Truffle hunters for hire
We live in a blessed period where entrepreneurship has never been more fostered, money is flowing in, mega-rounds are not necessarily TC headline material anymore and VCs are fearing the Fear of missing Out like never before.
Take Paris for instance, most of quality seed deals are passed in the hands of a few, super-connected investors before being let go to the masses and only then less connected investors can try their luck and invest. Less funds have the firepower to follow up big rounds but there is way too much money and too few interesting deals at early stages.
Yet, deals come from everywhere, especially among young people, Payfit founder is not 30, Agricool founder is just 30, Creme de la Creme founder is 26 and Alan founders are just 30 as well. All of these companies are reshaping the ways we eat, pay, work or manage our health and all of these founders were in school less than 5 years ago.
On the other side, armies of students are applying for off-cycles, summer internships in PE/VC firms and swallow tech news by the kilometer just to be sure not to miss the latest fundraising, be sure to pitch the proper -all the rage- business model on a given interview and crawl through the countless tech events Paris, London or Berlin have.
These students have a lot of to give to VCs.
I. They know ideas and projects before they go out on the market
These founders were in their Schools, student societies, parties, circle of friends
II. They source at the source
Listening to founders pitching countless times their ideas in the schoolyards, at parties, trying out apps, testing new features and pushing their projects on Entrepreneurship Classes to have teachers and experts feedbacks
III. They are the missing link between VCs expectations and startups early developments
In a nutshell, aspiring VC students have access to a young, qualified, motivated and hungry population of entrepreneurs-to-be, still under the radar for most VCs.
IV. You will find them at every tech event in Paris
PitchMyStartUp, Pitch Don’t kill my vibe, Schoolab demo days, Vivatech… you name it they are here, listening, taking notes, looking for the next gem to pitch.
In other words, it seems like there is an untapped population of truffle hunters with access to an admirable dealflow, aware of what is going on in Paris… these students are for hire ! Last year, founders forum offered to pay £4500+ a semester a French student just for him to pitch 2 companies per month to the incubator. The perfect example of how a cheap investment for a fund (and a massive salary for a part time student) could lead to a seed round.
In this period of inflation of projects, funds and ventures, investing in young people (just like Canaan Partners did) could lead to great opportunities. Jeremy Liew found out about Snapchat thanks to his daughter :)
VCs, hire them! There are great resources totally under the radar, waiting quietly to be discovered and students are not expensive to hire. Think of freelance truffle hunters, released during the hot season and maybe new analysts already connected to half of the market…