The VC Platform Strategy Matrix is a tool built for Venture Capital firms to review, benchmark and strategically design their platform strategy. The model provides a ten-component framework that nearly all of a fund's platform efforts can be categorized into, with a set of five stages of development that correspond with each of the ten components.
By using this tool, you can review each component of the VC Platform Strategy Matrix to determine where your firm currently stands for each category. The tool will then generate your platfrom strategy matrix, which is meant to be used as a strategic benchmarking tool based on your firm's platform focus and prioritization overtime. You can read more about this framework here.
Programs to select well-networked individuals with good investment judgement to source investments on behalf of the fund, sometimes with capital to invest directly.
No efforts to engage external individuals in the firm's sourcing efforts.
Informal efforts to engage individuals outside of the firm to source investments.
Informal efforts to engage individuals outside of the firm to source investments with a mechanism to reward and incentive them for sourcing opportunities that get funded.
A formal program to augment traditional internal sourcing efforts through a group of external individuals with an agreement to reward and incentivize them, usually financially.
A fully crowdsourced program where the firm invests based on the sourcing efforts done entirely by external individuals and provides them a structured mechanism to make investment decisions and formal incentives for their work.
Usually focused on brand building and establishing topical thought leadership, typically written content or podcasts to share opinions and best practices around relevant topics, sometimes educational in nature.
No content efforts at all on behalf of the firm or the individual partners.
An informal content effort done by individuals within the firm, usually published under their personal voice.
A somewhat unified content strategy which typically produces quality content and supports the firm's goals.
A unified content strategy for the firm and partners which produces a regular flow of high-quality content that provides industry thought leadership, attracts deal flow, and supports portfolio companies.
A dedicated team, or individual, within the firm focused on managing the content strategy for the firm and the individual partners, focused around a top-tier blog or podcast which is a major source of deal flow and is value-add to portfolio companies.
Programs focused on engaging individuals who have unique skills and receive support, space, programming and/or funding in exchange for supporting the firm and portfolio companies.
No XIR or Fellowship Program
An informal program to engage with individuals who have unique skills to support the firm or portfolio without formal incentives.
A somewhat strucutred program where individuals get titles and an official affiliation with the firm, as well as some support or benefits while engaging with portfolio companies and/or starting their own company.
A program where individuals have an official affiliation with the firm and receive significant benefits, often including funding, to support portfolio companies or start their own business.
A structured program where individuals have an official affiliation with the firm and receive significant benefits, that has had proven success for the firm historically, based on historic fund investments or executive hires, and is a key priority for the investment team.
Free office space provided by firms to individuals or early stage companies, sometimes accompanied with organized programming, mentorship, funding and curriculum.
No office space for companies or individuals.
A few desks within a firm's office that they may offer to individuals or early stage companies for short amounts of time.
An informal program to provide desk space and some support to early stage companies or individuals on behalf of the firm.
A program to support individuals or early stage companies, including internally developed venture ideas, which is staffed by one or more partners and others on the investing team providing space and programming to a small number of ventures.
A dedicated and staffed incubator that consistently hosts 2 - 5+ companies and provides them with programing, mentorship, and sometimes funding with a goal of investing in them long-term.
Small private dinners, workshops, social events, community events, social events webinars and more to support and engage a firm’s portfolio companies and the broader startup ecosystem.
No events or workshops.
Engagement with events as a sponsor, speaker or partner that are generally valuable for portfolio companies and the startup community.
Active support of events in the community as a sponsor, speaker or partner as well as hosting a handful of firm-run events annually for the firm's portfolio and community.
A somewhat regular series of internally hosted events as well as external event sponsorship and partnerships to support portfolio companies and the startup community.
A well organized set of regularly organized events that engage a wide range of portfolio executives, employees and community members with high engagement and specific results which are well regarded and anticipated by the startup community and portfolio companies.
These include email listserves, slack channels, social network groups, and sometimes fully custom online platforms organized for a firm’s portfolio companies or functional peer groups to provide them with resources and a community of contributors for peer support.
