Up-and-Coming Platform Managers Working in VC

Published May 3, 2023

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Quick Navigation:

  1. Why It’s Important to Have a Platform Manager in VC
  2. How to Succeed as a Platform Manager in VC
  3. Best Practices for Platform Management
  4. Resources for Platform Managers
  5. Up-and-Coming Platform Managers in VC
  6. Start Your Next Round with Visible

Why It’s Important to Have a Platform Manager in VC

Platform managers are instrumental in the success of startups, which is why the role of platform managers within VC firms has become increasingly important and there has been a surge in hiring for this position. By providing guidance and support to portfolio companies, they help founders navigate the challenges of building and scaling a startup. They offer advice and support on everything from product development and fundraising to talent acquisition and marketing. Platform managers act as a liaison between portfolio companies and the VC firm, helping founders access the resources and expertise they need to succeed.

Hiring a platform manager can also help VCs enhance their value proposition and differentiate themselves in an increasingly crowded market. Some other ways in which they can also add value to VC firms and its portfolio companies are:

  • Strategic Focus: A platform manager can help VCs develop a strategic focus for their investments by identifying areas where they can add value beyond just providing capital. The platform manager can work with portfolio companies to help them leverage the VC’s network, resources, and expertise to scale their businesses.
  • Portfolio Optimization: A platform manager can help VCs optimize their portfolio by identifying areas of overlap or synergy between portfolio companies. They can also help VCs identify potential acquisition targets and facilitate mergers and acquisitions.
  • Value Creation: A platform manager can help create value for portfolio companies by providing access to resources such as talent, capital, and strategic partnerships. This can help portfolio companies grow faster and more efficiently.
  • Brand Building: A platform manager can help VCs build their brand by creating and promoting events, content, and other initiatives that showcase the VC’s expertise and thought leadership in their respective domains.
  • Investor Relations: A platform manager can help VCs manage their relationships with investors by creating reports, organizing events, and providing regular updates on the performance of portfolio companies.

How to Succeed as a Platform Manager in VC

To succeed as a platform manager in VC, individuals must have a deep understanding of the startup ecosystem and the challenges that founders face. They must be able to build relationships with portfolio companies and act as a trusted advisor to founders. 

Additionally, they must have strong analytical skills, as well as the ability to manage complex projects and navigate volatile market conditions. They must be able to analyze financial data and market trends to identify opportunities and make informed decisions. They must also have the ability to manage complex projects and navigate volatile market conditions.

To get into venture capital as a platform manager, individuals should focus on building a strong network in the startup ecosystem. They should attend industry events, participate in startup accelerators, and connect with successful founders and investors. It’s also important to gain relevant experience in areas such as product development, marketing, and finance. 

It also helps to read industry blogs and publications to stay up to date on the latest trends and funding rounds.

Best Practices for Platform Management

Some best practices include, how to identify potential portfolio companies, how to add value to portfolio companies, and how to optimize the firm’s portfolio.

Identifying Potential Portfolio Companies

The first step in effective platform management is identifying potential portfolio companies that align with the VC firm’s investment focus and criteria. To do this, platform managers should:

  • Develop a deep understanding of the VC firm’s investment focus and criteria, including industry sectors, geographies, and stages of investment.
  • Network and stay up-to-date on industry trends and emerging technologies to identify potential investment opportunities.
  • Leverage the VC firm’s network to source and evaluate potential portfolio companies.
  • Conduct thorough due diligence on potential portfolio companies to ensure they meet the firm’s investment criteria and have strong growth potential.

Adding Value to Portfolio Companies

Once a portfolio company has been identified and invested in, platform managers can help add value to the company by providing access to resources and expertise that can help the company scale and succeed. To do this, platform managers should:

  • Work closely with portfolio company management teams to identify areas where the VC firm can provide value beyond just capital.
  • Provide access to the VC firm’s network of industry experts, potential customers, and strategic partners.
  • Help portfolio companies recruit top talent by providing access to the VC firm’s talent network and offering guidance on hiring best practices.
  • Help portfolio companies develop and execute growth strategies, including marketing and sales strategies, product development, and international expansion.

