Primary Venture Partners is a seed-stage venture capital firm co-founded by Brad Svrluga and Ben Sun, who have a combined 30-year track record as successful investors and operators. The New York City-based firm is focused on investing in two specific sectors: NextGen Commerce and SaaS, and strives to be the most impactful partner to our investments. To-date, our portfolio companies include the likes of Jet.com, Ticketfly, Maple, BounceExchange, TxVia, Coupang, and Handshake.
THE ROLE & YOU
Since starting Primary, one of our core values has been to “Be the First Call” for our growing portfolio. We want to be a uniquely impactful partner to the entrepreneurs we serve, offering a collection of high impact resources targeted on the most common challenges confronting entrepreneurs on the journey from Seed to Series A.. A key part of our strategy is the Primary Expert Network (PEN), which originated last year under the direction of Amanda Schutzbank, and now consists of 200+ top operators in New York City who we tap to provide timely, tactical advice and mentorship to our leadership teams directly. Over the course of 2016 PEN members have engaged with every one of our portfolio companies, helping to drive transformational change in functions from customer success to marketing acquisition to product management. With this new hire we intend to increase our ability to deeply impact our companies by attracting a leader who can work our management teams to diagnose their greatest challenges and creatively engineer engagements with the most valuable resources. The PEN is also a critical piece of the sourcing strategy for our Talent Program, and the VP Portfolio Support role works in close concert with Talent Partner Cat Hernandez.
This is an incredible role for someone looking to move from an operating role into venture capital or, alternatively, gain a wider set of experiences that will help them in an operating role in the future. While this role has a highly valued voice in our investment decision-making process, this is not an investment position where the main focus is on working new deal opportunities. Instead, you will work closely with a number of early stage startups on a variety of mission critical initiatives. Your key objective will be to make sure Primary is doing whatever we can to provide hands-on operational support across our portfolio. This job is about diving into specific problems and issues, and identifying how to best leverage resources from our network to address those challenges. And equally importantly, you will be charged with helping to continue to redefine what Portfolio Support means at Primary. There are no sacred cows here, and we fully expect that you will bring dramatic change and improvement to how we engage our companies.
What will you do as our VP, Portfolio Support?
1. Provide Support to our Portfolio Companies
How does it actually work? Step 1. You will work closely with our portfolio companies to help them identify critical operating challenges - taking time to really dive into the specifics. Step 2. You will take those insights and find the best way(s) to leverage the PEN as well as the rest of the Primary team and creatively engaging other outside resources. Whether it’s about using Facebook for marketing acquisition, helping them launch their first SaaS sales team, or helping manage the tension between engineering and product teams, we have Experts who are ready and willing to help. You will design, manage and moderate advisory sessions between our portfolio and these Experts to ensure that it’s a great experience for everyone involved. As you can imagine, managing an active network like this is a lot of work.
2. Build and Manage the Primary Expert Network
The Primary Expert Network is now made up of over 200+ great operators and technologists in Silicon Alley. Your role will consistently focus on identifying high caliber talent to join our community. Once in the network, you will be tasked with creating programs that increase the quality and quantity of engagement across the network. That’s everything from connecting them with our portfolio companies to offer advice and insights, setting up curated events for them to network with each other, or sharing updates on what’s going on at Primary and our broader tech community.
3. Drive the Continued Evolution of our Portfolio Support Strategy
We are excited by what we’ve built at Primary in the past couple years, but passionate about creatively evolving our strategy, building additional capabilities, and seeking to push the envelope on what Portfolio Support means at a seed-focused venture fund. You will be responsible for owning and driving this strategy, in close partnership with our Talent Partner Cat Hernandez. If you don’t come to the table with ideas on where we might go from here, you need not apply.
Do you think you would be an awesome VP, Portfolio Support? If so, here’s how your mom should describe you:
1. You have spent at least 3 years working at an early stage NextGen Commerce or SaaS startup, preferably in a go-to-market role, as that’s where the bulk of our portfolio support interactions take place.. What would make you an even better fit is if you started your career by building a set of problem solving and people management skills at a top management consulting firm,
2. Most importantly, you’re a problem solving operator at heart and a generalist role like this gives you the opportunity to flex those operational chops at a much wider scale.
3. You love to network. “Connector” is your middle name.
4. You figure sh*t out and can work independently. We’re not going to hold your hand to figure out what you have to do next.
5. You have a real interest in NextGen Commerce and SaaS and that means more than just having an Amazon Prime account or knowing what SaaS stands for!
6. You are not an A-hole. You might be a superstar genius, but if people don’t always refer to you as a “really great person” then you definitely don’t belong here. We need to like you, and so do all of your contacts.
How to Apply
If “Connector” is your middle name, you shouldn’t have to ask. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you!