My experience as a Visiting Analyst at Join Capital
by Richard Würl
Last July, I joined Join Capital’s investment team for a few months as part of its Visiting Analyst Program.
If you possess a deep curiosity about new technologies and love to work with brilliant people who question the conventional, Join Capital might be a good place for you.
Personally, I was intrigued by the challenge of how to commercialize a revolutionary invention and build up a successful, potentially game-changing company. That’s why I applied to Join.
A deep tech focus
It’s good to know that Join has a specific focus on B2B software in the field of Industry 4.0. Of course, this might add a bit more to the learning curve than would an e-commerce startup that sells shoes online. But it’s worth the initial brain whirlwind.
You’ll work with fascinating deep tech solutions and gain insights into the latest technological innovations built by exceptional minds that are likely unique in their field.
As an early stage investor focusing on a pre-Series A, Join puts you in touch with companies when they’ve had their first idea validation. That means companies in the investment focus have already proven product/market fit and gathered some initial traction.
What fascinated me was the consideration of who can not only excel in technology, but also build a category-winning company. In addition, I enjoyed the human element in early-stage investing and the focus on the importance of teams.
Working with the team
On my first day, the Join team welcomed me by saying that because I was hired as a Visiting Analyst, they expected me to live up to that role. I felt empowered and very comfortable in the position to proactively take responsibilities. Throughout the internship, I enjoyed the trust and freedom to work on my own projects and add value wherever I could. In day-to-day business, I would participate in all important meetings, carry out first calls with founders and present potential investment cases in front of the team and management.
As Join is packed with incredible people experienced with serial entrepreneurship, investment and corporate innovation, it was phenomenal to work with them. I was able to learn from their knowledge and experience on how to approach software companies. Not to mention the office atmosphere was fantastic. The team members are very kind and helpful and to work with them is a lot of fun.
My tasks at Join
While my daily tasks varied depending on what was happening that week, in general my work could be separated into these fields: dealflow, internal work and portfolio work.
- Lead sourcing: Sourcing and classification, first-phase evaluation and presentation of potential investments to the investment team
- Due diligence: Extensive market research and analysis, conducting of reference and experts calls, creation of cap tables, drafting of internal investment committee memos
- Community relations and event planning: Organizing and promoting the ‘VCs for Female Founder’ event with 80 female founders and 50 investors
- Fund administration and investor relations: Supporting the COO with preparation and administration of various documents
- Marketing and promotion efforts: Creating marketing decks and writing a Medium article
This varied greatly, but included:
- Introductions to clients or partners from Join’s extensive network
- Creating outward-facing content
Highlights of my time at Join
Plain and simple, I loved working on this investment team. It was so much fun and intellectually enriching to dive into business models, industries and technologies.
Over time, I became accustomed to the topics and was able to process complex information quickly. One day I’d focus on chemical simulations, the next on AR/VR and the day after on ML software.
Another valuable experience was when I provided support throughout an entire investment process. I participated in a deal starting from the first call to drafting the investment memo and signing the term sheet. I learned the ins and outs of every step — from valuations to financial modeling.
Perhaps my biggest highlight was supporting our analyst Mira to set up an initiative for female founders. When the latest shockingly low numbers of female founders in Germany in 2020 were released, we decided that it’s necessary to use our vehicle to improve the situation. Her passion for the cause was inspiring. We teamed up with APX, gathered a crowd of committed VCs and organized a virtual office hour format. Over 80 female founders and 50 VCs joined the first session of our initiative. This ended up being the largest female founder office hour event in the DACH region.
About the author
Richard worked with Join from June — September 2020, after graduating from the University of Mannheim, where he served as a Chairman of Thinc! and organized Q-Summit.
Get in touch and learn more about Richard here.