This page describes how InSITE Fellows help investors get work done. The examples below are based on actual projects InSITE Fellows have successfully completed for investors. To learn more how we can tailor a project to match your firm’s needs with student interest, please contact us.
- Mapping the Competition: An investor is interested in a company. The team finds all of the company’s competitors, their investors, and conducts a basic service feature comparison. The team also identifies other companies that might become competitors in 2 to 5 years.
- Segmenting the Market: An investor is interested in a technology segment. The team sizes the market, identifies the top players, and presents an information-dense, ten-minute overview of the trends and investment opportunities in that segment.
- Analyzing Existing Deals: An investor asks a team to look through two dozen business plans/decks in the pipeline, but which he or she hasn’t had time to analyze. Given the fund’s investment profile, the team reads each plan, picks the most interesting two, and sends the investor a very brief analysis of why the deals are interesting.
- Finding Good Deals: The team helps the investor find new deals. For example, the team would scan an industry conference attendee list with 100+ attendees and, given the firm’s investment profile (geography, stage, technology), send the investor a condensed list and brief analysis of any companies that look interesting.
Portfolio Company Support
- Evaluating New Business Models: For example, the team could design an ad-supported business model that would complement a company’s existing subscription sales model. Fellows would speak with potential customers to gauge their interest, develop financial projections, and identify top potential partners.
- Analyzing Competition: A team could help identify all of the competitors in a company’s space, the key drivers of their business models, and opportunities where the company could improve its competitive position.
- Analyzing Financials: For example, Fellows can review a company’s financials and identify inconsistencies or unwarranted assumptions and make a list of the key follow-up questions investors should ask company founders.
- Testing Product Functionality: Fellows can evaluate a company’s beta program and those of its competitors in order to identify the top five features that the competition has, but that the company does not, and to briefly assess the company’s proprietary advantage.
- Conducting Customer Research: For example, Fellows can identify interview subjects and industry contacts who can give perspective on a portfolio company’s market position, its customer satisfaction, its technical advantages, or its management team. The team can conduct 10 interviews and succinctly synthesize their findings.
- Finding Valuation Comparables: A Fellows team can find a list of companies similar to a prospective investment and derive valuation multiples (e.g., EBITDA, revenue, P/E).
- Performing Technical Review: Teams can review a company’s patents and other technical documents in order to validate a therapeutic claim while providing due diligence support in a specific technical domain.
- Researching LPs: Fellows, many of whom have investment management experience prior to enrolling in graduate school, can help you build a list of LP’s that might invest in your next fund.
- Building Pitch Decks: A team can compile industry statistics on fund returns and overall VC trends for funds of your size and focus.
Investor Responsibilities & Expectations
InSITE asks that investors actively engage with the organization, by:
- Meeting With Fellows: Fellows meet 2-3 times per semester to discuss progress and make any required course corrections. Those meetings take place in person, by phone, or any other convenient means. We ask investors who are hosting projects to meet with their Fellows in person at least once each semester to provide feedback on their performance. These meetings typically take an hour and are usually held at the investor’s office.
- Attending Events: InSITE hosts speaking events, our semi-annual pitch event, large corporate pitch events, and social gatherings that we encourage our partners to attend.
- Providing Advice and Mentoring: Many of our Fellows are trying to make the leap to venture capital, and they value the advice of the investors they meet when working on projects.
- Financial Contribution: InSITE is run on a very lean annual budget. If pleased with the work of the Fellows, we ask firms to make an annual contribution to InSITE. All of InSITE’s funding comes from visionary firms that see the value of advancing the continuous need excellent talent to enter and lead the venture capital industry of the future.