VC Platform Global Community Standards

Overview: The VC Platform Global Community is an invite-only community set up to be a peer-learning vehicle for those who actively work in VC and are in charge of growing, supporting, and creating communities for their firm’s portfolio companies.  The community has carefully grown to enable each other and now also conducts an annual summit where VC Platform Leaders (platform team members or those in charge of “value add” services”) come together to share ideas.

Community Standards: With growth comes a responsibility to ensure the community serves its goal as a transparent and safe forum for peer-learning and commentary.

The goals of this document are to:

  1. Explicitly state a number of community standards that you agree to adhere to as a member of the group.
  2. Make it easier for new members to onboard and become productive members of the community.

Contents:

TL;DR:

There are a couple key aspects of our group not to violate. They are detailed below, but in short:

Tone and Civility: We’re lucky to have a high-quality community which is thoughtful, generous, and considerate of others.  This is our baseline level of expectations for everyone in the group.  We’d like to continue that as we welcome others in.

That said, a professional, fun, and civil tone is paramount, and in nominating someone, it’s important to expect the same from everyone who joins. There are also varying levels of expertise that exist in the group, and “newbie” questions are an opportunity for more experienced members to share their wisdom, the same way more experienced mentors did the for them previously. Don’t be afraid to throw out radical ideas (we are in the business of that, after all), but please do so in a way that would make your mom proud.

Questions and Answers: The main goal of the group is to provide a place to ask questions that otherwise you might beat your head against the wall trying to answer on your own.

Some guidelines on this:

Search before you ask: Conveniently, Google Groups have a Forum structure where all of the past threads live (your email address was added to that forum when you were onboarded). So before you ask a question, go ahead and do some searches in there to see if you can get your answer quickly.


Referencing Previous Threads: If you do search the archives and find related, but not the 100% exact answer you were looking for, go ahead and ask a new question. In that case though, please reference any relevant previous threads, then describe what additional information you seek. This way the community can see that you already did your due diligence, that this is truly a new topic (versus a rehash), and they can then build on the prior discussion.

Relatedly, if you see a question that gets asked that was already addressed in a thread, feel free to add that hyperlink to the new thread (like this), so the asker can check that out. (Also it will reinforce to everyone that you should be searching first!).
If you are new to the group and going through old threads, please send a note to the organizer/original requestor of the thread for any materials before surfacing to the group again to spare people’s inbox.

Question Format, Subject Line Format & Tags: When you’re asking a question, make sure it’s readable, formatted well, and has a good subject line that will help folks understand what it’s about.  This helps with searching, amongst other things of course. Additionally, the use of the following tags in the subject line is encouraged!

[Tools] - to be used when asking about products VCs or their portcos use.

[Job Opportunities] - IMPORTANT - If the job opportunity is at your VC itself, then feel free to send to the whole group, as this is informative and helpful for everyone to know.  If the job opportunity is at a portfolio company, please only message relevant people 1:1 with a thoughtful request to see if they can be helpful.

[Events] - promoting events?  Use this and please also obviously disclose if the event is being run by your firm or a different entity.

[Compensation] - to be used when asking about general compensation-related questions and benchmarks.

[Space Available] - if you or a portco is looking to rent space or has room in their own space, use this tag to highlight that more efficiently.

[Introduction/Farewell] - new to the group or leaving the group?  Use this to intro yourself or say goodbye.

[News] - Relevant news item worth sharing?  Use this and a descriptive subject line following it.

[D & I] - Diversity and inclusion has been, and should continue to be, top of mind to all of us.  To consolidate notes, suggestions, and conversations around this, use this tag.

[General] - have a question or comment that doesn’t fit the above tags?  Use this.

Answer format:  Replies should default to reply-all, and go to the list if it is the type of reply that benefits more than just the individual recipient who prompted it. While this can create noise, it also ensures that the information that could be relevant to a group of folks with similar a problem or inquiry at least goes across their desks too. Private replies don’t help others who have the same question but didn’t ask it, and you may end up with multiple people putting in the effort to answer in the same way on separate threads. We also want folks who are helpful to the community to get credit for their helpfulness!

Beyond this, when you’re answering, think about structuring your answer in a way that will have maximum benefit not just at this one time, but also in the future (you’re making, essentially, a little document). That means formatting for readability, comprehension, etc.

