• The State of Platform

    A report to bring data and understanding to the way VCs add value

  • The emergence of "platform"

    Every VC talks about adding value - but what does that actually mean?

     

    In the past couple years, we have seen the explosion of value-add roles in early-stage venture funds - specialising in everything from talent and business development to community and content. What has emerged has been an army of very bright and experienced folks supporting and enabling their portfolio of startups to grow at an accelerated rate.

     

    This work can take many shapes:

    • Organising CXO-centric, best practice communities, online and in-person
    • Writing tangible, actionable content around early-stage challenges
    • Building a robust BD network of potential corporate customers 
    • Creating bespoke vendor and service provider connections
    • Fostering highly impactful advisory relationships
    • And much more

    Elevating the conversation

    As platform is still a relatively nascent industry, we lack the legacy, content, and dialogue that investment-focused VC professionals enjoy. However, this is quickly changing.

     

    The State of Platform report hopes to be a part of that shift in understanding VC value-add. We will do this by collecting data, case studies, and insights into questions such as:

    • Why do VCs start to engage in value-add services?
    • What sort of partnership/management alignment is needed to enable platform?
    • How does one track or quantify "value add" to a portfolio company?
    • What do the profiles and compensation structures for these platform hires look like?
    • Is there a certain platform focus (i.e. talent, BD, etc.) that moves the needle faster for portfolio companies?
    • At what point does the platform function get involved with a portfolio company?
    • How is platform budgeted for within the larger fund?
    The output of these surveys and interviews will include a report with aggregated data from platform professionals throughout the US and Europe, 5+ in-depth case studies, and research/analysis editorial.

    Talking to the right people for the right data

    To keep this report as relevant as possible, we will talk to platform professionals who:

    1. Work for an "early stage" (pre-Series B) venture capital fund that manages money for LPs with a carry incentive structure based on performance
    2. Focuses exclusively on value-add in any capacity (talent, corporate development, community, content, etc.)
    3. Manages a portfolio of at least 15 startup companies

    It is from this data and survey responses that the final report will be built off. Ultimately, the goals of the State of Platform are to:

    1. Give platform professionals a robust understanding of industry standards for VC value-add services.
    2. Educate investment partners on the breadth of platform specialisations and enable them to find the best fit for their fund.
  • Get Involved

    Sign up below to participate and/or receive the report when it is published in 2018.

  • About the Editor

    Photo courtesy Nina Liu

    Kim Pham is a longtime human-in-technology, having worked in startups in New York and Boston since she was 16. She was the first female president of Tech@NYU and founding partner of Dorm Room Fund NYC, a student-run fund backed by First Round Capital. Kim was most recently Head of Platform at Frontline Ventures and is the founder of EU Internal Ecosystem Builders. Her work in accelerating VC portfolios led her to being named Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Europe in 2017.

    After 3 years of working in early-stage VC platform and 4+ years in building community, Kim has gathered a deep understanding of the many questions and challenges that platform professionals face. She writes semi-regularly on this topic.

    She now wants to collect the data and create the resource she wish she previously had when starting her career in VC platform. Kim hopes the report will help elevate the dialogue around platform and champion the value that it brings to early-stage startups.

    kimpham.org

     

  • Contact

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