Optimizing the Firm’s Portfolio

Finally, platform managers should focus on optimizing the VC firm’s portfolio by identifying potential areas of overlap or synergy between portfolio companies and helping to facilitate mergers and acquisitions. To do this, platform managers should:

  • Conduct regular portfolio reviews to assess the performance of each portfolio company and identify areas where the VC firm can add value.
  • Identify potential acquisition targets that can help strengthen the VC firm’s portfolio and create synergies across portfolio companies.
  • Help facilitate mergers and acquisitions by providing guidance on deal structuring and negotiation.
  • Work closely with portfolio company management teams to identify opportunities for cross-collaboration and knowledge-sharing across the portfolio.

Resources for Platform Managers

Resources From the Visible Blog

Up-and-Coming Platform Managers in VC

Meryl Breidbart  Director of Investment Operations | At One Ventures

  •  How did you get into platform?
    • I started my career as a designer and founder of Chirps, so when I began at At One Ventures as an investor, I naturally gravitated to filling our platform holes. I started by organizing our first AGM and building some fund partnerships and from there, helped launch our platform and operations team, which now includes a VP of Talent, a VP of Marketing, and a Venture Partner with extensive commercialization experience.
  • What’s the focus of your firm’s post-investment support; what’s your specialty?
    • We know we can’t be excellent at everything, so we have decided to double down on a few areas: talent, marketing, fundraising support, and commercialization. I specifically focus on fundraising. I build pitch decks, run pitch practice sessions, and make introductions for our founders to our vast network of follow-on investors. In addition to this work, I also support our firm with internal operations – assisting with our fundraising efforts and making sure we run a tight ship.
  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • Working directly with our founders! I am an extrovert and get energy from talking to lots of different people. I enjoy reducing the amount of work our founders have to do and providing them with best practices and processes so that they can learn quickly.
  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • You can’t be all things to all people. Figure out 1-2 strategic goals for the first year of the role and make sure to prioritize those. Otherwise, you will find yourself being a recruiter for company A and a PR firm for company B, which will not scale and will not help you deepen expertise.

Mal Filipowska  |Portfolio & Platform Manager | Seedstars

  • How did you get into platform?
    • For the first five years of my Venture Capital career, I was always on the investment side of the fund: sourcing deals, preparing investment memos etc. I executed over 30 transactions across Europe, MENA, and India. A big part of my role was building relationships with other VCs and sharing investment opportunities: that’s how I met Seedstars. I instantly fell in love with their investment thesis and commitment to empowering start-ups in emerging markets globally.It was mutual, and the Partners of Seedstars International Ventures invited me to join the team. The platform role was an obvious fit: it was 100% global (opposite to our Investment Managers, divided by regions). It allowed me to continue working with founders from diverse backgrounds from over 100+ start-ups in almost 40 different countries, be hands-on in supporting them in solving their most urgent challenges and have a tangible impact on their journey to success.
  • What’s the focus of your firm’s post-investment support; what’s your specialty?
    • As a global fund, we decided to focus on the most urgent and universal aspect of every start-up: growth. As we can read in the famous Paul Graham essay: “if you get growth, everything else tends to fall into place”.After we invest, our portfolio companies get lifetime access to the “Growth Track” – a tailored consultancy program for start-up teams. It is delivered by growth experts and helps our portfolio companies to develop a long-lasting and sustainable growth strategy. We host such a program twice a year, so portfolio companies can always bring their new employees for us to teach them the growth mindset & methodologies.
  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • My favorite part of the Platform role is how it fosters my professional growth within the Venture Capital industry. In the platform role, I am more exposed to the everyday challenges faced by founders, which enables me to actively participate in solving them together. There is no space for beautiful pitch decks or listening to what the VC wants to hear – we’re in the same boat now, so my entire focus is working towards a common goal. Personally, I find it very developing and satisfying.
  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • Take your time: Spend some time to dive deep into the role and understand the needs of your portfolio companies. By doing so, you’ll be better equipped to help them succeed.Find your niche: Focus on common challenges your portfolio companies face and become an expert in addressing them. This approach allows you to add “scalability” to your support and significantly impact the board.Stay connected to the investment side: Don’t lose touch with the investment aspect of venture capital. Participate in investment committees and the investment process to maintain a well-rounded perspective and contribute more effectively to your portfolio’s growth.Collaborate with the VC community: Each player contributes uniquely to the world of venture capital. Instead of competing, work alongside your co-investors, join forces with your co-investors, complement each other and build on each other’s strengths.Connect with founders personally: Meeting your founders in person and getting to know them as individuals will help build stronger relationships and foster a deeper understanding of their needs and motivations

