Role of HR in Venture Capital
Episode #6

Role of HR in Venture Capital

Interview with: Szymon Janiak
Managing Partner, Co-founder at

The world of startups, where new technologies, progress, change, innovations, and all these rounds of financing are inscribed in the landscape, oh yes – this world seems to be incredibly attractive. The ambition of most founders is to build a company that will convince millions of users with its product or service. The path to achieving the unicorn status, which is a symbol of success, is not, however, all with roses, but with hard work, determination and dedication. However, as is well known, and I subscribe to it myself – it is worth following your dreams.

However, is there a place to build HR processes in these dynamic, constantly changing organizations? Is this topic marginalized due to narrow budgets and concentration on other equally important areas? So is HR put on the shelf and, in general, one can argue that HR in startups is simply not there?

With an open mind, albeit a bit skeptical, I started my next conversation as part of the “Winged HR” podcast. Together with Szymon Janiak, Managing Partner and Co-founder in the venture capital fund, we talked about the role of HR in companies financed by VC. And what turned out? The conclusions and experiences shared by Szymon have significantly changed my perspective and I think that there is nothing more exciting than building organizational culture and HR processes in companies driven by change, which are characterized by a “wild innovation rush”.

Szymon Janiak
Even at an early stage, startups, if they have financing from an investor, are rarely able to spend money left and right. The average investment ticket, meaning the value that is transferred to a startup at an early stage, amounts to approximately PLN 1 million in Poland, which is to last for a year, up to a dozen or so months. Considering how much a programmer currently costs on the Polish market, and changes related to the Polish tax law, this budget is very tight and there is certainly a lack of funds for qualified staff at the very beginning. The situation is usually solved in such a way that the financial component is combined with the equity component. That is, managerial option programs are created for key managers to compensate for their lack of high salaries.
Szymon Janiak, Managing Partner and Co-founder at
Knowledge and awareness in the area of human capital and HR processes in venture capital


  • the organizational structure of companies from the VC portfolio,
  • how are startups supported beyond capital?
  • recruiting-HR or strategic-HR?
  • acquiring HR talents with a limited budget,


  • building organizational culture in companies in the growth phase,
  • competences sought in founders,


  • the male world of startups,
  • building a business focused on internationalization,
  • VC investments in the digital transformation of HR processes,


  • how to encourage talents from the IT market to work in a startup?
  • how to introduce managers to startups in the growth phase?