Privacy Policy:

General:  We share a lot of important information in this group, and that’s a good thing!  With that said, it also means we need to be responsible with it.  As a general rule of thumb, threads containing sensitive information should not be forwarded, and err on the side of caution/use your best judgment.  For example, if you post a job opportunity, that’s something that will inevitably get forwarded.  If you have a 1:1 conversation with someone where you’re sharing compensation thoughts given your experience at your firm, that probably shouldn’t be forwarded.  When in doubt, just ask the original provider of information 1:1 if you have permission to share the information they provided with others outside the group or that individual thread.

Contact information: under no circumstances should you share the contact information of those within the group, with someone outside of the group before receiving permission to do so.  We all get hit up by a lot of vendors, entrepreneurs, and future employees everyday, and while that’s a great thing, it’s also a noisy reality that can become worse if introductions are not thoughtful.  Instead, if someone outside of the group wants to get in touch with someone within it, ask that person for information as to why they want to get in touch, and before making the introduction or passing along the portco keeper’s contact info, run that message by the portco keeper to see if they want to connect with that person. Even if you’re close with the portco keeper and figure they’re open to the intro, this is still a best practice. Basics!

Annual Summit Info:

Every August the group organizes an annual summit, typically in NYC, to get together, trade thoughts, and have dinner.  This is an amazing chance to meet your peers and share your ideas.  

Who it’s for:  portco keepers, platform team members and general “value add” employees at VCs.

Who it’s not for:  partners (sorry partners!), portfolio companies, interns/summer associates, or anyone not in a full-time platform-type position.

What’s required of you:  mostly just to bring yourself!  But we also ask a few members to prepare presentations, donate $100-200 per firm to the day if you’d like to participate (this simply covers costs of the space, dinner, etc), and hopefully commit to staying the full day if you can, as we don’t want to disrupt working groups that are created at the beginning of the day.

For more information on the summit, you can contact
admin@vcplatform.com.

Improvements: Suggestions for improvements are always welcome (feedback is a gift!), and should be shared with admin@vcplatform.com. We take continuous improvement seriously, and proactive feedback is most welcome!

Recommending New Members: 

To add people to the group, send them this link if you think they are a fit: http://www.vcplatform.com/apply/

Please keep in mind that this group is limited to platform, value-add, and/or operational support members at VCs who directly help support portfolio companies. If a VC does not have this person by title (ie an investment associate is the only one who handles platform initiatives) then they will be allowed in the group. If the VC does have this person by title and someone outside of the platform team applies for the group, we will ensure that they spend at least 50% of their time on value-add services to their companies, otherwise the former person will solely represent their firm’s membership in the group.

Scheduling Events for the Whole Group

Do you have an event or meeting you’re looking to set up for the group? If so, don’t be afraid to share!  Examples of past things we’ve scheduled together:  the annual summit, going to Google to learn about their startup program, diversity and inclusion discussions, and more.  If you would like to schedule a meeting or event with the group, we highly suggest using Doodle to do so.  

Email Management & Leaving the Group: 

Email Management: If you want to manage your email delivery tempo and such, you can easily do that from the VC Platform Global Community Google Group settings. You can set it to have all email, digest, abridged, etc. In order to access your settings, go to the small “Person + Gear” icon in the top right of the previous link, and click “Membership and Email Settings”.

Also, many folks find that setting up a Gmail / Outlook filter to push these conversations into a folder can be helpful to make sure you don’t miss conversations! Email us directly if you have any questions about this.

Leaving the Group:  If you’re leaving us, we’re sad to see you go, but excited for whatever the future holds for you!  Please let one of admins know, as you will be removed from the group.  

Thanks!

VC Platform Global Community Admins

admin@vcplatform.com  (One email, but current admins listed below)

Andrew Oddo - andrew.oddo@bowerycap.com

Chris Kobylecki – chris@innovationnest.com

Devin Nash – devin@underscore.vc

Devon Leichtman – devon@originventures.com

Jordan Ordinsky - odinskyj@gmail.com

Keji Mustapha - keji@connectventures.co

Laurel Woerner – laurel@rre.com

Lauren Capelin – lauren@reinventure.com.au

Lindsay Knight - lindsay@chicagoventures.com

Marianne Bulger - marianne@goldenvp.com

Stephanie McGuinty – stephanie@realventures.com