Regan Gore | Community & Operations Associate | Eniac Ventures

  • How did you get into platform?
    • Prior to joining Eniac, I was in consulting and executive search, and then I taught first grade during COVID. I have honestly found so many overlaps between teaching and platform, and I think that experience helped me hit the ground running when I joined the VC world. I was really lucky to have a wonderful resource in Sam Gelt (a16z) who reached out to me after connecting in a Slack group and helped guide me in my VC job process. Through her and a few other mentors (huge shoutout to Mariana Consuegra (previously BCGDV), Kenyon Cory (Petal), and the Aspire to Her team), I was able to learn more about community and different roles that were community-focused, ultimately finding a path to VC. I have found that platform is a great way to connect with founders and be part of their journeys, especially at a seed firm where we can really provide help and value right away.
  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • My absolute favorite part of the role is getting to speak to so many interesting founders as well as connecting with phenomenal partners who can be great resources to our founders. Deepening those relationships every day drives so much of my work, and I love that each day is a little different!
  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • My best advice for first-time platform managers is to create your own cohort of founders in your portfolio who you trust + they trust you. I have found this small group has been a helpful sounding board to many ideas, they’ve given me very honest feedback on our platform offerings and have tested out ideas before I’ve brought them to the larger group, and they are great cheerleaders at events and in our slack group! I think a lot of first-time platform managers think that you have to have a “perfect” facade when talking to founders, but they are in the same boat as you, and the relationship is so much better when everyone is open and honest about where they are, what they are working on, and where they can use help.

