Mar 7 2007

Do All VCs Have Degrees From Top Schools?

Question: Do all VCs have degrees from the very top schools? Is it a job requirement? I will graduate soon from an honors program at a state school. The conversation usually goes well when I pitch my background, internship, and areas of expertise then takes a turn for the worse when I say where I went to school.

If you are trying to get a VC job straight out of school, the answer is probably “yes.” It’s a really tough position to get and there is a bias toward the top schools. If you also consider that the coasts tend to dominate the venture world, you get a lot more visibility if you are from one of the east or west’s top schools. Most VCs become VCs after doing “something else” whether that is being an entrepreneur, investment banker, lawyer, etc. At that point, it’s really irrelevant where you went to school; it’s all about what you have done to get to that point.

I didn’t even know where half of my partners went to school until I wrote this post and did a bit of research. It looks like I’m the only state school guy of the bunch. In our group, we have varying degrees from M.I.T, Stanford, Harvard, Macalester College (in St. Paul Minnesota for those of you keeping score at home) and my personal favorite, the University of Michigan.