VCs building a community around their network - illustration

Why Your Venture Capital Firm Should Build a Community Around its Network

5 min read

 

Over the last ten years, a new trend has emerged amongst leading Venture Capitalists to build a community around a thriving network of entrepreneurs and investors. Prominent VC firms, including First Round, Workbench, Spark Capital, and 500 Startups, have already begun to invest time and money into developing their own communities in a bid to bring more value to their existing network. In this article, we take a look at the possible limitations of a traditional professional network and how building an online community could help VCs bring more value to their portfolio companies and their investors.

Why building an online community is the best solution

Many prominent VCs have already hired community-focused employees, created their own communities on various platforms, and incorporated community-building into their long-term business strategy. So why are so many high-profile funds invested in creating these new spaces? Let’s take a look.

Centralized and Efficient Communication

Online communities give VC companies a more efficient way to facilitate communication across various network segments. While most networks rely on the power of email, it’s all too easy for an email to get lost, deleted, or misplaced or for your message to get diverted.

 

Newsletters and email communications certainly provide well-appreciated content and updates from your company. However, this type of unidirectional communication does not give your network a sense of belonging that could be associated with your company. As a result, members feel less engaged in events and requests for communication than if they were consistently looped into a community based on their interests. 

 

Providing access to a community is a pledge to your network that you can bring them value. It also shows that you are committed to giving each person in your network an opportunity to actively participate in providing and receiving valuable content and experiences in a more meaningful way.

Knowledge Exchange and Mentorship

Online communities provide the perfect environment to exchange relevant knowledge and experience. With a centralized communication platform, members of your network can collaborate, find employees, review portfolio companies, or request specific expertise, all within one searchable organized space. Your company can tailor its content in the community to encourage in-depth discussions about topics that might attract new portfolio companies, or that can develop your company’s thought leadership in a certain sector.

 

A community for your VC firm can provide a place where experienced entrepreneurs, business specialists, and investors can offer mentorship and advice for your portfolio companies. Specialized match-making tools can make it easy to connect your portfolio companies to the right resources in your network, with very little effort from your team.

Competitive Advantage

While a handful of VCs are already reaping the benefits of an established community, it is still yet to become the norm. Providing access to your network in the form of an online community can be a unique selling point that could attract new founders and future LPs. An online community moves beyond a simple business transaction and gives members an added benefit: the chance to build meaningful relationships and open up a world of opportunities. Creating a space where individuals or companies with a common goal can connect with each other adds unbeatable value to your network.

How can Panion help you build your online community? 

A large part of enjoying the benefits of building a community for your Venture Capital firm is choosing the right platform to host it on. Finding the best online community platform for your network depends on what you want to achieve, your goals, and the types of members you plan to invite. 

 

Are you looking for a platform that provides mentorship matchmaking or an internal job board, or are you simply looking for somewhere to host meaningful conversations? Whatever your needs, you must understand your reasons for creating an online community before choosing the right platform.

 

Consider exploring Panion, a customizable community management platform that gives you all the tools needed to build a community of investors, advisors, and/or entrepreneurs.

 

By creating an online community for your network on Panion, you can:

 

  • Improve discussion around your deal flow
  • Promote conversation within your networks 
  • Increase collaboration between investors or portfolio companies
  • Pair investors or advisors with founders
  • Analyze engagement and recognize active members 
  • Create a space for learning and knowledge exchange
  • Find new companies to invest in

 

Panion’s AI-matchmaking and filterable member directory, amongst other innovative features, gives your company a modern networking solution. Some useful features that you can find on Panion include:

 

  • Powerful analytics. Panion is designed to give you feedback about activity and engagement. Through an analytics dashboard, you can understand your network on a deeper level and gain insight into what types of topics produce the highest engagement.
  • Prioritized security. Building a community for your network on a platform that has built security directly into the user experience can give you peace of mind that all of your discussions and information are in safe hands.
  • Centralized communication. Give your network one place to communicate with an open and transparent platform that can aid investment decisions and help you understand different people’s backgrounds and expertise.
  • Rich member profiles. All members can tag their profiles with searchable interests and expertise, allowing people to find each other more efficiently. 
  • Easy onboarding. With little friction, you can have your entire network up and running on Panion in no time.
  • Moderation tools. Make sure everybody is contributing to your community on your terms with quick and easy moderation tools.
  • Matchmaking. Add roles to members in your network, then match people based on those roles, their location, their skills, or even their interests or needs. 
  • Embedded event management. If you like to organize regular events, either online or in-person, Panion has a set of quick and easy management tools. 

Our final thoughts

It’s time to take your company to the next level by building an online community for your VC network. After all, you most likely already have the members. Utilizing a community-building platform like Panion can help make the process easier and the results easier to track. Panion can help you with everything from batch migrating your members onto the platform to helping you build a community strategy, understanding how to utilize your community metrics best, and guiding you in building a community for your VC network that best suits your needs.

headshot of blogger Lily Jones
Lily Jones
As a contributor at Panion, Lily waves the flag for communities across the globe. You'll find her here most weeks, chatting with influential community managers, sharing tips on how to build a community and helping users to find their own corner of the community world.