Art of the Start 4
Still in the panel
Jeff - Goldman Sachs; Dave - Mahler, Nixon, and Williams; Alan - Comerica; Betty - Krause Taylor Associates; Mark - Heller Ehrman Venture Law Group
Mark talking about finding a lawyer, everyone specializes in certain areas. You are going to have to work with multiple people. You can expect your lawyer to make introductions (for funding for example). Work with someone who has been through the process before, multiple startups, and that person can find you the people that you need. Find someone who can tap into the community.
Guy says as you’re seeking a funding advisor you should ask if they’ve got contacts to find funding.
Q - What can you do to find good board members, what makes a good board member?
Alan - used the example of retired people from within your domain. Says that he needs to make multiple refferals so that they don’t get into legal trouble, so you should have a bunch to choose from.
Dave - Sarbanes Oxley sya you need a financial advisor on the board.
Jeff - early on boards are different than later. Investors vey active early on, but as you become more mature you need stricter controls and need to transform your board as necessary (without sacrificing the guidance)
Mark - Expertise, expertise, expertise, and objectivity. Make that dream list and try for it, even if you know you won’t make all of them. Find the person who will ask hard questions.
Guy - what is the max you would offer the Perfect board member?
Mark - it depends on what stages this person is involved in. If the person can only spend two days a month, its valuable but not the same as someone who can spend time to be part of the team. Someone who is part of the team is VERY valuable. Don’t get caught up in percentages.
Betty - Look at your customer base and then go looking for advisors.