What Exactly Is An Entrepreneur In Residence?
The title “Entrepreneur In Residence” has been around for a while. We always hear about big firms with Entrepreneur In Residence, but what exactly does that mean? Entrepreneur In Residence in short is a temporary position for entrepreneurs looking to join or get involved in their next startup. These temporary positions usually last no longer than a year and gives the entrepreneur insight on deals, financing, and networking. Some of the early VC firms that started recruiting entrepreneur in residence were Accel Partner, Benchmark, and many more.
How to become an Entrepreneur In Residence
Most of the time EIRs are usually former startup CEOs or executives of startups that have been acquired. Instead of taking time off and traveling the world with the money they earned, many former startup CEOs will stay at the VC firm as an Entrepreneur In Residence. Through an EIR role, entrepreneurs can power network and raise money much faster through the VC firm.
Paul Davison recounted how he spun Highlight out of his position as an EIR at Benchmark:
“I got to know the Benchmark guys because Metaweb, where I worked for three years, got acquired …. I I wasn’t working on the investment side. Instead, I figured out what I wanted to build. I had an office there. I did whiteboarding and talked to people. During the ideation stage there is a lot of drawing, reading, and talking to people. And then the team side, I was meeting with interesting people who were in similar spaces to me. I came in with a bunch of ideas, that was basically stuff I jotted down in my idea journal over the years. My mind kept coming back to Highlight …. After a lot of sketching, drawing, and wire framing, I told Benchmark that this is what I’m doing and it’s time for me to raise money. It was incredibly helpful to have the Benchmark team around when questions came up or when you wanted to bounce product ideas off someone. I went to them and formally showed it to them … and they ended up investing in it.”
Do Entrepreneur In Residence get paid?
Most EIRs do get paid but there has never been an exact amount reported. From rumors, the higher end of EIRs get paid 250,000 every months and the lower end usually get paid around 60,000 every 6 months. Nevertheless, still an impressive salary. Most of the time former startup CEOs decide that they do not want to leave the startup world and wants to continue building projects they love. This is the best way for those type of CEOs to build another project or join an existing team. The VCs benefit from this because now they have a solid team that they can fund with a proven track record. It is important for upcoming or aspiring startups to network with EIRs because EIRs bring a lot of value to the table.
Some firms have a list of their current Entrepreneur In Residence check below: