Earlier this month we had the opportunity to sit down with Eline de Haan, impact investment analyst at Rubio Impact Ventures. She started working a year ago and we were curious how her life looked right now in comparison with a year ago.
From student to starter.
After my bachelor Economics and Master Entrepreneurship (2020), I was looking into interviewing companies that make impact and profit at the same time. I had some previous jobs in student boards like AIESEC Netherlands, FSA Research project and I worked at Uber before starting my Master, but now it was time for my first ‘’real’’ job.
I was wondering in what kind of company I wanted to start. At first I thought, maybe I want to work at an impact-driven startup but I did not want to specialize in a specific sector or product so early in my career. Also, I did not like the uncertainty that comes with working at a startup. I think most of us ‘’starters’’ have doubts about where to start. You should focus on what you do know for sure. The thing I knew for sure, was that I was looking for specific types of entrepreneurs, who were scaling up their company and still making an impact.
I did not think about Venture Capital, but I got triggered by Rubio’s vacancy. I looked at their portfolio which matched exactly with the scaling and impact making companies I had in mind. When I read the requirements of the vacancy I wasn’t so sure anymore. Did I finish two internships in venture capital or private equity? Well, no. One month went by and then I saw a post of Willemijn Verloop, founder of Rubio, on LinkedIn saying 90% of applicants on the analyst vacancy were men. My first thought was: ‘’Why don’t women apply for this role’’. I no longer doubted, took a bold step and sent Willemijn a message. As you can read from the intro of this article, it worked out well and I started as investment analyst at Rubio.
Just do it!
It is important to have female role models. Companies often think they can solve this problem at junior level by hiring a female analyst, but would you want to work in a team of only men? The company also needs to have an intrinsic belief that women could bring value and not only hire women, because diversity is a hot topic right now.
The low female applications are also related to the problem with the less confidence of females to apply for jobs. A lot of women don’t dare to apply for jobs, including myself, within venture capital as they might not fit all the requirements. But my advice is to just do it! I also did not have internship experience in venture capital, but due to studying Entrepreneurship and having other work experience I was still a valuable asset to the team. Also, it is not necessary to have a financial background for VC’s.
‘’A company needs to have an intrinsic belief that women could bring value and not only hiring women, because diversity is a hot topic right now.’’
The week of an Investment Analyst.
It is partly project-based work and partly routine tasks. One of the routine tasks is reviewing pitch decks from start-up’s we receive. I review these slide decks and discuss what could be possible investments with the investment director. From there, I do the follow up which consists of rejecting startup’s or starting a deal process.
For the project-based work, every week is different as it depends on which company Rubio is investing in at that moment. I perform the due diligence on the startups before we decide to invest. Some weeks, I would also be busy with scanning a potential sector that Rubio wants to invest in by doing market research.
I work intensively with a small team. I usually work with one or two colleagues on a project. As an analyst at Rubio, you are involved in the whole process from a to z and your input is valued, which I really enjoy.
Most appealing deal?
It is hard to choose, as a lot of startups have been interesting so far. Because I work for a VC I have to deal with so many different customers who have all found their own cool solution to a problem. The one that stuck with me the most is Vytal, a company that offers a platform for reusable packaging for restaurants and supermarkets. I am interested in the reusable ecosystem and I love the fact that I get to follow the process of this company from the very beginning
Tips & Tricks to start in Venture Capital.
#Use your network! I contacted one person I knew who worked at another fund. This gives some color into what you are really doing each day. Don’t let a vacancy stop you from applying, an internship in venture capital can be relevant for the job but an internship at a startup that is fundraising can be equally useful. Look at it from a different angle, by doing an internship at a startup you also get to experience the fundraising process.
#Contact an entrepreneur in your network. You can get a better understanding of how the process works and all the different parties involved in making a deal. This is valuable information you can use for an interview or conversation if you want to work in venture capital.
#Gain some self-knowledge. Think about what you find interesting and if you would prefer investing in a specific industry or company. Focus on what skills you can bring to the table. Lastly, think about what companies in the portfolio of the venture capital fund you find interesting and why.
What is Rubio Impact Ventures?
Rubio Impact Ventures is a leading investment fund for impact start- and scale-ups in the Netherlands. We believe that the most sustainable companies of our time are the ones that provide solutions for the biggest challenges in society. From the heart of Amsterdam, we invest in ambitious enterprises that can change the system. We prove that impact and financial yield strengthen each other, so we target financial and impact goals.