The Most Important Things Platform Teams Should Do For Founders — And How BCV Plans on Executing

5 min read July 26, 2022
Spotlight

At BCV, many of our partners are former VC-backed entrepreneurs. That experience of giving your blood, sweat, and sometimes even tears to launching a new idea or scaling a business has singularly shaped how we think about the founder / VC dynamic.

Entrepreneurs build companies, and the best VCs support them with more than just capital.

And to provide the best support we can to founders — whether that’s as an advisor, connector, or an extra pair of hands — we’ve been quietly building our Platform Team over the last year, and we’re excited to start taking the covers off of what we are doing.

At BCV, we have historically assisted our portfolio companies through individual efforts — essentially leveraging our personal networks to support the founders we worked with. Everyone worked super hard, and sometimes we were able to get big wins, but there was less that was repeatable or scalable about the support we were providing.

In late 2021, we decided to take a different path given our strong recent performance, and anticipated growth in our investing team and AUM. We set out to aggressively build out a platform team at BCV that matched up with what our portfolio companies actually need and our strengths as a firm — our exclusive focus on four investing domains (apps, infra, fintech, and commerce), the power of the Bain Capital Network, and our active partnership with the founders who work with us.

Platform teams aren’t a new idea in VC, and they have been around even longer in private equity. We spoke with our portfolio founders about what they would find most helpful, and numerous current and former VC platform team leaders. The advice we heard over and over was to focus on exceeding founder expectations in a few areas that really matter vs. trying to be all things to all people. So we set out to do just that:

  • Hiring & Talent Management: Finding great people and managing them was the #1 challenge cited by our portfolio founders. Our Talent team provides access to our deep talent networks across all levels, help building your recruiting foundations and hiring key executives, and strategic talent advisory as companies scale.
    • EXAMPLE: In the last few months, we have placed a COO, a Chief Commercial Officer, and a GM into our portfolio companies from our network of execs. No search firm required.
  • Finding The Right Customers: After you have the right people, it is all about growing revenue. Our Customer Development team helps you gain exposure to a wide spectrum of buyers, without having to crack into them yourself. Tailored introductions, executive briefings, and demo days help accelerate your sales pipelines and drive revenue.
    • EXAMPLE: We recently held a portfolio showcase with a major financial services company — driving 5 proof of concept follow-on engagements out of 6 companies who presented.
  • Marketing & PR: And, getting the word out helps support both of these objectives. Our Marketing team will help you launch and drive awareness of your company, especially around critical milestones and fundraising events.
    • EXAMPLE: For our early stage investments in stealth, we sometimes act as your in-house PR firm to launch the company itself and generate initial buzz.

Platform teams also help unlock the collective network of the firm, its partners, and the portfolio. At BCV, we do that in two ways — through our unique and proprietary Bain Capital network where we can access hundreds of companies and over 1000 professionals all around the world, and through the events large and small that we hold to bring our portfolio and community together — from a small founder meetup in Seattle to our annual Fintech CEO Summit and Demo Day events in NYC. We are investing in new tech to help unlock the power of our candidate and advisor networks as well.

Finally, our team is almost completely composed of startup and hypergrowth veterans who know what it feels like on the other side, all the way from the user research for your first product to taking a company public. We actively work 1:1 with our portfolio CEOs and executives all the time — sometimes in regular coaching sessions, and others as ad hoc issues come up and they need support. Whether it is something tricky like a major change in go-to-market approach, or something routine like preparing for the next board meeting, we are here to help.

Like you, we are still in build mode here — there is a lot more to come as our team grows and our offerings evolve. But we wanted to introduce ourselves, and if you join our portfolio, we would love the chance to work with you.

Noah and Leslie

For questions, you can email us here. You can also follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of our homepage.

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