What is an Entreprenuer in Residence?

I worked as an Entreprenuer in Residence (EIR) at Koparo Clean and one of the most common questions that I get usually is what is an EIR and what do they do? I'll address that here.

The name EIR has traditionally been used to describe founders who are building a company while being a part of a Venture Capital (VC) firm. They could be someone who has exited a business and the VCs have known for some time. As an EIR, the founder works on testing a business idea while occasionally also assisting the firm with its day-to-day operations.

But the role has evolved over time and now you can find people working at startups having this designation as well. My stint fell in this category.

At startups, an EIR is typically an early employee who works on setting up and scaling the business just like the founder does but with limited scope for bearing the brunt of risk or gaining the upside of asymmetrical returns. This is because you are on a salary, you don't invest your own money into the business and usually don't have a high-amount of equity as a part of your compensation.

The job description is not set in stone—it can change daily. There is no designated function that you're supposed to work in—you're expected to do anything and everything that is a priority at that moment.

As for me, here are some things that I have done as a part of the job—

  1. Built the Shopify website from scratch—added custom flows with the assistance of developers and designers, listed the products on Amazon and Flipkart
  2. Worked on integrating with the logistics and warehouse management systems provider and managed operations and customer experience
  3. Set up analytics, dashboards and reporting to track metrics
  4. Established communication channels and remarketing loops for retention, ran paid marketing campaigns on Google and Facebook
  5. Worked on managing the P&L, creating the investor deck and forging strategic partnerships

If you look at it, this entails everything from product and strategy to marketing and operations. I feel that it is a great learning opportunity for people early in their career. You get to understand the dynamics of running a business completely which can come in very handy if you later pursue an MBA or start your own company. This holistic overview at such low risk is difficult to get otherwise.


If you're exploring EIR roles at startups and would like to know more, I would be happy to chat. Drop me an email!