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Entrepreneur-in-Residence in 3 flavors

I wrote a previous article called, What’s an Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

Let me state that overall, there are really multiple flavors of EIRs – I’ve observed 3 types of them:

  1. Successful CEOs
  2. Industry experts/executives
  3. Future startup founders

Successful CEOs
In the first case, you have CEOs of startups that were able to take it to a great outcome – in some cases, this will be like selling the company, or taking it public. These guys often hang out for a while, figuring out what they want to do, and sometimes they join the firm as a senior partner. Another option is for them to join a late stage startup that needs to get to the next step. In the meantime, they’re called an Entrepreneur-in-Residence or an Executive-in-Residence.

Industry experts and executives
Oftentimes, you also have folks who have left some interesting large company, like AOL or a large biotech or whatever. In these cases, they have a lot of relationships and knowledge about a particular area, and are a great fit to get added to an early stage startup. (Early meaning a couple technical guys who have a technology and need to bring it to market)

Note that in both cases above, there’s already a track record established within the industry, and the folks involved often lend tremendous credibility to whatever startup they join, or just while they are hanging out at the VC. Also, in these cases they are often referred to as Executives-in-Residence as often as they are referred to Entrepreneurs-in-Residence.

Future startup founders
Now in the case of future startup founders, you often have highly technical folks who are likely to start companies, who have not had significant operating backgrounds behind them. In these cases, they are usually scrappy enough to start from scratch, and come up with ideas to execute themselves. These guys are often found in mid-level product or engineering roles within portfolio companies, and are useful to get a completely different perspective on the industry. In many cases, they don’t have the rolodex that the Executives-in-Residence have, but you sometimes don’t want that either.

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