The nature of venture investing is finding the needles in the haystack. Being able to determine which founders are capable of taking their ideas and molding them into healthy, growing businesses is the name of the game. Sorting through it all can make for a rigorous, complex process.
I found this rigorous, complex nature also applied in searching for the right firm to work for after graduating from college.
During my senior year at Brigham Young University, I had the great fortune of serving as an analyst at Clarke Capital Partners, a growth equity firm based in Utah. I genuinely enjoyed the work, became fast friends with each of my coworkers and found great appreciation for their approach of being “operators first, and investors second.” I knew I would be hard-pressed to find another firm that was so invested in the success of their portfolio and could show me the relational and professional satisfaction I had grown so accustomed to.
Months went by, meeting and interviewing with a litany of firms. Most seemed alright, the people friendly enough, but none of them seemed to be the right fit. I had nearly thrown the towel in on my search for this unicorn job, when one day I was reached out to by a close friend that suggested I connect with the team at York IE.
After completing my first call and learning about York IE’s two-pronged structure of investing and advising, I knew I had found something special. Although I was repeatedly informed that the role was not yet fully-baked and the time horizon was unsure, I called my parents, beaming about York IE, and told them I was going to hold out for the opportunity. I knew I had found something truly unique and was willing to wait.
After several months and many conversations, I started my full-time role in July as an analyst on the investment team. Within the first day I knew I had found the needle in the haystack. When family and friends ask me how it has been entering the working world, I can genuinely tell them I really love what I do and the team I do it for.
The malleable nature of my role means each day looks different than the last. I get to meet with intensely bright and passionate founders, research markets and gain perspective on potential opportunities for disruption, and offer my opinion knowing it actually holds weight. These responsibilities amongst a myriad of others have subsequently brought about an immense amount of professional growth and satisfaction.
And I would be remiss not to mention how rewarding it is to work with the team I do. Both Kyle York and Joe Raczka are ridiculously down to earth despite their awesome professional success at Dyn. Marshall Everson has such a keen sense for which companies will perform, and watching him develop rationales in real time has been incredible. Matt Shapiro is as bright as they come and brings such valuable perspectives to every conversation.
It’s abundantly clear that the selective and pragmatic approach York IE takes to investing in businesses applies to the team members they choose to invest in as well.