Since starting USV in 2004 (we actually started USV in the summer of 2003, but it took Brad and I over a year to raise our first fund), we have had a two year analyst position. The idea is we bring in a young talented person early on in their career, they learn a lot about the startup world from inside a VC firm, and we get leverage from having a person who can do a lot of the support work that the partners need to do our jobs. The job gets stale after a few years and since we don’t have a career path at USV, they leave after a couple years.

It has worked out well. Our first analyst Charlie O’Donnell, has gone on to do a number of things and now runs his own seed fund, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. Our second analyst, Andrew Parker, is now a partner at Spark Capital in Boston. Our third analyst, Eric Friedman, is now Director of Sales and Revenue Operations at our portfolio company Foursquare. Christina Cacioppo came next and she has been working on her own startup since leaving USV eighteen months ago. Here’s her online profile if you want to see what she’s been up to. Zander and Brian are still with us, but will be moving on this year as their two year stints are coming to an end. These two young men are super talented and if you are interested in hiring the very best into your company, you should reach out to them. Tweeting at them should work (I linked to their twitters above).

I like to think of this two year stint as the USV MBA. We don’t issue diplomas but we pay salaries instead of charging tuition. You learn similar things but the cases are real time, not after the fact. And I would assert with a fair amount of pride that a USV Analyst stint on your resume is worth as much as a top tier MBA, maybe more. And the alumni network, while small, is fantastic.

All of that is to provide the setup to the news that we are hiring for our next two year analyst. Zander blogged about it last week and it’s been highlighted at the top of for the past week, so many of you probably already know about this. But there is only one more week to apply as applications are due by April 1st at 11:59pm eastern time. So I thought I’d make sure everyone who reads AVC knows about this position.

The application is pretty simple. You give us some links to your online presence, you answer two questions over a video interview app called Ziggeo (which is my partner Albert’s wife Susan’s startup), and you hit submit. We take it from there. We look at the links and the videos and select a bunch of people for in person interviews. We hope to have the position filled by the end of April/early May.

If you want to apply, go read Zander’s post and the detailed instructions are at the end of the post. If you are like me and like to skip the instructions and just get on with it, the application page on is here.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    “you answer two questions over a video interview app.”1. “Why are you interested in the analyst role at Union Square Ventures?”2. “Which web or mobile services most inspire you?”edited.

    1. fredwilson

      yup. do you think that’s strange?

      1. jason wright

        it seems cryptic.

        1. Adrian Bye

          i think they’re great questions. you want people who have genuine excitement for the role.. it will get them through the bad days

    2. davidu

      Read Zander’s post for the two questions.

      1. jason wright

        got it. thx.

    3. falicon

      Question #2 would be a good topic for Fun Friday.

      1. Emily Merkle

        Agree. State your position, and defend.

  2. Sanjana Govindan Jayadev

    Hi Fred, Can people from outside the US apply ? I work in fundraising in the social enterprise/ not for profit space in India .

    1. fredwilson

      If you have US work papers we can hire you If not, we can’t because the H1b visa deadline is the end of the month and we won’t make the hiring decision until late April early May

      1. Sanjana Govindan Jayadev

        Thank you πŸ™‚

      2. Ben Longstaff

        There is also the E3 visa for Australian’s with a university degree (10,500), it’s like the H1B (85,000) except there is less demand and it’s faster to get approved ( < 1 month)

        1. awaldstein

          Yup–did an E3 for an Australian employee recently without a lawyer. Obtuse process but can be done and quite quick.

    2. jason wright

      we should all move to Iceland

  3. Emily Merkle

    Can this be a virtual position?

    1. fredwilson


  4. pointsnfigures

    Posted it on Hyde Park Angels Facebook page. I get people contacting me that want to work in VC all the time. Nice you guys broadcast it and don’t use the good ol’ boy network.

    1. fredwilson

      We use the internetwork πŸ™‚

      1. pointsnfigures

        I am using your phrase on a proxy issue with $CME. “Internet Army is a big army”. We are trying to get the word out to vote against management recommendations on one issue (Issue 6) on their proxy. We are getting the word out-have to see how the vote goes. NY Bankers should vote with us.

