GeniusMesh Helping PE and VC Firms Find Talent Using AI

Executive MBAs, also known as EMBAs, can be invaluable additions to private equity and venture capital firms, says GeniusMesh in a new report. An EMBA degree is also a good indication of an individual’s ability to help find intrinsic value in a portfolio company. In a one-on-one interview, GeniusMesh founder Neerja Bharti shares her insights with Hunt Scanlon Media.

May 18, 2023 – The fundamental strategy of private equity and venture capital firms is to unlock the intrinsic but unrealized value in the mature companies that they add to their portfolios. The keys to success are the professionals from the PE and VC firm who take an active role in implementing revised strategies, according to new report from GeniusMesh. “Sometimes those revisions require only minor tweaking, while in other situations wholesale changes in products, processes, and people are required,” the study said. “In this context, executive MBAs, or EMBAs, have unique and often overlooked skills that can be an invaluable resource for PE and VC firms.”

“Together with laser-focused execution, EMBAs can leverage their nature of specialized generalists who are operational experts to cover broad-based senior roles in organizations that need quick turnarounds in their strategies,” the GeniusMesh report said. “Moreover, the environment of EMBA programs mimics the environment that PE and VC professionals will experience with a newly-acquired company’s management team.”

In both cases, individuals, with varied backgrounds, are thrown together to address issues in a timely manner to achieve a common goal, according to the GeniusMesh report. The firm explains that an EMBA degree is a strong indicator that an individual will be able to rise to the challenge and help unlock the intrinsic value of a portfolio company. GeniusMesh stresses that getting access to a talent pool of diverse professionals with experience in more than 50 industries and the mindset of specialized generalists can give PE and VC firms a dramatic boost to their growth strategies.

GeniusMesh is an AI-powered recruiting technology platform built for executive-level hiring. It specializes in offering a commonplace for professionals from the world’s top business schools to network, work on their careers, and find new job opportunities. Neerja Bharti is the founder of GeniusMesh. Her goal in creating the firm was to provide an alternative to expensive executive agency recruiters and to facilitate the hiring of global leadership roles in a more timely manner. Ms. Bharti recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media to further discuss GeniusMesh’s services.

      Neerja Bharti

Neerja, when was GeniusMesh started and what was the idea behind its creation? 

GeniusMesh began as a way to connect executive MBAs with one another for advice, networking, and opportunities. I received my EMBA from MIT Sloan and as I was nearing the end of the program, I realized that there was not really a space dedicated to helping EMBAs achieve new employment opportunities or connect with others outside of their program. So, I created my own space to help EMBAs with expanding their network, amplifying their expertise, and exploring new opportunities. What started as a group on WhatsApp at MIT quickly spread to other schools and soon, we had amassed a large network of EMBAs seeking advice, connections, and leadership roles. I started hosting a few virtual networking events and the turnout was as phenomenal as the discussions and connections made. After the growing success, I created GeniusMesh and the EMBA Connect app with over 10,000 EMBAs from the leading 30-plus business schools around the world.

Can you explain what GeniusMesh does?  

GeniusMesh is an invitation-only, global network of executive MBAs from the leading 30-plus business schools. GeniusMesh helps tap into this network of operational experts to optimize your company’s growth with on-demand, full-time, and part-time hiring of agile leaders. We maintain an engaged EMBA audience on our EMBA Connect platform through bi-monthly virtual events geared towards networking, opportunities, and industry expert presentations. Our speakerships help our EMBA community expand their careers by learning from individuals with different verticals, operational backgrounds, and expertise. The EMBA Connect app also engages our audience with discussions and posts on multiple forums, groups, and one-on-one chat functionalities.

Related: Hunt Scanlon Ventures Agrees to Make Investment in AiFlow

How was the platform created and how does it maintain itself?

GeniusMesh pulls from this engaged platform of 10,000-plus EMBAs with an average of 16-plus years of operational experience to help companies find their right fit. Using a combination of AI technology, people intelligence, and our vast network of operational experts, GeniusMesh is able to find elite candidates for companies in days, not weeks. Not only can companies create a profile on GeniusMesh, post opportunities, and create pipelines of EMBA community members, but they can utilize our AI technology to help create a picture of their perfect candidate. We also have executive coaching available for companies to maximize their executive team’s strengths, improve team alignment and collaboration, and optimize ROI. With all of this information and with our stellar executive recruiting staff, GeniusMesh is able to find perfect fits for any on-demand, full-time, and part-time needs for companies ranging from the private equity and venture capital industries to start-ups.

“Most PE and VC firms are hiring for their portfolio companies and need agile, growth-minded operational experts in specific verticals.”

Can you discuss how job seekers use your platform to connect with PE and VC organizations?  

Our talent pool is joining GeniusMesh not only to explore opportunities but also to connect with one another and leverage our proprietary tools we have built for career progression. We host virtual events with PE and VC organizations as a way to connect our EMBAs to those who may be hiring currently or in the near future. PE and VC firms can also create profiles to post their needs, discuss, and engage with our community.

Are PE and VC hiring and what types of roles are most in demand? 

Most PE and VC firms are hiring for their portfolio companies and need agile, growth-minded operational experts in specific verticals. CFOs are most often needed, but other executive level positions between director to C-level come up depending on the type of lending structure utilized by the specific PE and VC firm. It really is based on specific firm’s needs for each portco.

What types of companies are PE and VC firms looking to add to their portfolios?  

There has been definite interest in the healthcare and tech verticals for PE and VC firms; however, with the hefty competition in those verticals, there has also been a growth in niche sectors for PE and VC firms. With consumer behavioral shifts post-pandemic, many firms are focusing on sectors like clean energy, healthcare tech, and e-commerce logistics. By focusing on less crowded, niche sectors, firms can find unique investment opportunities with strong returns, increase the diversification of their portfolios, and reduce their exposure to risks in the broader market.

How are these companies using AI for the hiring process?  

Our AI technology creates a 360-degree profile of a candidate to best establish cultural alignment, professional expertise, and improved retention rates. This assessment is not only beneficial to the company, but to the candidate, too. It enables a candidate to not only see their strengths and weaknesses, but receive steps to help maximize their strengths and improve their weaknesses. Our assessment also helps with career trajectories and shows individuals the best path based on their experience, psychological profile, and cultural alignment.

What skills do executive MBAs or EMBAs bring to PE and VC firms? 

The fundamental strategy of PE and VC firms is to unlock the intrinsic, but not fully realized value in the companies they add to their portfolios. The “keys to success” are the professionals from the PE and VC firms who take an active role in the implementation of revised strategies. Sometimes, only minor “tweaking” is required. Other times, wholesale changes of the products, people, and processes are needed. In the latter context, executive MBAs, or EMBAs, are equipped with unique, and often overlooked, skills that are invaluable resources for PE and VC firms. Together with laser-focused execution, EMBAs leverage their “specialized generalist” nature to avoid silo solutions. EMBAs have a proven track record of success across multiple disciplines and, typically, an average of 16-plus years of operational experience. An EMBA degree is a valuable barometer of the agile mindset required to achieve success: a growth-minded, broad-based leader with the ability to identify problems and execute solutions. Thought leadership EMBAs that have years of operational experience are the ideal candidates, especially for PE and VC firms that require quick turnarounds and malleability in their strategies.

Related: Delivering Talent for the AI Revolution

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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