Entrepreneur in Residence

Just a few years ago I didn’t even know that this type of role and/or position existed and, if I’m to be honest, I laughed at the concept and thought it was particularly stupid.

I was wrong. It’s not stupid and it can actually be a decent place to be for a time as you find and discover your next gig.

Late last year I shared a few thoughts on my vlog which can be found here:

The only reason that I’m posting anything about it now is that I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what it is and how one gets an “Entrepreneurship in Residence” role (almost as often as I get questions around Product Management roles). Especially since it’s been listed in my greater CV recently.

My vlog post still does a fairly decent job of covering an overview of what an EIR could possibly entail but the most important thing to know is that an Entrepreneurship in Residence role isn’t something that one necessarily seeks out but is one that is offered.

In other words, unlike a PM role(s) where you can quite literally navigate your way into that type of position, it is more typical that an organization (perhaps a Venture Capital firm) invites the individual to become one so as to provide value to the organization itself, the larger portfolio, and then to also assist in helping the individual figure out what they want to do next.

Why this role felt great for me at the time was because, as I shared on the vlog, it gave me a much-needed break and a place to reset my thinking when it comes to building my next company. I needed to hack on things, experiment, get introduced to other potential cofounders, and figure out my next best steps.

It was a fun season and I’m so grateful for the early-stage VC firm that allowed me to work with them and give me time to land on my next project, which I’m very happy and excited about, naturally.

But to answer the most common question that I get explicitly: There is no clear and obvious path, as far as I can tell, to getting an EIR role anywhere.

It is, at the end of the day, based on relationships and if you’re working intentionally on building a deep and wide relational net then you can afforded an opportunity, at the right time, to become one through invitation.

Like many things, you’ll know it when you see it and it’ll feel like the best decision for that small season as you seek to gain footing for the next big adventure.


Also published on Medium.