Rachel Hodes | Director of Platform | NextView Ventures

  •  How did you get into platform? 
    • When I was a senior in college, I decided to take an internship at this relatively new, female-founded, D2C brand that had just closed its Series A. Taking the 1 train down to their chic Chinatown office, which one day became their flagship store, was always the highlight of my week. I remember feeling impressed and inspired by the creativity, collaboration, and community-building that went down in that millennial-pink wonderland, and I knew that this experience was the beginning of my addiction to all things startups. I spent the rest of my early to mid-twenties operating at various early-stage consumer and B2B companies. The “throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks” kind of days… *sigh* memories. But like most people, the pandemic forced me to pause, reevaluate my path forward, and be incredibly intentional about what I wanted to do next. I knew I was outgrowing those early-stage operating days but I also knew I wasn’t quite ready to quit startups cold turkey. During this transitional time, I learned about platform from a friend who was actually trying to hire me for a role at his boutique recruitment firm: “Your role here would be similar to that of a platform person’s role at a VC firm.” Oh really? Bet. I started doing my research and realized that platform encompasses all the things I love to do (content, community, operations, marketing, events, etc.) PLUS it directly supports startups and founders in a MAJOR way?! Sign me up. By some kind of kismet, stars aligning chance, my now mentor, Stephanie Manning Cohen (Operating Partner at Lerer Hippeau) had just messaged me on LinkedIn and was interested in chatting about an open platform role on her team. This particular position didn’t end up being the right fit, but Stephanie connected me to the partners at NextView, and it’s been a match made in seed-stage heaven ever since ❤️
  • What’s the focus of your firm’s post-investment support; what’s your specialty?
    • We focus on the four things that matter most at the seed stage: building a great product, getting great customers, hiring a great team, and not running out of money. I would say my specialty is bringing people together in a meaningful way, and I’m excited to explore that more with NextView’s founder initiatives this year. Stay tuned!
  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • Running the NextView accelerator program, hands-down. Bringing a group of early-stage entrepreneurs together and creating meaningful programming and memorable experiences that actually move the needle in propelling their businesses forwards?! There’s nothing more rewarding. It’s also pretty special to see lasting friendships evolve out of the programming you create. The startup founder journey can be a lonely one, and if I can help people feel a little less alone… that makes my heart and soul oh so happy.
  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • This role is inherently more fun because you’re doing all the things, but that variety of work also comes with its fair share of challenges. One day you’re working on a website redesign, the next day you’re working on an accelerator kickoff event, and the next day you’re working on establishing your firm’s Affinity foundations. Whatever major project you’re working on, you need at least one, if not two, point partners who can support you in driving towards decisions within the confines of those projects. Aim to divvy up your point partners based on the relevancy of the project at hand and meet with these partners on a regular basis as you’re moving through your work; get their take on things, ask them for advice, talk through your plan for prioritization, etc. The platform work we do on a daily basis is incredibly different than what the investment team is working on; it’s important that you have someone in your corner who has visibility into the work you’re doing and the progress you’re making. And trust me… it makes things a lot easier and more efficient when you’re getting the green light from one or two people vs the entire partnership 🙂
  •  How did you get into platform? 
    • I’ve long been passionate about the role business can play in making the world a better place so when I learned that American Family Insurance was building an Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, I was immediately intrigued. For those who are not familiar, the AmFam Institute’s mission is to close equity gaps in the US and we do that through both running a traditional venture capital fund and developing a portfolio of community partnerships and programs. My background was in communications, but I also had some experience within the startup community and the nonprofit, social impact space. After a lot of networking and a little luck, I took a role leading some of the Institute’s local partnerships and managing a community events space that catered to mission-driven organizations. As I was in on the ground floor of the Institute, I took the opportunity to learn as much as I could about the venture fund, intrigued by the innovation and potential for large-scale impact. This allowed me to dip my toe into platform by helping plan a few events and developing resources for our founders and in less than two years (with help from the pandemic unfortunately shutting down the event space), I made the jump to build out and manage our platform and portfolio services full-time.
  • What’s the focus of your firm’s post-investment support; what’s your specialty?
    • The AmFam Institute is focused on creating an inclusive community of high-performing, mission-driven founders who feel authentically supported and appreciated. We do our best to connect our founders to each other by hosting dinners when we’re attending large conferences and by hosting our annual founder summit, which is definitely my favorite event. Outside of gathering our founders together in person, we’ve put a big emphasis on supporting the health and well-being of our portfolio so we offer a coaching stipend, host monthly mastermind peer group sessions, and offer free drop-in coaching, all in hopes of preventing burnout and helping everyone feel supported because we know being a founder is often a really high-stress and isolating job. I also have to give a huge shoutout to our storytelling and social media team who amplify the work of our portfolio companies through video and social media. My specialty is definitely community building and events so I tend to focus on that, but the content creation is a really valuable part of our post-investment support.
  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • There are so many things I love about my role. From the creativity required and the continuous learning to the countless friends I’ve made within the platform community, there’s a lot to love. However, one of the simplest joys for me over the past year has been watching our community grow. It feels almost magical when I see two founders bond at an event or I hear that they’ve stayed in touch long after an introduction was made. It’s a lot of hard work to curate a space where those kinds of connections can form so it’s really rewarding to see it all come together and to know we’re (hopefully) helping them feel a little more connected and supported as they do the hard work of building these truly incredible, world-changing companies.
  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • Get connected and don’t be afraid to ask questions! My job got a lot easier when I joined platform groups like Let’s Talk Ops and VC Platform where there are hundreds of brilliant people willing to share their wisdom. It can be intimidating to ask a question when you’re still learning about venture, but there are so many people that enter platform roles without prior VC experience that most likely someone has the same question… or at least remembers having the same question when they started and is willing to jump in with an answer.

