You might be the greatest VC that the world hasn’t seen yet

Main Sequence is hiring again — are we looking for you?

Phil Morle
3 min readFeb 16, 2023

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You might be surprised about what makes a great VC.

In Main Sequence we have engineers, product managers and doctors as well as experienced VCs who have helped build the Australian venture system from the earliest of times. Me, heck, I’m an ex-theatre director.

None of us have got here through a common path.

Imagined by Midjourney

There is no university course towards being a VC. There is no standard playbook. I’d even say that learning the technicalities of VC is simple. You can learn it in a couple of months. Then, the journey to greatness begins and this is long, complex and heterogenous.

Being a VC is more like like being a movie producer than a banker

Whilst later stage investors might have something useful to do with a spreadsheet and ultimately ‘allocate capital’, in early stage investing this is a tiny fraction of the job.

We’re faced with raw material which is sometimes hard to see and challenging to understand. Between that moment and when the VC job is done, there is a company to build, talent to grow, stories to tell, partnerships to build, inventions to make, products to sell, crises to manage…

Here are some essential characteristics:

  • Empathy — building a venture is working with people at the extremes of their comfort zone. Most people involved have never been so challenged, excited, scared in their life. It is often your job to help them find strength when they need it.
  • Imagination — you will need to imagine a multi-billion dollar company that might grow from an algorithm or a molecule. A masterpiece from a quick doodle. If can only invest in what you see, you will struggle to find something wonderful to invest in and build.
  • Curiosity — you’ll be the dumbest person in the room but you need to love the pursuit of new knowledge. My first experience at Main Sequence was meeting Professor Mike Biercuk and needing to understand quantum computing enough to back what would become Q-CTRL. 5 years later, I am still the dumbest person in the Q-CTRL room but I love trying to keep up with them.
  • Coalitions — you might be brilliant, but it isn’t your company and you can’t build a new industry on your own. You will only succeed if you build coalitions of people who are excited to help your companies grow. You need to love that. There is no version of this company that is you exclusively behind your laptop. You’re out there, meeting everyone, getting them excited.

In some ways, I guess these are qualities that many roles could argue are needed. But, believe me, VC is a white-knuckle ride at the extremes. And there is one more quality needed…

  • The magic pixie dust that you have, which we haven’t seen before — the best venture firms see things that others can’t see and build companies that others are incapable of building. This is possible with diverse teams with diverse experiences. Often we don’t know what that looks like until we see it.

New Jobs at Main Sequence

So, we’re growing like crazy. We have companies to grow and new industries to seed and we need to grow our team. Today, we begin our hunt for:

Are we looking for you?

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Phil Morle

Deep tech VC — Main Sequence Ventures. Ecosystem builder. Maker. Director. Startup Scientist.