The Story of a VC Intern (Part 1)
I’m Nick and I’m lucky enough to be doing an internship at rampersand, a venture capital firm that invests in some of Australia’s fastest growing and most ambitious technology teams and startups.
My journey so far…
While experiencing the world of VC with rampersand, I’m two years into my university degree, studying a Bachelor of Business majoring in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The Bachelor of Business is designed to provide me with core skills and knowledge in business, management and operations to prepare me for roles in today’s tech-driven business world.
The Entrepreneurship and Innovation component of my degree develops skills such as being able to tell the difference between just a business “idea” and the reality of turning that business idea into a business opportunity, and using innovation techniques, like the ideation process (creating an idea) to maximise that opportunity. It helps me to become a strategic thinker and planner, explores new business models, teaches me how to interpret sales and marketing opportunities, build effective teams, and source capital funding.
I’ve been passionate about entrepreneurship for many years. Having watched my Dad build and grow three new businesses, I’m inspired to be surrounded by startups, and one day build my own.
This makes rampersand a great fit for what I want to learn in an internship as it both works closely with startups, helps and guides founders, and most importantly is focused on supporting Australia’s thriving tech space.
Walking into the office for the first time for my interview I was blown away at how cool the space is. Picture an open warehouse, with desks in the centre, a boxing bag hanging next to speakers that play music all day long and green flower-pots hanging from the roof. Best of all, the meeting rooms; named after three celebrities (with three or more arrests), their mug-shots hang on the door. (Snoop Dogg, Robert Downey Jr and George Michael). One of the meeting rooms even has a fake bookcase as its door.
An exciting challenge…
I didn’t know what to expect stepping into the rampersand office on my first day. Throughout my entrepreneurship and innovation classes, I had focused on the idea of starting up a company from a simple idea to the dream of generating revenue, the characteristics of entrepreneurs, and everything to do with both innovating and entrepreneurs. However, tutors and lecturers never considered the funding support that all businesses require who have a dream to grow into a multimillion, or multibillion dollar company.
rampersand has not only given me a great insight into the venture capital space, but also into the way they both financially support, as well as mentor, guide and help to improve the companies they meet with.
The Australian tech ecosystem is an exciting space. Technology companies, built by some of the brightest and most ambitious minds, are disrupting every corner of the business world. In Australia itself, creating high-growth companies that create technology and knowledge jobs will help us adapt to the digital future, and our digital economy is currently exploding with up to 75% of the total growth forecast being in ICT management and operations and ICT technical and professional. In tech, jobs like this can range from application development, to networking, to robotics and artificial intelligence.
Before joining rampersand, I had completed an internship in Toronto with McKenzie Pitch Partners, a pitch consulting company where I assisted in the preparation and consultations of pitch strategies and processes. I would see large businesses, such as CBRE, trying to win more business through their pitches. So it is very interesting for me to now view pitches from innovators and entrepreneurs on the other side of the table.
The rampersand family…
If I was asked right now what my favourite thing about rampersand was, it would be the people. Only one month into my internship I already feel a part of the family and have a big feeling that I’m helping to achieve goals, such as helping to analyse incoming companies and also perform more in-depth research on particular industries.
Over the next few months, I will be writing about my journey as an intern at rampersand, and mostly my learnings as I discover more about venture capital and the Australian startup ecosystem.