours per week and offers both insider insights and ample opportunities for networking with thousands of professionals in the field around the world: upcoming and existing VCs, corporations, serious startups etc. There’s no news when will the course be organized next, and no home page, but the above link to the main instructor’s blog is a good bet for where info on the next batch will be posted.
VC Lab by Founder Institute
Also free program, but more intensive. Geared for those interested in starting a fund, they have assignments and you will be able to proceed only by completing them. For example at one point, after enough theory, your task is to actually go and do fundraising, and your instruction will continue based on your activity in this. I know several people who had recently taken the course and strongly recommended it, saying that the bar for raising a VC fund will turn out to be a lot lower than most startup professionals think.
For example, it’s possible to start with a very small 500ke fund by getting 10 angels to trust you with 50ke each, upon which you can start to work as a VC and get hands-on experience. As long as you have enough experience to start evaluating startups more rigorously from a VC point of view and are willing to do the required networking and got some contacts from where to start, the course should help you figure out the rest. That’s the impression I got from people who described it, at least.
These two books are written mostly for startups, but give a lot of insights for aspiring venture capitalists too. Some of the information is local (to the US), some is opinionated, but interesting points to consider for non-US fund managers with different strategies as well. Whether you’re starting micro-fund in Serbia or a niche fund in French Polynesia, it helps to understand and communicate how and why you’re different than what startups might be expecting from a VC fund after reding these influential books.
Mastering the VC Game by Jeffrey Bussgang.
Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson (Brad is also the instructor on the course with the same name, linked above).
The fundraising guide for entrepreneurs by Finnish Venture Capital Association might be also be helpful, striking a fast-to-read balance between a checklist and book for the most startup-facing parts of fund management.
Both Sides of the Table by Mark Suster, a 2x entrepreneur turned VC.
Michael Jackson, a notably thoughtful and prolific LinkedIn poster on VC fund management.