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What is the best way to position yourself as a potential candidate for employment with a VC firm? Is CFA or CPA certification required?

Answers

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

In my opinion, the CFA certification provides more balance to you and greater utility to a VC firm. That does not mean the CPA has no value. I guess it relates to what you wish to do for the VC.

Topic Expert
John Kogan
Title: CEO/CFO
Company: Proformative, Inc.
(CEO/CFO, Proformative, Inc.) |

Well, that depends on what you want to do. I know a number of entrepreneurs who have made the jump here in Silicon Valley. They were all entrepreneurs who had done something fairly impressive and they went on to various partner positions.

However, since you mention CFA/CPA, I'm guessing you want an accounting/operational role at a venture firm? Depending on the size of the firm they may need someone who specializes in accounting for partnerships with complex equity holdings, or they may need your "typical" G/L accountants or even folks to do more mundane accounting entries, A/P management, etc.. So the skills necessary will vary by firm, and the bigger the firm, the more specialization there will be.

If you are interested in "finance" roles at a VC such as Analyst positions, an MBA from a top school will probably be your best bet, plus, your own entrepreneurial experience to go along with that.

Another place to look for insights is VCBC (Venture Capital Bean Counters) http://www.vcbconline.org/. It's a small, closed, membership-only site that costs $, but perhaps you can use the Contact form to see whether you can get a call with one of the folks who run that forum.

Good luck to you!

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