No online forums, listserves, or platforms for community or portfolio companies.
An informal, but regularly sent one-directional internal newsletter send to a portfolio executives and/or community members to share information and stimulate engagement.
A listserve, Slack channel or other community communication tool(s) that engages portfolio executives and other community members to share information with moderate levels of engagement.
One or more active listserves, Slack channels or community communication tools that organizes users and allows them to have regular and meaningful bi-directional conversations and provides community members with additional tools or resources to collaborate and share best practices.
A custom built and highly active internal community platform consisting of forums and tools to share resources, talent, etc. which is actively organized and monitored with bi-directional communication for portfolio executives and other community members.
Typically highly curated groups of experienced executives and entrepreneurs who act as mentors or advisors for portfolio companies as needed, sometimes with the potential to recruit them for executive roles.
No expert network.
A small informal group of experts, typically based on partner-level personal relationships, who engage with portfolio companies to provide ad hoc support.
A group of experts who regularly engage on a firm-wide level through an organized program to connect with and support portfolio companies.
A critical-mass of curated experts who work closely with the firm through an organized program to support portfolio companies and often have deeper engagements, sometimes with an economic incentive.
A large and active curated network of high-profile experts with staff dedicated to actively engaging them with the firm to investment opportunities and spend meaningful time with the firm and portfolio. Often aligned and incentivized economically, with proven results in supporting portfolio company growth.
Relations with decision makers at Fortune 500 companies to connect to portfolio companies as potential customers and strategic partners.
No corporate relations or customer development programs.
A small informal group of corporate decision makers, typically built off partner-level personal relationships, who are introduced to portfolio companies occasionally.
A group of corporate executives who are regularly engaged with the firm and connected to portfolio companies with occasional success bringing them onboard as customers or partners.
A large group of dozens of decision makers at major corporates across sectors who are regularly and actively engaged with the firm and portfolio companies with frequent success bringing them onboard as customers or partners.
An active and staffed formal program inside the firm with trusted relationships to hundreds of decision makers at major corporations across sectors who have become key customers and vital strategic partners for portfolio companies with relationships built through direct introductions or organized executive briefings.
Efforts to help portfolio companies hire qualified individuals to join their companies, including direct recruiting support as well as providing training and resources that support their hiring priorities.
No talent or recruiting related support.
An ad hoc approach to supporting companies by providing them ideas or introductions when a critical hire arises, or recommending candidates when a known individual is looking for a new role.
An intentional effort to maintain active knowledge of all active talent needs across the portfolio and provide regular candidate introductions, often with a system to track candidate profiles, in response to portfolio companies’ needs.
A structured approach to proactively address portfolio company talent needs often involving supporting them with hands-on training and support, introductions to trusted recruiters and regular introductions to high quality talent for current and upcoming priority roles.
A dedicated person or team focused on supporting portfolio talent needs with proven results. This may be a team of dedicated in-house recruiters, or subject matter experts focused on proactively providing resources, support and introductions to portfolio companies for their talent needs with dedicated tools and systems. In some firms this may include dedicated initiatives to develop stronger talent pipelines, including focus on underrepresented groups and university students.
Internal consulting and service-based organizations that provide design, finance, marketing, strategy, etc. services for free or for a fee to portfolio companies from functional subject matter experts that provide tactical support beyond what lead investors typically provide as board members.
No functional expertise service offerings.
A known list of preferred individuals or service providers that can support portfolio companies with services and strategy development without any internal support from the firm.
A hands-on, but not staffed, approach inside the firm to provide portfolio companies with support for critical needs by regularly vetting external partners and service providers to engage when needed.
A staffed team of experts inside the firm that provide one specific service to portfolio companies (e.g. go-to-market strategy) and relationships with trusted external partners who provide further support when needed.
A fully staffed team of experts built inside the firm that provide portfolio companies with meaningful support in more than one functional area, for free or for a nominal fee, and have proven results.
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