        1. fredwilson


  5. William Mougayar

    The quality of an organization is exactly about the people they hire. That has always been the case, and I experienced this first at Hewlett-Packard where I stayed for the first 14 years of my career life. Every person at HP was of a certain caliber, and they were all good people, because the DNA was about excellence in people, products and customers.With USV, you’ve got a stellar group of partners who are at the top of their game. Therefore, you will attract the best people. It’s as simple as that. I’ve interacted with a number of your analysts, and they all had the following 3 characteristics: smart, worked hard and nice people.Anyone selected will be in for a treat of learning, connecting, growing and contributing, right from the bowels of technology and venture capital.

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks for saying that William

    2. leigh

      I think the nice part can’t be undersold. As i was once in the situation of looking for funding the thing i remember the most, is the jerk analysts i met who were two years out of school with their business degrees tattoo’d on their arms. Arrogant, rude, and every personality trait that i would normally avoid on a personal (or frankly business) level. A couple of them even have tried to linkin to me after the fact. as if……

      1. William Mougayar

        I agree. Being nice (and smart) can get you much further ahead than otherwise.

    3. awaldstein

      I did a fund raising/partnership deal with HP in the 90s. Good group.All nice people I think is a bit of stretch where layered politics is the corporate structure. True for any company of size.

      1. William Mougayar

        Yup. HP and its culture started to change a lot, as soon as Carly took over.

        1. awaldstein

          Dunno–I spent the early 90s running Microsoft, the mid 90s with HP and the later part with Dell as part of my gigs.In Microsoft and Dell’s case I death with both the CEO’s office and quarterly the CEO himself. In HP’s case I raised $3M (I think that was the #) and sold the product out into the channel and never got anywhere near the executive top tier.Lovely people. Completely inefficient.

  6. John Revay

    “(we actually started USV in the summer of 2003, but it took Brad and I over a year to raise our first fund)”Curious – what does it take today ….Do you guys just make mention during your annual LP meeting and by the end of the day you are fully subscribed?

    1. pointsnfigures

      for new funds, I can tell you it takes more than a year….unfortunately.

    2. fredwilson

      We have not increased the size of our investor base and only slightly increased fund size. That approach, combined with good returns, makes fundraising easy. We only sent through the struggle once. And it was a struggle. And it made us better.

  7. Yniim

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I summarized and commented [IN FRENCH] your post about the bubble. I sometimes find myself wanting to share your posts with my circle, but the language is a barrier. Hope you don’t mind.(I tried posting the link but I think it was marked as spam)

  8. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    I noticed this on the USV page last Friday and it got me super pumped this weekend and it is all I have been discussing with my wife. It aligns nicely with the pivot that I took from my career as a PhD biochemist scientist who got crazy interested in startups during my post-doc years which led me to different positions at startups. So in short, Yes I will be applying because this would be by far the best next move for where I want my career to head towards! Watch for my video πŸ™‚

    1. fredwilson

      Can’t wait to watch your videos

  9. Tom Labus

    Andrew went direct to partner? No stops in between?

    1. JimHirshfield

      There were. Partner is his current position.

      1. Tom Labus

        Thanks, Jim. A coveted position

  10. Brandon Burns

    Nice that the analyst gig is seen as a learning experience at USV. I’ve been meeting a lot of VC folks recently, including analysts. Most have been perfectly nice, but there are the ones who, despite never having had a real job or any kind of real experience to speak of, think they have some sort of outsized authority or knowledge than everyone else, just because they’ve been anointed analyst at a VC. There are few things that annoy me more than someone too big for their britches. Be confident in what you know, and admit what you don’t.

  11. JimHirshfield

    Swag? Maybe bumper stickers?”My kid is a USV MBA honor student”

    1. kidmercury

      needs hats too to accommodate the car-less

  12. Matt A. Myers

    “We don’t issue diplomas but we pay salaries instead of charging tuition.”This is a great example of how society as a whole really are just investing in everyone, whether we realize it or not. Everyone on the planet or in a city is using resources – and if they’re not taken care of or given skills to take care of themselves or deepen their knowledge to the point they’re valuable enough to be hired on by a company like USV – then they have a higher probability of using more resources than average through counter-productive behaviour.Why the shift? It’s the lack of responsibility and that lack of responsibility being amplified when large amounts of monies get pooled, and when certain results are expected at a much faster pace than necessary – people get lazy and pressure is applied to systems that aren’t structured to handle or manage said pressure. You could look at academia or any other system that are subsidized, and then the schools and housing, etc. all increase their prices to match what people can now afford – further increasing costs, reducing quality of life for all, and funnelling monies away for where they were intended.In a scenario where USV is in control of the salary and the hiring practice they are only making a bet when they find someone that is ready for that stage of learning or participation in their organization. This would be the efficient way to run other educational programs, with real accountability and real reward associated with if you do a good job or not.