Cynthia Matar | Head of Platform and Communications | Swiftarc Ventures

  •  How did you get into platform? 
    • Interestingly enough, I started my career at the Firm as an intern for an analyst position. During my time as an intern/analyst, I discovered how much I enjoyed everything other than the financial/diligence part of the role. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with founders and finding ways to help, building the firm’s brand and image, networking with investors for business development efforts, and planning and executing activation events. They didn’t quite know where to place me, but understood there was a need for the types of services I was offering. The team very quickly realized the one thing missing (an emerging role in the VC space at the time) was a Platform role/division that could manage all post-investment support and services. I worked my way up from Platform & Media Coordinator to Head of Platform during my time at the Firm and couldn’t be more proud of what we as a team have accomplished together.
  • What’s the focus of your firm’s post-investment support; what’s your specialty?
    • My specialty encompasses Public Relations, Internal & External Communications, Branding/Marketing, Investor Relations, Fundraising and Business Development, as well as Events & Networking. As an early-stage firm, a lot of effort is put into building the Firm’s image and network.
  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • My favorite part of the role is quite simply, the versatility of it all. No day looks the same, which makes the role so engaging and exciting to be a part of. I jokingly refer to Platform managers as the “Jack or Jane of all trades.” These are individuals who are able to wear multiple hats and offer a multitude of post-investment support and services. I love the collaboration that comes with the role – you find yourself working closely with everyone across the board (Senior Executives, Founders, Team Members, Stakeholders, and Investors). One of the most exciting parts I’ve had to play was launching each of the Firm’s funds with differing investment theses, PR and Marketing strategies, digital content, activation events, etc. You have a hand in everything, which gives you better insight into the moving parts of how the “engine” runs at a firm.
  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • My advice for first-time platform managers is to always be curious! Network with people across the industry, regardless of their roles – remember, you have a hand in it all. Share your thoughts, always. Your perspective is unique in that it offers an unbiased opinion and combines a variety of your experiences, making it refreshing to those who might have a standard set of questions or best practices they always use. Always be a student – your willingness to learn new approaches to apply across the firm is your superpower in this role.

Allie Mullen | Director of Platform | Wireframe Ventures

  • How did you get into platform?
    • I’ve spent my career as a startup operator, early employee, and wear-er of many hats. I love working with founders and I love building companies. I’ve always kept a pulse on VC and since I didn’t have a background in finance or consulting, I didn’t think there was an opportunity for me to break in. But as soon as I found out about Platform roles, I knew it was for me. 
  • What’s the focus of your firm’s post-investment support; what’s your specialty?
    • Wireframe specializes in helping extraordinary early-stage founders on a mission to improve the health of people and the planet. Our team has deep industry expertise, having been founders and investors in climate, health, and bio for over a decade. I joined the team as a Platform team of one and built the function from the ground up, supporting the fund’s operations, marketing, community-building, events, and post-investment support. 
  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • It sounds cliche, but I love that every day is different and that I get to work across so many different functions. I also love that this role is still relatively new to the industry and continues to evolve. As Platform leaders, we get to define what Platform means to our fund. There is still a lot of room and opportunity for innovation for what the future of Platform looks like. I am excited to be part of it and to continue to accelerate growth for our founders.
  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • Build relationships with other Platform leaders, especially those who have been in it for a while. Platform can be a lonely role, especially for those of us who are teams of one, so connecting with others early on can supercharge your success. Plus, Platform folks are usually pretty similar people and tend to get along well (type-A, social, creative, love a challenge, efficiency, and helping others). 

