Christopher, Isabel and Thomas are the first batch in Speedinvest’s new internship program. They support our team in evaluating startups, preparing deals and helping our portfolio companies succeed. But now, we would like to put the spotlight on them and let them share their experiences.
What you get:
From our first day onwards, we knew that our internship at Speedinvest would be very different from those we had in the past. There is simply no need for unnecessary formalities; hierarchies are flat, decision paths are short. The communication within the team is completely open and to the point and everyone is totally excited about what they do. This contributes to a unique team spirit, manifested in team outings from volleyball tournaments to several days in Mallorca together (and by team we also mean our portfolio companies). Probably most astonishing for us was that we were fully integrated into the team from day one, from informal Q&A sessions with the founder Oliver Holle (yes, there was beer) to participation in start-up conferences (and yes, Pioneers festival is as awesome as everyone says).
What you have to bring to the table:
When we say that everyone is excited about what they do, it’s not only because working at Speedinvest is actually fun, it’s also because you know that your contribution is valuable. Even at the bottom of the foodchain (aka as interns), we always felt that our opinion counted: imagine the surprise when during your first week one of the partners asks you straight-out whether you would invest in a start-up (and be aware: the partners might attack you with Nerf guns if they don’t like your answer). This requires a certain amount of independence, the ability to familiarize yourself quickly with new topics and industries, and above all the confidence to speak up in the presence of partners that have years of experience (even if they don’t share your opinion). Also, you should have at least some idea what you’re talking about as you will be in contact with rockstar-founders regularly and you should be able to give them the feeling to be adding value to their operations.
So, when people ask us what we learned during our internships, what will we say? For the majority of the time, it didn’t even feel like work – but looking back, we learned a lot. We’ve seen so many awesome (and less awesome) pitches; our own pitch decks will be nothing short of perfect. We feel like we’ve learned almost everything there is to know about VCs: how to approach them and how to negotiate with them (no, they don’t want to screw you over… well, of course we can only guarantee this for Speedinvest) and we received a crash course in all of the technicalities of venture capital: from cap tables to liq prefs, drag-alongs and tag-alongs, anti-dilution clauses and preemptive rights – you name it. But honestly, the VC business is all about people, so our final and biggest takeaway comes from having been able to work with a team of such great individuals with diverse backgrounds and working styles. The network that we were able to build up and the range of experiences that we take away is a great foundation for whatever we end up doing after our studies.
Find out for yourself what it’s like to be an intern at Speedinvest: we’re on the look out for interns! Apply here.