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Building a Board of Advisors

Issues to consider when building a board of advisors for your startup.

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Building a Board of Advisors

  1. 1. Building a Board of Advisors Andy Forbes
  2. 2. What is a BOA? <ul><li>An advisory board is designed to provide independent advice and counsel to the owner / CEO / management team, independent of the fiduciary responsibilities and D&O costs associated with a board of directors </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why a BOA? <ul><li>Augments in-house experience and expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced corporate self-discipline and accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Objective opinions </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic planning and counsel </li></ul><ul><li>Honesty </li></ul>
  4. 4. What does a BOA do? <ul><li>Make key introductions </li></ul><ul><li>Help establish corporate objectives and policies </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance CEO and senior management effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Act as arbitrator </li></ul><ul><li>Act during a crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Lend credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Plan strategy development </li></ul>
  5. 5. Care and feeding of a BOA <ul><li>Keep the board informed </li></ul><ul><li>Give the board time to prepare </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing significant information builds trust </li></ul><ul><li>Set the long-range agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Motivate members </li></ul><ul><li>Listen, don’t argue </li></ul>
  6. 6. Advisor types <ul><li>Wow! S/he is on your BOA? </li></ul><ul><li>Friend / business acquaintance </li></ul><ul><li>Free doughnuts </li></ul>
  7. 7. Timing of a BOA <ul><li>Pre Series A only if it helps your fund raising </li></ul><ul><li>Series A / B keep it four to seven people </li></ul><ul><li>Mezzanine go for it! </li></ul>
  8. 8. BOA Compensation <ul><li>Pre Series A / B </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nothing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expenses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Options </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Post Series A / B </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Per meeting fee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retainer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Options </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. BOA failures <ul><li>Incompatible or disruptive personalities </li></ul><ul><li>Too many cooks </li></ul><ul><li>Insufficient compensation </li></ul><ul><li>CEO </li></ul>
  10. 10. Recap <ul><li>Stay informal for as long as possible </li></ul><ul><li>If you do it, do it right </li></ul><ul><li>You get what you pay for </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid “Free Doughnut Man” </li></ul>Andrew Forbes [email_address]

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