Olivia Zdeb | Operations Manager | Hyde Park Venture Partners

  • How did you get into platform?
    • At first, I thought my journey to platform was random, but it turns out it’s a common path for many. I started my career in special recreation, then transitioned to Parks & Recreation for a neighboring Chicago municipality. With over 15 years of experience in events, program organization, marketing, and community engagement, it almost feels like I was training for this role all along. Leaving parks, finishing my master’s degree, and finding my dream job wouldn’t have been in my five-year plan before the pandemic. Taking the risk to leave my established career without a clear roadmap was worth it in the end.
  • What’s the focus of your firm’s post-investment support; what’s your specialty?
    • In addition to the financial support we provide, we also prioritize building strong relationships with our portfolio companies to better understand their needs and to provide them with tailored support to help them grow and succeed. HPVP operates on a true partnership model and focuses on companies rooted in the Midwest, Toronto, and Atlanta. This geographic focus allows us to provide dedicated attention and responsiveness to each of our portfolio companies. Our Platform team collaborates to provide impactful community-building events for our portfolio companies, offer problem-solving resources whenever teams ask for support, and offer personalized talent resources through our Talent Partner Jim Conti. As my role is still relatively new, my value-add continues to evolve with each new investment. With each new investment, I have the chance to establish a relationship with the founding team, understand their unique needs and challenges, and improve my ability to make a significant impactful in my role.
  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • I love the creative freedom this role provides. It’s rewarding to see my ideas come to life in the form of marketing campaigns and events that bring new value to our team and community. As a former government employee, I find it refreshing to be in a role with fewer restrictions. As HPVP’s first Operations Manager and the second member of the Platform team, my role has evolved and expanded beyond my initial responsibilities. It’s exciting to me that I can personally drive meaningful improvements for our HPVP team and our portfolio companies.
  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • As a first-time platform manager myself, I suggest joining or creating a community of like-minded platform professionals. We’re all learning and growing as we go, so it’s essential to have a support system. I’m an active member of the Let’s Talk Ops, VC Platform, and V2:VC communities. These communities are filled with kind, helpful, and creative individuals who share ideas, collaborate on events, and offer advice based on past experiences. One suggestion would be to take action and “just do it.” While researching the best software, vendor, or service can be helpful, it’s essential to remember that what works for one firm may not work for another. Instead, work within your current systems to maximize their capabilities. Then, identify the constraints that are limiting your next steps. This approach can help you identify the specific resources you need to take your firm to the next level.

Anna Jacobson | Operations & Data Partner | Operator Collective

Anna leads Operator Collective’s operations vertical, including data analytics, investment operations, internal operations, investor relations, fundraising operations, and fund administration. Prior to joining OpCo in 2020, Anna earned a Master’s in Information and Data Science from UC Berkeley, where she honed her data science expertise, concentrating on predictive analytics, machine learning, and data visualization. An engineer by training and experienced project manager, she is a cross-functional business leader, data strategist, and operations veteran who is passionate about combining technology with process and design to ensure outstanding collaboration across technical, business, and creative teams.

  • How did you get into platform?
    • Very organically! I had never heard the term before I started this job; it does not appear in my job description and even today we don’t call ourselves a Platform Team with a capital P. But most of the work that I do – whether in Operations or in Data – is deeply integrated with our platform functions, so much so that I do now consider myself to be someone who works in platform.
  • What’s the focus of your firm’s post-investment support; what’s your specialty?
    • In a word – connection. Our model is based on the power that is generated by making connections between our portfolio companies and our 200+ Operator LPs – exceptional tech executives – and their networks. My specialty is building and orchestrating the tools and processes that we use in each step of the connection process – to identify, facilitate, track, report, and everything in between.
  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • I love it all – from high-level strategic thinking to hands-on building to information design and communications – I find it all profoundly satisfying.
  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • Venture is a young industry and platform is an even younger function within venture. This means that practically every part of it is undefined and evolving. This can be a challenge – what exactly are we supposed to be doing?!? – but also an opportunity – we aren’t constrained by what has been done before! Seek allies to work through the challenges and be open and ready to seize on the opportunities.

