What do I need to do to get started in venture capital investing? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Scott Kupor, Managing Partner, Quora:

The best way to develop a career in VC is to think about what makes a successful general partner. I think there are three critical areas required for success:

  1. Can you source and identify interesting opportunities? Key skills here are networking/relationship development and having a defined investment thesis that you can articulate. In your spare time, are you a connector? Do you go to meet-ups/other entrepreneurial events and build relationships?
  2. Can you pick winners from the relationships you've sourced? Admittedly it's very hard to do this at scale if you are not already at a VC firm, but there are good proxies for this. Do you have your own portfolio or advisory-type relationships that can help prove out your picking? Most people don't have enough money to angel invest, but you can find other non-monetary ways to get involved and demonstrate your ability to pick. In terms of jobs, product management roles - where you are talking with customers to discern their needs and helping engineering to determine how best to fashion a product around those needs - is probably the closest non-VC job to being a VC. Being a founder/CEO of course is even better, but not everyone has that desire!
  3. Can you add value in ways that help companies achieve their goals and that make you competitive to win deals? Here again, you may not be able to sit on a lot of boards as a non-VC, but you can build relationships with CEOs and pay it forward such that they could attest to your abilities to be helpful to them in accomplishing their business goals.

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Published on: Oct 25, 2019