Why This Entrepreneur-in-Residence is On Venture Capital Firms’ Most Wanted List
“Entrepreneur-in-Residence” aka “EiR” is a title first advanced by the venture capital tech community, and where the role of the EiR inferred serving as the all-knowing, adult in the room occupied by innovators with compelling and innovative business ideas, but no real-world experience bringing a white-board concept to becoming an actual, revenue-generating business. Entrepreneur-in-Residence has since become a catch-all phrase used not only by VCs, it represents a role that is embraced by leading corporations, private equity firms and academia.
There is no single definition, nor a “one-size-fits-all” job description for an EiR, but most check writers who are funding a start-up, as well as select start-up entrepreneurs who are smart enough to know what they don’t know, will agree that having an entrepreneur-in-residence is mission critical.
“Everyone agrees that an EiR’s first qualification is experience as a real-world entrepreneur. “I’ve been a lifelong entrepreneur, I’ve built and sold a number of companies in a number of industries,” notes Dell Computer’s Ingrid Vanderveldt. That kind of experience is essential to understanding the startup market and the needs of entrepreneurs, but also to gain corporate credibility.”
EiRs don’t necessarily need to have deep experience in a specific industry; in fact, many will argue that the really good entrepreneur in-residence is someone who comes equipped with multi-industry experience, is highly-intuitive and someone whose prior accomplishments have been dependent on the left side of their brain working in tandem with the right side of their brain.
The ideal entrepreneur-in-residence is a great two-way communicators, able to listen and distill knowledge to their entrepreneurial customers and their corporate employers.
Of greatest importance, the EiR is someone with an unquenchable passion to make things happen.
The EiR profiled herein has often been on venture capital and private equity firms’ Most Wanted List because he has led, advanced, influenced and/or enabled start-up, fast-growth and turn-around initiatives in six industries over the course of his 25+ year career. This EiR knows enough about technology to be able to craft business specification documents for a broad assortment of e-commerce and website GUIs and he can locate a “NID” (not-intended-design) overlooked by crackerjack QA teams. His fingerprints can be found on 20+ website development projects, from robust, securities industry electronic trading platforms to compelling consumer product e-commerce platforms.
But, versatility is where the rubber meets the road when hiring a proven and seasoned Entrepreneur-In-Residence. Our featured guru has also been credited with forging strategic partnerships and sponsorship pacts between like-minded industry thought-leaders to brand awareness campaigns advanced by global companies, start-ups and professional service firms. In those roles, he has been saluted for his role as the inspirational message creator and C-suite message carrier on behalf of nearly three dozen CEOs and CMOs.
“It is really all about connecting the tag line to the bottom line,” says Jay Berkman, the EiR at The JLC Group, a boutique consultancy whose clients come to the firm for objective guidance in any and all of nine, equally-crucial practice areas the firm specializes in.
As Berkman points out, “When you’ve spent “more than 15 minutes on Wall Street,” during which time you’ve been involved in nearly every division, from trading and research to marketing as well as corporate access, and then for the next two decades, successively recruited to leadership roles outside the industry, ranging from public entertainment company CEO, to building business plans and investor presentation decks for fintech, medtech and martech companies, to crafting value proposition and brand awareness campaigns and forging strategic alliances for companies big and small across six different industries, you inevitably become a poster child for the small legion of head hunters and executive search firms that are actually capable when it comes to curating the butter from the margarine.”
This Entrepreneur-in-Residence is On Venture Capital Firms’ Most Wanted List