#AskGGV: What qualities do you look for when hiring?

What I look for – basically what VCs look for – we’re looking for patterns. If you look at the number of founders, or start-ups that have succeeded, there is a high correlation between what schools they went to and whether they end up becoming a unicorn or not.

Whether it’s Harvard or other Ivy Leagues, versus Stanford or Berkeley. And Stanford, Berkeley, Tsinghua and Beida – these are probably the top four schools that have generated most number of unicorns. Beyond that, Fudan, Zhejiang, Wuhan University – there’s also a high concentration there.

For VCs, we tend to look at people who come from one of these top schools, who have the net worth and exposure to start-ups, while in school already.

I must say it becomes increasingly tough to get into the VC business without having prior exposure to that. In addition, if you have language skills – especially you come from China, you can speak Chinese fluently and have spent time in China, and also have some kind of banking or consulting background, plus some kind of exposure in running a start-up or being part of a start-up. Those are all of the things that are increasingly required to be hired by one of the top VC firms.

This answer first appeared on an Ask Me Anything session (AMA) with Hans Tung. Do you have a burning question of your own? Submit yours here.

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