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Sales Glossary

The sales industry is always changing and evolving. Keeping on top of those changes can be tough. The Vidyard Sales Glossary is your ultimate guide to important sales terms, definitions, concepts, slang, insider business jargon and more to keep you up to date with the latest in sales industry lingo.

What is an Entrepreneur in Residence?

An entrepreneur in residence (EIR) is a position typically held within venture capital firms, although larger companies and other types of organizations, such as non-profits, employ them as well. EIRs tend to be short-term positions–six months to one year in length–as their goal is to help create and launch new companies, or new brands or products under a larger company umbrella.

What Does an Entrepreneur in Residence Do?

There is no set job description or specific role that an EIR fills. What they do is unique and fits the specific needs of each company they’re working with.

It’s essential that they have an existing record of success and portfolio highlighting their work, and that they’re experts in their respected field. If you’re looking for an EIR to help launch a new PaaS company, for example, you’d want to find someone who has worked in that niche before and knows exactly what’s needed to succeed.

While specific job duties always vary, an EIR would typically be tasked with the following:

  • Build out new companies. Traditionally, EIRs hired by venture capital firms are tasked with creating new companies. They put together business plans, hire executives, and secure funding to get everything up and running. Once a company is established, the EIR may stay on staff in some capacity, but eventually they move on to their next project.
  • Act as a mentor. EIRs provide mentorship and guidance to those they’re working with. Since they have years of experience, they possess ample knowledge to share with others. This helps set up and ensure future success.
  • Provide operational support. Established companies hiring an EIR are often looking for operational support. They may have a specific issue they need help solving or are launching a new product and need to tap into a new audience network. Again, EIRs are brought on to provide specific knowledge and expertise in these situations and help drive success.
  • Network and influence funders. Regardless of an EIR’s main objective, they’re often tasked with networking, building brand awareness, and influencing funders to garner support for the business or product they’re assisting with. Their industry knowledge and connections from previous work assist tremendously.

Benefits of Hiring an Entrepreneur in Residence

Whether you’re looking to get a start-up up and running, or need additional support at an established company, hiring an EIR has many benefits.

  • Expertise. It doesn’t matter what your issue is, an EIR will have an answer. Remember, they’re experts at what they do, and have years of experience and knowledge to bring to the table. They’re effective problem solvers, creative thinkers, and know how to put their ideas into actions.
  • Flexibility. EIR positions aren’t permanent. Since they’re short term, and compensation varies depending on what exactly they’re doing, your company has some flexibility. You can decide how long they’re working for and what their salary will be.
  • Recruiting. Because EIRs work within large networks they know lots of people. If you need additional full-time staff or contractors, an EIR can help with recruiting. They know who to contact, and who would be an excellent fit to carry on projects within your company.
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