  13. Donna Brewington White

    Hiring one to replace two?

    1. fredwilson

      One for sure, maybe two

  14. Niv Dror

    The amount of learning* and real relationships** that will come from being a USV analyst for 2 years is far more valuable than earning a diploma from the most prestigious MBA program so you can put it on a resume.*** That said; getting the USV analyst position is extremely competitve**** so a saftey school***** is highly recommended. Apply at:*Experiental learning > classroom learning (even with textbooks) **Some call this “networking” (the former is always the latter; the opposite is not always true) ***That’s what an MBA comes down to (would you spend 2 years and take out loans if it weren’t for the diploma?)****Submitting the application today (prepared last night)*****Accelerators are the new graduate schools (see: )

  15. Emily Merkle

    Heh.Just completed my application.I don’t do much video chat or video capture, so that was interesting.Especially my cat Sheldon walking through the frame.Sometimes, you just gotta put yourself out there.And I just did.

    1. fredwilson

      Ah, the cat in the video move. That’s smart because cats and the Internet were made for each other!

    2. vadimoss

      It’s an idea for the next startup Emily, haha:). Might be big, who knows!

      1. Emily Merkle

        Oh he’s big, alright. 11 lbs.of love.

    3. awaldstein

      Everyone of my clients whom I Skype with knows Sam the cat. He owns my desktop-literally!

      1. Emily Merkle

        That rocks. Now that I feel more comfy with video chat (we use Skype text in our biz) – I just may welcome the boyz to the party (Sheldon and Boom).

  16. JLM

    .This is how crafts once trained their people — an apprenticeship.It is a great way to learn anything.I remember being told when I went into the Army that being a platoon leader was an apprenticeship wherein you learned your trade from your subordinates — primarily your platoon sergeant — and there were periodic examinations.If you lived through the periodic examinations, you got promoted.Unfortunately, a lot of lieutenants did not make the grade. I was one of the lucky ones.JLM.

    1. fredwilson

      Wet behind the ears lieutenants learning from grizzled old sergeants is something pretty unique. Does something akin to that happen in the world of business?

      1. LE

        My dad trained my cousin (older than me).The my cousin’s father realized he didn’t need my Dad [1] as a partner and pushed to split up the partnership. So much for family.[1] Catalyst was when my Dad got sick and my well trained cousin stepped in and assumed his role. His father (my Uncle and Dad’s partner) didn’t know the part of the business my Dad did. When he saw what his son could do that was what changed everything in the partnership.

      2. LE

        Does something akin to that happen in the world of business?I trained several people in my old business (who knew nothing about it when they started) that went on to start their own similar business.This is also quite common with the trades obviously. I’ve had several electricians, hvac guys etc tell me that their boss expects them to leave and go out on their own. And I’ve see in happen frequently over the years.I passed up on an opportunity out of Wharton when an assoc. Prof (who was also a home builder) offered me a job working with him to learn the homebuilding business “you have to be able to swing a hammer” I remember that to this day.

      3. leigh

        we have a jr. sr model. i love it. we don’t get kids with bad habits from other people. much more cost effective as well. they in turn get to work with pple with yrs experience that they would never even be in meetings with at big companies, let alone work with every day.

      4. JLM

        .In businesses with a bit of structure, the ability to draft athletes and train them for the position has been the norm. Every business leader is a trainer. 24/7There is one bank left in the US that has a formal training program of any substance. WFB sends its best and brightest to a credit training program in SF which is like literally getting an MBA. It takes about 6 months and is full time. Lots of banks used to do just that.I think the ability to envision and develop a training program, initiate it and stick to it is a small company skill that allows small companies to compete and win against big companies.The “special” in Special Forces has always been the training. Outnumbered 25:1? “Fair fight” in SF.If you look at your company, it is akin to the SF of VC. You’ve gotten the results to prove it. You’ve got the swagger to prove it. It ain’t bragging if you can actually do it.JLM.

