Research Associate


San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on March 25, 2024


Research underpins Forerunner’s investment edge and deepens the venture ecosystem’s understanding of what Forerunner stands for and prioritizes. ??With research, Forerunner sharpens investment theses, crystalizes market perspectives, and develops portfolio guidance. Through a commercial, collaborative, and rigorous approach, the research function aims to generate investment ideas, elevate Forerunner’s presence in the market, and partner with the senior investment team on strategic efforts from diligence to portfolio support.

The research associate will be the first external hire for the function and report directly to the Partner and Head of Research. While this role will work closely with the full investing team, the role will not have investment responsibilities. The role will be based in San Francisco.


  • Lead ongoing market research in priority investment categories with the primary goal of surfacing relevant companies and / or providing frameworks for how the firm can evaluate companies
  • Market research includes category market maps, public company analysis, trend analysis, and recommendations for areas of interest
  • Priority investment categories include: commerce, services, health, fintech, education, prosumer software, social media, and sustainability
  • Lead ongoing research for business model and technological innovation with the primary goal of keeping the firm up-to-speed on the latest developments
  • Priority business models and marketplaces include: AI, marketplaces, subscription, and business model innovation
  • Build relationships with peers (public and private investors) to develop perspective on markets / companies relevant to the firm and / or Forerunner’s scaled portfolio companies
  • Support the senior investing team on thesis development and market research for incubation concepts
  • Manage institutional knowledge-building efforts to capture and distribute portfolio and market learnings across the investment team
  • Support creation of annual consumer report, through written and visual synthesis of research findings, extensive slide creation
  • Support company diligence as needed, including consumer surveys, expert calls, competitive analysis, and market research
  • Support the development of portfolio workshops on key research-led topics


Work experience

  • At least 2 years of work experience in venture capital, investment banking, hedge fund, private equity, or scaled consumer tech company
  • Knowledge of and ongoing interest in consumer tech, added plus if have specific experience in one of the categories, business models, or technologies mentioned above
  • Experience diligencing companies, evaluating public companies, or covering markets


  • Knowledge of how to define and lead research on a market of interest
  • Commercially and analytically minded with ability to build fluency in the technology companies we are in business with
  • Collaborative and rigorous self-starter who can aggregate quantitative and qualitative data and structure insights
  • Ability to track multiple deliverables and priorities, and seamlessly shift between contexts and gears to address new developments and asks as they emerge
  • Able to dive into details while also seeing the big picture


  • Enjoy working in a small team environment, rolling up sleeves to get critical work done
  • High professionalism and EQ
  • Low ego along with the ability to collaborate, influence, and build trust
  • Entrepreneurial, focused on creating solutions, often with little direction
  • Deep sense of accountability, ownership, and commitment to excellence both individually and for our team and firm


  • Based in Bay Area or with strong connections to Bay Area and willingness to relocate


  • We take pride in our work. We strive for individual excellence and believe that by bringing your best self to all that you do, those around you are elevated and hence the firm is.
  • We are team players. We value our relationships inside our partnership and across our ecosystem. We operate with the belief that helping your teammates and partners be successful makes you successful.
  • We are entrepreneurial. We believe entrepreneurship is a calling and our mission is to empower entrepreneurs to chase their dreams. We aim to make an impact, acting deliberately and nimbly to get the most of our efforts.
  • We love what we do. Forerunner is built on a passion for the companies and the people we partner with, as well as a shared ambition to be leaders in our industry.

At Forerunner, we continuously strive to attract top-tier talent, understanding that our strength lies in the diversity of our experiences and backgrounds. We welcome applicants regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital or family status, disability, Veteran status, or any other status. It is these unique differences that empower us to advance toward the future we dream of for ourselves, our portfolio companies, and the world.

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