Bringing "big company" benefits to startup communities
But there are a few advantages to be gained from working at a larger organization — among them, and opportunity for learning and development, a clearer career trajectory, the opportunity to switch roles from one organization to another, and often, a robust “alumni” network to stay connected even after you move on from that organization. Lately at USV, we've been experimenting with one aspect of this by offering cross-company manager trainings to new managers across our portfolio network. To date, more than 250 managers from 40+ startups have participated in these programs, with one of the highest net promoter scores out of all of our programming. But I wonder if there's an opportunity for us to emulate other parts of that "big company" experience from the startup point of view, too. After all, if you enjoy the experience of working at one startup, you might enjoy working for another one later in your career. Better yet if you already know what it's like to be a part of this type of community. This is one of the reasons why I'm so excited to have Matt Cynamon join the USV Network team this year. Drawing from his experiences in leading a peer learning company called Circles and through heading up the alumni network at General Assembly, Matt will help us think through these possibilities to build and strengthen our external network. How do we connect with "alumni" who used to work for USV companies earlier in their careers? How can we leverage the strength of our combined networks to foster even stronger connections for the 10,000 people working across our current portfolio? And how can we provide a startup learning experience that transcends whatever time you happen to be working for one of our companies? As I've said before, the timeline of venture capital will nearly always be longer than the timeline of any one employee's tenure. I'm excited to see how we can continue to iterate on this "startup life cycle" experience. If you have ideas, please share your feedback.