Venture capitalists like to hire well known entrepreneurs and executives as “entrepreneurs in residence.” These are short term jobs, a place for someone to park themselves for up to a year or so after they’ve sold their company or otherwise have moved on. They sit in on pitch meetings, advise partners and portfolio companies, and plan their next move. And the VC generally, but not contractually, gets first dibs to invest in their next gig.
Sometimes people get creative with their titles – Jason Calacanis was called an Entrepreneur In Action during his stay at Sequoia Capital in 2006-2007, but his job was essentially the same.
Bessemer Venture Partners is expanding the idea further, and are adding what they’re calling a Designer In Residence. Jason Putorti, former lead designer at Mint (now a subsidiary of Intuit), is the guy they hired for the job.
Jason will work with Bessemer’s portfolio companies to help them build “simple, intuitive and engaging web sites,” said Bessemer partner David Cowan.
Some of the Bessemer startups that will now have access to Jason include Yelp, Hunch, Yodle, LinkedIn, Smule and Wix. For some startups, this may be a reason to go with Bessmer in a competitive funding round.