This is a Partner role and you will become the sixth partner at Blackbird.
The mission of Blackbird is to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars right at the beginning of a founder’s journey, build a great relationship with them and then invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the companies that turn out to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
The unit of success for the Blackbird Operating Partner role is great relationships.
Reflecting back on our relationships with portfolio companies there are four levels of relationships that we have (from worst to best):
Level 1. The partner has a good relationship with the founders.
Level 2. The partner has a good relationship with the founders and 2-5 senior members of the management team of the portfolio company.
Level 3. There are multiple partners and team members within Blackbird who have great relationships with multiple management team members
Level 4. As above but with the addition of magical relationships between the founders with other founders within the portfolio.
Your goal is to strive to ensure all of Blackbird’s relationships reach Level 4.
That will happen in two ways - one highly personal and one highly scalable.
Blackbird was founded in 2012, and many of our early investments have now grown to become meaningful companies, with hundreds of employees, and tens of millions of dollars of revenue.
For a handful of these successful companies, you will become the custodian of Blackbird’s relationship with them. You will serve on the board of directors and help shepherd them into the public markets over the coming decade. You will pioneer what it means to be the best kind of owner of a business.
With each company, you will build great relationships with the senior management team. You will support them as they solve their most pressing strategic issues and muster Blackbird’s community and team to help solve them.
Each relationship will have an action plan and a set of OKRs to ensure they reach the highest level.
As well as bringing a highly personal touch to a handful of relationships, you will pioneer the formation of Blackbird’s efforts to upgrade the operational efficiency of every company in the portfolio, no matter what their stage.
As we grow the team at Blackbird, our opporutnity is to think in a product mindset rather than a service one. Community, as we have found in all of our efforts both in Blackbird and Startmate, is the scalable way to make a profound impact far beyond a single person or team. You will pioneer programs and products to pass on your and our collective operational knowledge to every company in the Blackbird portfolio.
You will enlist a network of advisors, mentors, coaches, and operators to provide programming to cohorts of Blackbird portfolio founders.
In doing so, you will work with Blackbird’s community team to pair founders together based on their portfolio stage and challenge areas, and to accelerate their development in a peer-to-peer context.
Your programming will vary from tailored seed-stage modules to executive coaching and leadership content via AMAs, Office Hours, and interactive/situational workshops.
Your legacy will be referenced in the decades to come in articles about the success of Australia and New Zealand’s startup ecosystems.
The Operating Partner will not be expected to source new investments, but you will be deeply involved in the decision making process of follow on investments, particularly for those companies where you are the primary relationship. And while not a strict investing role, you will build a strong grounding in all aspects of Blackbird’s investing process.
Your background is less important than the key skills, which might include:
We’re looking for someone who is as obsessed as we are about building an iconic investment firm. You must have a high ownership mentality, deep comfort with autonomy, confidence in your thought process, and willingness to adapt it to new information, a hunger for finding the truth, and a desire to help founders bring their better version of the future into the present.
You do not specifically need to have worked at a venture capital firm, but you do need to have a passion for and experience with investing into startups. We love it when people have bootstrapped themselves into a skill as much as gaining the skill from working at an established organisation.
We believe that building a diverse and inclusive team is critical to Blackbird’s success. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, or marital, veteran, or disability status. We use Applied to ensure every applicant gets an equal chance of success.
Our June 2020 half-year Culture Amp engagement score is 95.
Blackbird is a Pledge 1% member — we pledge 1% of our time, equity and profits to help not-for-profit causes in our community, with a focus on greater gender diversity in STEM education.
Blackbird is a venture capital firm whose mission is to supercharge Australia and New Zealand’s most ambitious founders. We do this by raising venture capital funds, investing into the best startup companies and helping them succeed. We have more than a billion dollars under management and a portfolio of 68 companies including some of the most successful Australian startups such as Canva, Zoox, SafetyCulture and Culture Amp.
Like the companies we back, we want to build a business that lasts for decades and produces excellent returns for our investors.
We’ve written a lot about what we love at Blackbird, so check out our blog if you want some more information about us. In particular, you should read about our mission and values, our master plan, and what we look for in founders.