How to Land an Awesome Startup Job

Ron Boger

Saturday, Sept 9th, 2017

MedHacks 2017

Who am I?

Drinking bubble tea
Drinking bubble tea
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
KPCB Engineering Fellow
KPCB Engineering Fellow

What I'm doing "now"

Machine Learning Research
Machine Learning Research
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires

Now, onto startups

High level steps

  1. Be valuable
  2. Be shameless
  3. Have a sense of what you want
  4. Find cool startups
  5. Acknowledge your ignorance
  6. Get in contact with said startups
  7. Profit

Step 1: Be valuable

  • Learn something at intersection of things you care about/are interested in, and things that are desired.
  • Learn how to learn.
  • Build off relevant previous achievements.
  • This doesn't mean learn some obscure programming framework that is listed on a job posting!

Step 2: Be shameless (but have integrity!)

Show your work!

Disclaimer: I have read neither of these books, but they both have great titles.

Some possible steps

  • Make a website that makes you seem impressive.
  • Put your bio and projects on there.
  • Start an organization at your school.
  • Hack at MedHacks 2017! (you're already doing this)

Step 3: Have a sense of what you want

Do you want:

  • growth?
  • learning?
  • money?
  • impact?
  • fame?
  • snacks?

The generation that doesn't believe in either-or, but the generation that believes in both, the generation that will bring change. - Ben Jealous, MedHacks 2017

Step 4: Find cool startups

Find a startup hub:

  • SF
  • NYC
  • LA
  • Baltimore, Philly, Seattle, etc also have a rising startup scene

Search for good companies. Use tools like:

  • Crunchbase
  • Angel List

Look at the portfolio of leading VC firms, such as:

  • Sequoia Capital
  • a16z
  • KPCB

Step 5: Acknowledge your ignorance

Use services that are incentivized to help you. For instance:

will literally pay you to join great startups if you follow these links.

Step 6: Get in contact with said startups.

  • Once you have a list of companies, see if you can gain an introduction through personal networks.
  • Make contact with top tier venture capital firms.
  • If all else fails, email [email protected] Never apply online.

Step 7: Profit.

  • Be forward with what you want.
  • Know your value.
  • This isn't a romantic relationship. You can talk to multiple companies.