Andrew Chen Archives

Subscribe · Featured · Recent · The Cold Start Problem 📘
Dear readers, I have moved to Substack and I will be writing here from now on:
In the meantime, I will leave up for posterity. Enjoy!

Entrepreneur-in-Residence in 3 flavors

I wrote a previous article called, What’s an Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

Let me state that overall, there are really multiple flavors of EIRs – I’ve observed 3 types of them:

  1. Successful CEOs
  2. Industry experts/executives
  3. Future startup founders

Successful CEOs
In the first case, you have CEOs of startups that were able to take it to a great outcome – in some cases, this will be like selling the company, or taking it public. These guys often hang out for a while, figuring out what they want to do, and sometimes they join the firm as a senior partner. Another option is for them to join a late stage startup that needs to get to the next step. In the meantime, they’re called an Entrepreneur-in-Residence or an Executive-in-Residence.

Industry experts and executives
Oftentimes, you also have folks who have left some interesting large company, like AOL or a large biotech or whatever. In these cases, they have a lot of relationships and knowledge about a particular area, and are a great fit to get added to an early stage startup. (Early meaning a couple technical guys who have a technology and need to bring it to market)

Note that in both cases above, there’s already a track record established within the industry, and the folks involved often lend tremendous credibility to whatever startup they join, or just while they are hanging out at the VC. Also, in these cases they are often referred to as Executives-in-Residence as often as they are referred to Entrepreneurs-in-Residence.

Future startup founders
Now in the case of future startup founders, you often have highly technical folks who are likely to start companies, who have not had significant operating backgrounds behind them. In these cases, they are usually scrappy enough to start from scratch, and come up with ideas to execute themselves. These guys are often found in mid-level product or engineering roles within portfolio companies, and are useful to get a completely different perspective on the industry. In many cases, they don’t have the rolodex that the Executives-in-Residence have, but you sometimes don’t want that either.

PS. Get new updates/analysis on tech and startups

I write a high-quality, weekly newsletter covering what's happening in Silicon Valley, focused on startups, marketing, and mobile.

Views expressed in “content” (including posts, podcasts, videos) linked on this website or posted in social media and other platforms (collectively, “content distribution outlets”) are my own and are not the views of AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) or its respective affiliates. AH Capital Management is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration as an investment adviser does not imply any special skill or training. The posts are not directed to any investors or potential investors, and do not constitute an offer to sell -- or a solicitation of an offer to buy -- any securities, and may not be used or relied upon in evaluating the merits of any investment.

The content should not be construed as or relied upon in any manner as investment, legal, tax, or other advice. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax, and other related matters concerning any investment. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Any charts provided here are for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, I have not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation. The content speaks only as of the date indicated.

Under no circumstances should any posts or other information provided on this website -- or on associated content distribution outlets -- be construed as an offer soliciting the purchase or sale of any security or interest in any pooled investment vehicle sponsored, discussed, or mentioned by a16z personnel. Nor should it be construed as an offer to provide investment advisory services; an offer to invest in an a16z-managed pooled investment vehicle will be made separately and only by means of the confidential offering documents of the specific pooled investment vehicles -- which should be read in their entirety, and only to those who, among other requirements, meet certain qualifications under federal securities laws. Such investors, defined as accredited investors and qualified purchasers, are generally deemed capable of evaluating the merits and risks of prospective investments and financial matters. There can be no assurances that a16z’s investment objectives will be achieved or investment strategies will be successful. Any investment in a vehicle managed by a16z involves a high degree of risk including the risk that the entire amount invested is lost. Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by a16z is available at Excluded from this list are investments for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly as well as unannounced investments in publicly traded digital assets. Past results of Andreessen Horowitz’s investments, pooled investment vehicles, or investment strategies are not necessarily indicative of future results. Please see for additional important information.