We’re Searching for a New Investing Partner
We’ll get right to the point: we’re looking for a new Partner to invest in promising early-stage B2B SaaS startups. But rather than run our Partner search behind closed doors, as is often the case in VC, we’re opening it up to anyone who would like to apply.
We’re certainly not the first VC firm to examine our hiring practices with a more critical eye. As Brian Dixon of Kapor Capital wrote in June, “If you do not publicize the jobs that are available at your venture firm, then you are intentionally being exclusionary… People can’t get a job that they don’t know exists.” The following month, First Round opened up its own partner search.
It’s old news that venture notoriously lacks diversity. A private recruiting system exacerbates this problem, with investors sourcing similar talent from their existing networks, rather than proactively fostering diversity across a team.
We know we have plenty more work to do, but by making our Partner search (and all future hiring) public, we’re making a commitment to do better. And because the interview process is a two-way street, here is our pitch to you.
About Underscore VC
Entrepreneurs inspire us. Their innovations power economies, transform markets, and change lives. It’s our mission to support them in whatever ways we can, from building a community-driven venture model, to providing actionable resources through Startup Secrets, to proactively asking founders: how can we do better?
We’ve learned that while venture capital is important, founders also need access to the right human capital throughout their multi-year journey. That’s why we created the Underscore Core, a vibrant community of executives, entrepreneurs, and experts organized by domain, stage, and function. Through the Core, we’re able to provide founders with the right expertise, from the right people, at the right time.
One way we do that is through Core Partners: Core Members who help us source or advise portfolio companies (which include Coda, HelloTeam, and Salsify, among many others). In return for their support, Core Partners enjoy “Core Allocations,” a portion of Underscore’s returns on the company via an interest grant in our Core Fund. That means interests are aligned, and valuable advisor shares come at zero cost to our entrepreneurs.
About the Partner Role
We’re searching for a seasoned, hands-on executive who’s ready to supercharge Boston’s powerful startup ecosystem—and build a trusted and beloved VC firm in the process.
Four key values drive our culture: community, trust, active evolution, and extreme clarity. All partners have an equal voice at the investing table. We’re non-hierarchical, and we don’t have the time (nor the patience) for egos. While we’re certainly not perfect, we care deeply about working as a team, and we listen to and respect each other’s opinions.
At Underscore, you’d have the opportunity to join dozens of Core community events and networking opportunities. And once we’re back in the office (whenever that may be), we have a beautiful space in Old City Hall, right in the heart of downtown Boston.
In this role, you’d:
- Proactively network with promising founders to identify incredible investment opportunities within the sectors we invest in.
- Lead the diligence process and use your strong sense of judgment to select the best investment opportunities.
- Become a highly visible member of the Boston venture community, representing Underscore at events and in the media.
- Share your thought leadership on topics related to our key investment areas like Future of Work, Digital Transformation, Cloud Infrastructure, AI/ML, and Commerce.
- Cultivate connections for the Core, fostering our firm's reputation as an authentic, collaborative partner.
- Develop and lead processes that will make our firm more effective while staying true to our unique culture.
We're looking for someone passionate and equally convicted that entrepreneurship can change the world. That said, we want to hire a person, not a resume.
You don’t need to check all these boxes, but here’s what you might bring to the table:
- You have a deep sense of empathy and appreciation for entrepreneurs. You know how hard it is to build a company, and you’re ready to support founders on their journey.
- You’ve got 10 or more years of experience. Maybe you worked in VC or PE, founded or ran a venture-backed startup, or held some other executive role at a tech company. Whatever your path, you’re excited to invest in teams driving market-defining technology.
- You have a reputation as a great board member, and plenty of entrepreneurs would vouch for you as a helpful and strong investor.
- You've got industry expertise in a sector or subsector that we invest in.
- You come with a well-established network of business builders, software leaders, and intermediaries—who could become part of the Core and one day support our founders.
- You've got a great eye for identifying transformative founders and promising, high-growth businesses.
- You’re a strong communicator and can convey complex ideas in simple, easy-to-understand terms.
Colleagues might describe you as:
- A talent magnet (you attract and love meeting with rising and established talent)
- Having excellent people skills (you’ve made a name for yourself as a great human)
- Intellectually curious, with a strong viewpoint on new and emerging technologies
- A collaborative team player (with no ego—at Underscore we win as a team)
- A self-starter who takes initiative and makes things happen
- A creative problem solver who’s not afraid to dive in
- Extremely hard-working
We’re on a mission to change venture for good. So far, it seems to be working. As one Core Member put it, “The VC industry needed to innovate, and Underscore brought that at the right time. What they put forward all around community—with sector expertise knowledge—is outstanding.”
Will you join us?
Here is view into the Underscore team enjoying a Halloween-themed virtual paint night.
The Partner hiring process kicks off with a conversation with our recruiting team. If you’d like to apply, please reach out to Aaron Clubb, True (firstname.lastname@example.org). We look forward to hearing your story!