As the investment arm of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC) our team manages seed stage venture capital funds focused on supporting a thriving community of companies built by founders who think big. We provide capital to companies at the earliest stages of their development, giving founders critical initial runway. We leverage our network of founders, investors, advisors, entrepreneur support organizations, universities, and enterprise partners to help our portfolio companies grow. We work in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development and lead venture development for the Commonwealth.
KSTC is a statewide independent and innovative non-profit and leader in developing and managing creative initiatives in education, entrepreneurship, and economic competitiveness.
For nearly twenty years, we’ve focused our work at KSTC on funding and investing in over 300 Kentucky-based companies, providing capital that helps founders achieve their big vision. However, there’s still work to do to shorten the path to capital access. We’ve learned that investors, ourselves included, must meet founders where they are and evolve with them. Funding needs to be more accessible so founders can move faster and build impactful businesses. We are reinforcing our platform and expanding our team so founders can engage with us directly, learn more, and apply for investment with as little friction as possible. We hope to provide founders more visibility into our process and shorten their path to find funding, allowing us to continue investing in their big ideas.
For our primary fund, Kentucky Enterprise Fund, we have invested $37.2M in 158 Kentucky-based founders and manage an active portfolio of 72 companies.
We’re searching for an experienced Venture Associate with a balance of analytical rigor and strong communication skills who is ready to play a critical role in the investment decision process. The Associate will gain exposure to our startup community, as well as insight into our investment process, relationship development, research and due diligence processes.
The Associate will execute on and support our investment strategy through qualitative and quantitative due diligence and investment monitoring across the portfolio. The Associate takes ownership of tasks and deliverables and can lead more complex and strategic fund-related projects.
This role is an ideal fit for you if you’re an experienced Analyst looking to move into an Associate role or an established Associate looking to work with a venture organization that offers access and opportunity to achieve your long term career goals in venture capital. This role is also ideal if you have been working at an entrepreneur support organization, accelerator or incubator and you’re looking to transition into a venture firm.
What you’ll be doing alongside our team:
- Meet daily with prospective startups and founders; screen companies for investment as part of initial application and initial call phases of investment process; actively recruit and meet companies through online research, member events, external networking events, and word-of-mouth recommendations; enter leads daily and accurately into CRM.
- Guide potential investments through the investment process from application to close, following our compliance guidelines, and regularly communicate with founders during the investment process.
- Manage data entry for deal flow process and post investment portfolio and contact information
- Perform primary due diligence. We want someone who is resourceful and adaptable who feels comfortable reaching out cold to industry stakeholders, trying out products, collecting customer feedback, and conducting any other forms of research that might be useful. Diligence could also include modeling, scenario planning, team and technical review, and similar.
- Write screening and draft investment memos
- Hold regular office hours with prospective startups and portfolio companies seeking advice.
- Build and manage relationships, and work to expand our network of partner VC firms, investors, and industry/enterprise partners.
- Build and manage relationships/partnerships with local, regional and national ecosystem stakeholders i.e. entrepreneur support organizations, accelerators, angel networks and similar
- Lead efforts to organize all portfolio company data for all past to present investments. Obtain portfolio company data (active and exits)
- Create and maintain a co-investor database to create a formal process and community of and for co-investors
- Add investments to Pitchbook and Crunchbase; managing investment data across various data platforms
- Write portfolio company follow-on/referral screening memos
- Aid in portfolio/practice management onboarding and implementation
- You will also be asked to lend a hand on any other projects or activities where help is needed, including reporting for our investors, working with portfolio companies, and supporting firm operations such as marketing and fund administration.
- One to two years experience working as an Analyst or Associate in a venture capital (VC) firm. Alternatively, one to two years working in an entrepreneur support organization, accelerator or incubator conducting similar duties as a VC Analyst or Associate i.e. sourcing, vetting, supporting startups through programming.
- Bachelor’s Degree required, ideally within Engineering, Business or other related field; advanced degree preferred.
- Must be legally authorized to work in the USA.
- Analytical mindset with experience conducting thorough industry, market, and company-level research.
- Project Management Experience. The ideal candidate has managed projects from the project initiation phase through the project close phase.
- Effective and efficient problem solving capabilities with the ability to work independently and proactively, as well as develop creative solutions to meet client and team needs.
- Effective communicator with the ability to convey essential information to make meetings run efficiently.
- A desire to learn, be better, and get really good at doing your work.
- Excellent networking and interpersonal skills including the ability to work with multi-disciplinary teams and the flexibility to engage and collaborate across the firm’s capabilities and practice areas
- Strong written and verbal communication skills with a focus on the ability to clearly and concisely articulate a complex thesis. The ideal candidate is comfortable with public speaking, giving presentations, and can put thoughts together in written form with ease.
Our Team & Approach
We’re a small team of two, and we work well remotely. You’ll be coming in as a core team member to help elevate our impact. We are committed to inclusion, work as peers and collaborators, and have a founder-first mentality, which has allowed us to garner a founder-friendly reputation that we focus on maintaining. Together, we’re working to develop a thriving innovation economy propelled by emerging entrepreneurs and managers to help garner $1B AUM across our region in the next ten years.
What’s in it for you?
Opportunity to be a part of building the next level of an established venture firm. You will have access, flexibility, and the ability to learn about all aspects of venture capital investing and post investment support. A chance to work alongside a small team of former operators turned venture professionals with a combined 20+ years of venture experience, track record, and experience working across all aspects of venture.
The position location is flexible and may be based in or near Louisville, Lexington, or Northern Kentucky with the ability to work remotely. Due to KSTC headquarters being in Lexington and the statewide nature of our client and customer base, the position may require some travel to stakeholder locations, predominately in Kentucky.
KSTC is an equal opportunity employer and offers a competitive salary and benefits package.
- Comprehensive Health Package – medical, dental, and vision plans
- 401(k) Retirement Plan, Life Insurance, Dependent Care FSA, Healthcare FSA or HSA
- Paid long-term disability insurance
- Paid vacation and holidays
- Annual stipend for industry related conferences/professional development
- Monthly stipend for phone + internet
To apply, please fill out this form. Applications are now being accepted and will be processed as they are received, with screening for interviews beginning immediately.
Jenny Zemel serves as Manager, Special Projects where she provides interdepartmental support on a variety of projects for both the NVCA team and Venture Forward team. She also helps support the administrative needs of NVCA’s President and CEO Bobby Franklin.