Building an Entire Investable Team:
An Entrepreneur’s Perspective
The	
  Capital	
  Network	
  
July	
  10,	
  2013	
  
Wi...
Topics	
  
•  The	
  Management	
  Team	
  
•  The	
  Board	
  of	
  Advisors	
  
•  The	
  Board	
  of	
  Directors	
  
•...
The	
  Management	
  Team	
  
First	
  my	
  own	
  experience…	
  
•  Early	
  Career/Midsize	
  and	
  Large	
  Companies	
  
– Computer	
  Scien@st/S...
What	
  I	
  have	
  learned…	
  
•  Investors	
  invest	
  in	
  a	
  team	
  first,	
  then	
  product/
market	
  
– Mix	...
What	
  I	
  have	
  learned…	
  
•  “Bump	
  in	
  the	
  road”	
  capable	
  
– Flexible,	
  resilient,	
  adap@ve	
  wh...
The	
  Board	
  of	
  Advisors	
  
What	
  I	
  have	
  learned…	
  
•  Industry	
  luminaries/experts	
  who	
  believe	
  in	
  
you	
  signal	
  to	
  inv...
The	
  Board	
  of	
  Directors	
  
What	
  I	
  have	
  learned…	
  
•  A	
  func@onal	
  Board	
  is	
  an	
  asset,	
  a	
  dysfunc@onal	
  
Board	
  can	
...
Board	
  –	
  Management	
  Team	
  
Dynamics	
  
What	
  I	
  have	
  learned…	
  
•  Trust,	
  communica@on	
  are	
  essen@al	
  
– Communicate	
  oMen	
  and	
  transpa...
Thank	
  you!	
  
QuesSons?	
  
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Building an Entire Investable Team

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Building an Entire Investable Team

It is an oft-repeated truism that angels and venture capital firms invest in teams more than they invest in ideas and technologies. The team, Board, and Advisory Board are extremely valuable. This roundtable will provide investors’ perspectives on this dilemma, along with a discussion of other team-related topics, Board and Advisory Board building strategies and management.
www.thecapitalnetwork.org

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Building an Entire Investable Team

  1. 1. Building an Entire Investable Team: An Entrepreneur’s Perspective The  Capital  Network   July  10,  2013   Win  Burke   President  &  CEO   iGetBeBer,  Inc.  
  2. 2. Topics   •  The  Management  Team   •  The  Board  of  Advisors   •  The  Board  of  Directors   •  Board  –  Management  Team  Dynamics   I  agree  with  Bob’s  comments  and  will  not  repeat  his  content,  but  rather  will   augment  them  from  an  entrepreneur’s  perspec@ve.   Bob  and  I  agree  that  there  is  no  single  right  way,  and  there  are  many  possible   right  ways  depending  on  circumstances  and  the  specific  people  involved.     Offered  for  considera@on  are  generali@es,  to  which  there  are  many  excep@ons,   but  which  represent  a  framework  for  implementa@on.  
  3. 3. The  Management  Team  
  4. 4. First  my  own  experience…   •  Early  Career/Midsize  and  Large  Companies   – Computer  Scien@st/SoMware  Engineer   – Product  Management,  Marke@ng,  Sales,  Services   •  Early  Stage  Company  Career   – iGB  is  my  7th  early  stage  company   – A  founder  of  3   – VP  of  S&M  of  2,  CEO  of  5   – 4  companies  acquired,  1  IPO   (Have  made  many  mistakes,  hopefully  learned  not  to  make  them  again)  
  5. 5. What  I  have  learned…   •  Investors  invest  in  a  team  first,  then  product/ market   – Mix  of  vision  and  experience   – Good  team  chemistry   •  Clear  roles,  who’s  in  charge   •  Best  if  have  worked  together  before   •  Be  credible  to  investors  that  team  can  execute   – Sales,  CFO  should  be  experienced   – Complete  team   •  If  not  complete,  VCs  may  suggest  fill-­‐ins  
  6. 6. What  I  have  learned…   •  “Bump  in  the  road”  capable   – Flexible,  resilient,  adap@ve  when  things  go  wrong   – Can  absorb  personal  financial  constraints   •  Impact  of  team  experience   – Angels  are  more  likely  to  accept  “young  and  fresh”   – VCs  are  more  likely  to  want  to  know  that  team  can   execute   •  VCs  prefer  repeat  entrepreneurs  (“been  there,  done  that”)   •  Kaufmann  Ins@tute  study  says  that  entrepreneurs  over  age   of  55  have  2x  success  
  7. 7. The  Board  of  Advisors  
  8. 8. What  I  have  learned…   •  Industry  luminaries/experts  who  believe  in   you  signal  to  investors  that  you  are  real   – Signal  to  customers  and  partners  as  well   – Fill  in  industry  holes  of  management  team   •  Industry  knowledge,  experience,  contacts  (!!!)   – How  to  recruit   •  Remember  that  they  may:   – Tend  to  feel  comfortable  with  what  they  have   done  rather  than  what  could  be  done   – Have  conflic@ng  egos/agendas  (important  to   manage  group  dynamics)  
  9. 9. The  Board  of  Directors  
  10. 10. What  I  have  learned…   •  A  func@onal  Board  is  an  asset,  a  dysfunc@onal   Board  can  be  a  fatal  liability    (change  it!)   •  Try  to  choose  (may  influence  choice  of  investors):   – A  mix  with  opera@onal  as  well  as  financial   experience,  preferably  within  your  industry     – Experience  with  Boards  and  how  they  should  work   – Can  work  together  collabora@vely  instead  of   confronta@onally;  good  chemistry  and  dynamics   – Not  all  in  lock-­‐step,  but  generally  on  the  same  page   – How  to  recruit  
  11. 11. Board  –  Management  Team   Dynamics  
  12. 12. What  I  have  learned…   •  Trust,  communica@on  are  essen@al   – Communicate  oMen  and  transparently   – But,  don’t  communicate  every  problem   •  only  those  that  stay  problems,  need  assistance,  or  are  of   fiduciary  import   •  Management  team  should  agend  Board  mee@ngs   – Need  exposure  to  Board  for  two-­‐way  trust   •  But  can  be  shocked/demo@vated  by  frank  Board  discussions   – Present/discuss  their  part  of  the  business,  but  not  stay   for  internal  Board  discussions  
  13. 13. Thank  you!   QuesSons?  

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