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What’s an Entrepreneur-in-Residence?

Whew, I can finally catch a breather and write a bit in my blog. I’ll try and get back into a daily routine!

The story so far
So first, a quick summary of what I’ve been up to – since leaving my job at Revenue Science in late November, I’ve been working hard as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Mohr Davidow Ventures. The people here are awesome, and I’ve enjoyed every day of my first three weeks. Every firm’s EIR program is different, but here’s another perspective at Mayfield, another VC firm.

The key elements to an EIR program
Essentially, the key elements are that:

  • EIRs come from industry with background in a specific area, in my case advertising
  • They are sponsored by a partner to start a company after some time period (let’s say 3 months to a year)
  • EIRs may come in with a specific idea, or not – in my case, not :)
  • They find team members, incubate the idea, and find funding
  • The EIRs will also often work with the investment team to do due diligence on new companies coming in
  • There is no quid-pro-quo that you have to get funding from the specific firm the EIR is at, and no guarantee the VC will fund the business

The day-to-day is always different
The actual day-to-day has been very fun and interesting. First off, expect very little structure, similar to doing any other startup. When I first showed up at the offices, I was shown my office, computer, and the bathrooms, but then it was my job to just go… do some stuff!

The first few weeks have been focused on getting my roots into Silicon Valley. I actually showed up with a couple ideas, a few relationships, and having conducted interviews with a couple dozen folks in my target industries, but have gone broader since. I’ve been meeting with many folks throughout the day, be they recommendations from people at the firm, my friends in Seattle, or folks I am meeting at events. I’ve also been attending a lot of random get-togethers throughout the Valley, based on things I’ve heard of. So this week, I went to Entrepreneurship Conference at Stanford, a Microsoft event on mobile, and also the Mobile Persuasion conference also hosted at Stanford.

I’ve met a tremendous number of people, and have been impressed by everyone. More on that to come… ;-)

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