Oleh Karizskyi | Head of Platform | Flyer One Ventures

  • How did you get into platform?
    • Initially, I joined Flyer One Ventures 2 years ago as a Growth/Operations Manager helping portfolio companies with growth, b2b sales, and performance marketing. We did not have a Platform Manager at that time. After 6 months, my team lead left the firm and I became a Band-Aid guy within the fund helping with partnerships and expanding perks, organizing webinars, creating a portal for portcos’ founders etc. Ultimately, the role transformed into Platform Manager combined with the firm’s Investment activity.
  • What’s the focus of your firm’s post-investment support; what’s your specialty?
    • Our fund’s structure is pretty unusual. The majority of our team consists of operators. We have 17 team members, and only 4 of them are in the investment team. We help portcos with hiring, marketing&branding, PR&communications, fundraising, operations, legal issues, and finance support. We have a startup atmosphere in our fund, thus we do not super restrict ourselves with responsibilities zones. One of the major trends inside our Platform is switching from a Hands-on approach towards scaling support by expanding our network of advisors. Personally, I combine fund & community operations (the latest tasks were the implementation of the founders’ request tracking system, arranging webinars for portcos and for the Ukrainian startup community, compiling an internal newsletter for the fund’s community etc), business development & networking, investment activity responsibilities such as startup due diligence, expanding our pipeline and helping portcos with fundraising. We also have a Head of Operations, her responsibilities overlap with mine, so we complement each other.
  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • Dynamism and helping founders. I do not get bored by doing the same duties, because they always change. Also, it is great to communicate with founders, find their pain points, and try to help them. It is crucial to show them that they are not alone in their journey.
  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • Define what are the pain points of your founders in terms of the fund’s Platform and their businesses, because it will be a waste of time creating value that is not requested. A person can do it by gathering the notes from the investment team that join the board meeting and 1:1 calls. Also, it is helpful to conduct a couple of interviews with founders to get to know founders better. But it shouldn’t be a surprise for first-time managers to find out that smth that was requested is now not needed 🙂 My personal insight was that founders do not share all pains. Such interviews can help founders to reveal their problems and create a comfortable atmosphere for future sharing.

Julia Grassa | Head of Talent | Company Ventures

  • How did you get into platform?
    • My professional journey started in non-profit management, where I worked alongside Jewish communities, particularly with teenagers and young adults, to foster meaningful connections and witness their growth over time. Despite initially perceiving my transition to the tech industry as a major shift, I gradually realized that it was a natural fit for me. My initial role as the Community Manager for the Urban Tech Hub program, part of the Grand Central Tech Accelerator, involved establishing the program’s daily operations, yet I was drawn to community engagement as it aligned with my passion. Currently, I lead Talent initiatives and oversee key recruitment searches while facilitating synergistic opportunities between our portfolio companies and prospective candidates.
  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • Over the past 6.5 years, my role has evolved in tandem with the dynamic VC landscape, keeping me perpetually motivated and energized. There’s never a dull moment and that’s what keeps me motivated.
  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • I recommend starting by observing the firm’s operations, listening attentively to the founders’ needs, and refraining from impulsive action. As someone who is proactive by nature, I must remind myself to take a step back, breathe, and then proceed deliberately. As many platform professionals face burnout, similar to my experience in non-profit work, it’s essential to prioritize self-care for both the body and mind to excel in this role.

Sebastien Boucraut | Chief Scaling Officer | Breega

  • How did you get into platform?
    • Breega is a VC fund founded by Entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. It was logical, right at the inception of Breega, to dedicate an operational team for the Start-ups.
  • What’s the focus of your firm’s post-investment support; what’s your specialty?
    • We focus on:
      • (i) setting up foundations per vertical with following expertises: Sales & Structure, Growth, Talent, Branding & Com
      • (ii) accompanying the Founders to review/crack an operational matter, such as GTM, Pricing Strategy, operational efficiency, Re-branding, Re-shape the organisation, the Roles & Responsibilities for a stronger performance
      • (iii) Mentoring & Coaching
  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • When we have a strong impact on the Start-up & its Founders and we are able to measure it.
  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • Be pragmatic, adapt to the structure and the DNA of the Start-ups & Founders, and always be honest to yourself on what you can and cannot provide.

