Apr 7, 2023

11 Things A Head of platform Can Do To Build A Thriving Community [Checklist included]

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VC platform operations professionals play a crucial role in creating community engagement and fostering strong relationships between founders and the VC firm.

And in case you're wondering, offering formalized post investment support to founders has become the value add that both startups and investors are looking for.

As such, assembling a platform team to help portfolio companies with business development, talent acquisition and other activities that support founders isn't just a nice to have.

It is the move that could just give your VC firm that needed edge. While the job description head of platform carries plenty of responsibilities, none is as critical in their platform role as building an engaging founder community.

Download PDF Version of this checklist here

Why a director of platform must work on forging active communications and an engaged community within her portfolio companies:

Venture capital is deeply reliant on establishing strong relationships. Whether it's between vendors and startups or founders and investors, relationship management pros understand the importance of client engagement.

That mindset is what the platform team deploy when building their fund's platform strategy.

Platform exists to serve the fund and the founders through relationship building, problem solving and fostering environments that enable the founders to stay on track and hit projected objectives.

Hence, we're not just building the platform to tick a box in our fund's strategy, we actually want to deal with the most pressing areas that often lead to startup failure.

A big part of that involves working hard to establish the right connections with the right people. The platform team also works hard to ensure:

  1. The exchange of ideas among portfolio companies especially between their more established companies and the newcomers.
  2. Resources that can help the young startups hit the ground running and avoid costly mistakes are readily available. These resources can include things like choosing the right tech stack and getting access to the best vendor deals.

Recommended Read | Vendor relationship management: How to get the best deals from third party service providers for your portfolio.

A strong founder community can offer several benefits to startups and venture capital firms. Here are some of the key advantages:

A. Improved communication and collaboration: Building a strong community fosters open lines of communication among founders and with the platform roles. This can lead to more effective problem-solving and faster decision-making.

Collaboration becomes more effective as founders can learn from each other, share best practices, and create opportunities for joint ventures.

B. Better support system: Starting a business is a challenging journey, and having a supportive community can make all the difference.

A strong founder community can provide support beyond what the head of platform can offer, including emotional support, mentorship, and guidance from more experienced founders.

C. Increased knowledge sharing: A strong community can foster a culture of knowledge sharing, with founders exchanging insights on industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices.

This can help to keep founders up-to-date on the latest developments, reduce knowledge gaps, and help startups stay competitive.

D. Better networking opportunities: A strong founder community can help startups build valuable connections with potential investors, partners, and customers.

By providing opportunities for networking and collaboration, the head of platform can help startups expand their reach and build relationships that can benefit them in the long run.

Does community help with deal flow for young startups?

Platform leaders may not be directly involved in or required by the fund to drive sales but the best heads are always striving to give founders the ability to sell more, faster and grow revenue.

Often the strong network that a VC operations professional has acts a bridge that facilitates new business development.

So we recommend thinking of the platform strategy from all angles including the contribution platform serves in the context of talent, business development, content and opportunities that motivate and educate young founders.

VC firms that take a holistic view in their strategy tend to see the greatest return on investment in their efforts.

Here's how to build and maintain an engaged community as a platform manager.

  1. Develop a clear value proposition:
  2. Clearly communicate the value and benefits of being part of the VC firm's community, including access to resources, mentorship, networking opportunities, and potential partnerships.
  3. Host regular events:
  4. Organize events such as workshops, webinars, networking mixers, and roundtable discussions to bring founders together, encourage knowledge sharing, and facilitate relationship-building.
  5. Build an online platform:
  6. Establish online channels, such as Slack groups, forums, or social media groups, where founders can communicate, share stories, ask questions and collaborate on projects.
  7. Encourage mentorship:
  8. Facilitate connections between experienced founders and newcomers to foster a sense of support, learning, and camaraderie within the community.
  9. Showcase success stories:
  10. Share stories of successful founders and startups within the VC firm's portfolio, celebrating their achievements and encouraging others to learn from their experiences.
  11. Provide valuable and exclusive tools:
  12. Offer valuable resources, such as industry reports, templates, and guides, to help founders navigate various aspects of building and scaling their businesses.
  13. Offer personalized support:
  14. Make sure platform operations team members are accessible and responsive to the needs of founders, providing tailored assistance and guidance when needed.
  15. Leverage partnerships:
  16. Partner with external organizations, such as accelerators, incubators, and service providers, to offer additional resources and support to founders.
  17. Create sub-communities:
  18. Organize smaller, interest-based groups within the larger community to encourage deeper connections between founders facing similar challenges or working in the same industry.
  19. Foster a culture of collaboration:
  20. Encourage founders to actively participate in the community by seeking advice, offering help, and contributing their expertise and experiences.
  21. Measure and adapt:
  22. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of community engagement initiatives by gathering feedback from founders and tracking key performance indicators. Use this data to refine and improve your strategies over time.


A strong founder community can bring significant benefits to startups and the VC firm that support them. Strategically facilitating things like effective communications community and in-person networking events are more than a value add, they are essential ingredients to success.

By implementing the community building strategy a VC platform operations professional can create a vibrant, engaged community that provides meaningful support to founders and strengthens the relationship between the VC firm and its portfolio companies.

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