      5. JLM

        .Anyone who has ever seen a brand new 2nd Lt report into a unit and be assigned a platoon and a platoon sergeant, hopefully a damn good one, and seen that Lt a year later believes in God and magic.The transformation is miraculous. Having lived through it, I can laugh at myself and be in awe of what that Plt Sgt found in me. I didn’t know most of it was in there.I remember the first time the Plt Sgt looked at me and asked: “WTF, LT?” I mean when he actually was willing to acknowledge I was in charge and might have a tiny idea of what I was doing.The proudest moment any platoon leader ever has is when his platoon sergeant says to another NCO: “That’s my lieutenant.” Until then you wre just a lump of wet clay being formed and fired.Today we have the very best raw material we have ever had as to West Pointers and VMI and Citadel and other military schools.The volunteer Army when led well is the most efficient and fearsome army ever fielded.Funny, the Russian Army is still a lousy army with 70% conscripts. Putin is trying to make it a better army but its raw material, leadership, equipment and doctrine are still second rate. Above the battalion level, they cannot fight a combined arms war. They can only overwhelm smaller armies by sheer volume.JLM.

      6. Chaim Meir Tessler

        In the Israel tech scene it is a very real part of most businesses and startups.

      1. vruz

        Venetian-style apprenticeship is as old as the capitalist enterprise itself.

  17. LE

    Gotham Gal should do something similar.

  18. LE

    Also reminds me of Tiger Cubs:…Apart from those Tiger Seeds, a considerable number of analysts and managers Robertson employed and mentored at Tiger Management went out on their own and are now running some of the best-known hedge fund firms, called “Tiger Cubs”,

    1. fredwilson

      Yeah. Or the PayPal mafia

      1. LE

        The paypal mafia is a bit of a different twist.In the case of USV or Robertson there was clear subservience on the part of the lower rung people.In the case of the paypal mafia my impression (I could be wrong) was that they were more colleagues. And more importantly paypal was making it up as they went along.In the case of USV and/or Tiger Mgmt. someone enters and you are already a font of valuable information (and you are not making it up as you go along).

  19. LE

    The other lesson to be learned by young people is to attempt to get a job under someone who loves to teach.Seems obvious but not everyone likes to teach [1] what they know.Fred does and that is why this is a good situation.[1] I like to even spending time with complete strangers.

  20. Matt Zagaja

    Christina has a great book list.

  21. Donna Brewington White

    I’m excited to see who you come up with. And what they contribute.

  22. Yonatan Machado

    Read this one twice. I’m in the midst of my own a 2-3 yrs MBA @JVP, surrounded by smart and experienced mentors, real life cases and challenges and I’m enjoying every moment of it. Oh, and as you wrote, I also get paid. I think entrepreneurs can learn about a VC from their approach towards these type of positions. A VC who invests in raw materials in his own firm, will give a chance to entrepreneurs who won’t get a chance anywhere else.

  23. Richard

    “Young Talented” why not just talented? While one’s chronological age is set, one’s biological age, professional age (time spent in tech industry) , and educational age (time since last degree) are all relevant as well.

    1. Emily Merkle

      Totally. That is a major faux pas.In fact when I recorded my video, I pointed out that I am NOT young at 39.Between that and the cat…

  24. Eric Friedman

    This approach doesn’t happen often, and I look at this as a true apprenticeship (being thrown into the fire!). Its the best way to learn and get real world experience vs. reading about case studies in the past.

  25. ErikSchwartz

    MBAs are all about creating a great network. I can’t imagine a better place to do it than USV.

  26. Nik Bonaddio

    I would love to do this. But I’m, uh, currently busy with something else that is taking up my time.

    1. Drew Meyers


  27. jim breyer

    great idea fred. congrats. jim

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks Jim

  28. Semil Shah

    Ah…wish I had known I was interested in this stuff when I graduated college and lived in NYC!

  29. Andrew Pitz

    Thanks so much for the outstanding opportunity! I actually pitched Christina 3+ years ago, and she and everyone else were first-class, even though I was not ready for a venture investment. I’ve been working as a venture associate intern at KBJ Capital ( for the last six months, so I definitely have to throw my hat in this ring! My boss, Kris Jones, has a lot of respect for USV as well. Best of luck to everyone applying!

  30. Jen

    Wow, this is great. How will you make the announcement? Happy Birthday to APPL today!” Your time is limited, so don’t waste it by living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma-which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. ” – Steve Jobs.