Kayla Liederbach | Communications & Marketing Manager | Strut Consulting

  • How did you get into platform?
    • I got introduced to the wild world of VC platform when I was managing marketing at a VC-backed tech startup. One of our investors was a General Partner at a venture capital firm, and a mentor of mine. He asked me if I could help his firm put more intention and coordination behind the marketing efforts of its programs based around the world, and raise the visibility of the firm as the brand behind it all. This was nearly a decade ago when best practices for VC marketing weren’t widely known or shared. Over the years I have figured out what works—and just as importantly, what doesn’t work—when it comes to attracting founders and LPs by doing social media, content, newsletters, events, and PR for venture capital.
  • What’s the focus of your firm’s post-investment support; what’s your specialty?
    • At Strut, we are a consulting firm helping new and established fund managers navigate the complexities of VC fund management. Our expert team provides strategy, instills best practices, and delivers tactical support in Operations, CFO Services, Investor Relations, HR & Talent, Marketing & PR, and Events. My specialty is handling Marketing and PR for Strut Clients. I provide strategic guidance and tactical support based on their current needs—whether it’s writing punchy tweets or landing headlines in TechCrunch.
  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • My favorite part of my role is helping people tell their stories. I am a believer that every single person (or company) has an interesting story, but they don’t always know how to tell it. That’s where I can help by doing a deep dive and seeing what comes out. In life, I enjoy looking at patterns, and seeing the big picture. People who know me well have told me that I am a very entertaining and animated storyteller.
  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • When it comes to marketing, don’t try to do too many initiatives if you don’t have the bandwidth for it. VC firms often compare themselves against top players and want to do all the marketing initiatives they see the industry leaders are doing, like podcasts. But if you spread yourself too thin, you will burn out. Choose to do a few marketing initiatives that you know are working well and that you enjoy doing. If we aren’t enjoying ourselves, then what the heck are we even doing? 😉

Gil Birnboim | Head of Platform | UpWest

  • How did you get into platform?
    • During the last decade, I have gained valuable experience working closely with startups across various industries and domains, focusing on different aspects of ventures and the Tech ecosystem. Throughout my journey, I discovered that my true passion lies in empowering startup operations and sharing best practices to fuel the growth of founders and help set their companies up for success.
  • What’s the focus of your firm’s post-investment support; what’s your specialty?
    • UpWest is a Silicon Valley-based Seed fund purposefully designed to help Israeli startups break into the US market. We have backed over 90 companies and helped them grow through our hands-on approach. UpWest provides the essential ingredients for success: Seed funding, proximity and access to markets and capital, a supportive community of talented peers, and a workspace conducive to rapid development and deployment.
      My specialty centers on creating a supportive community where founders thrive and leverage collective knowledge for success. By implementing a founder-first approach that is deeply focused on, and consistently influenced by the journey of entrepreneurs tackling similar fundamental market entry and growth challenges, I bring together our founders and facilitate various opportunities for them to connect, share their experiences, and support one another in overcoming challenges.

  • What’s your favorite part of the role?
    • The people! Working alongside inspiring, resilient, and ambitious individuals that are bringing disruptive ideas to life.

  • Advice for first-time platform managers?
    • My advice for a first-time platform manager is to embrace versatility and plan a roadmap for each area of responsibility. The platform landscape is expansive, so being able to switch between projects and tasks demands mental flexibility and self-discipline. It’s essential to connect with like-minded individuals and cultivate a supportive community for yourself. The opportunity to exchange perspectives, brainstorm ideas, and learn from others’ experiences is immensely valuable.

Adrienne Mangual  | VP of Finance & Operations | The Artemis Fund

“We use Visible to connect monthly KPIs and annual impact metrics from our portfolio companies.  In turn, we use monthly data to stay on top of performance and the annual impact data is used in our annual impact report. Examples of data collected include revenue dollars driven to small businesses, families served and jobs created. We strive to be a data-driven venture firm, and Visible allows us to do just that.”  

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