My time at Capnamic Ventures — See the VC world from an intern’s perspective

This article is for those who are interested in working at a VC, who want to know what I did in the last seven months and for those who have a general interest in entrepreneurship.

In February 2017, I graduated from university with my Bachelors degree. After an internship at a large enterprise, I decided to start another internship in the fast pace VC industry at Capnamic Ventures. Capnamic is an early-stage VC with a strong focus on technology. The company resides in Berlin and Cologne and invests predominantly in the DACH area with a ticket size between EUR 0.5m and 3.0m. I started my work in Cologne in June and stayed until the end of 2017.

It turned out that I already had some knowledge about the ecosystem due to prior events I visited. Nevertheless, I figured out that there is much more to learn than just the classic expressions and definitions of SaaS, the network effect and MRR. The knowledge I gathered from books and from personal experiences was nothing compared to the insight I gained from my first days and weeks at Capnamic. One thing I totally underestimated was the high skill and knowledge level of VC employees and it did not take long until it started to make an impact on my own skills and my learning curve rose exponentially. Never before have I worked with such responsibility, freedom and passion towards my own tasks.

One of my favourite tasks was active sourcing. With some weeks in advance, we prepared ourselves for bigger events (Pirate Summit, IdeaLab, Heureka, Dmexco, etc), analysed attending startups and scheduled meetings.

Picking of gold nuggets

My main task consisted of the pre-screening of the deal flow. In the VC-slang, startups applying for investment are called deals. Pre-screening in this case means that I was the first person in the company responsible for screening the deal flow. I examined every deal in detail and entered important information onto our internal database to allow my colleagues a quick and informative overview. After understanding and evaluating the company’s idea and business model, I would send a confirmation email in receipt of the idea. In cases where the deal does not fit into our investment focus, we discuss it within the team, collect feedback and decline it depending on the outcome of the decision. I appreciated the trust and responsibility given to me during my tasks.

Once a week, I would distribute all confirmed deals to my colleagues according to their focus areas, then specific steps (e.g. deep dive in the business model of a company, analysis of their financial KPI´s, pitches, etc.) are executed by the deal team. However, I have always been able to pick some of the deals that I was most interested in and join the deal team to support their work. I called this the picking of gold nuggets.

In summary, Capnamic granted me a wide and diverse insight into different industries, business models and has even allowed me to focus on markets I was personally interested in. This was already my fifth internship, I can honestly say that my time at Capnamic was the most educational, most fun and most challenging time and will be hard to beat.

This internship made me seriously consider working for Capnamic after my masters degree.

Lennart Mehl