What exactly does a startup advisor do? tl;dr -> Some combination of advice, introductions, investment, and social proof
How many advisors do you need? tl;dr -> Enough
How do you find an advisor? tl;dr -> From your network and cold calls
How do you know if you’ve found the right one? tl;dr -> Try before you buy
How do you get an advisor onboard? tl;dr -> Schmooze
Does an advisor take a board seat? tl;dr -> Maybe but probably not
How do you compensate an advisor – and how much? tl;dr -> 0.1 to 2% common stock options vested over 1-2 years
When and how do you get rid of an advisor? tl;dr -> When they don’t add value at the level they originally agreed to
These are some of the questions we’ll examine starting in this interview with Amy Chang “who ran product for Google Analytics before founding data-driven networking startup Accompany in 2013″ and who “counts dozens of luminaries among her advisors.”
More on Advisors
I came across this pair of posts on the VentureHacks blog several years ago and I still haven’t seen a better summary of what startup advisors are all about.
How Long Will It Take to Succeed?
How long does it take to build a successful startup? Wil Schroter has launched 9 companies. He suggests: Year 1) Starting is relatively straightforward and so can lead to unrealistic expectations. Year 2) This is where things get hard as revenues fail to materialise and debts can kick-in. The antidote he says is to “turn your anxiety toward achieving micro milestones and chipping away at growth day in and day out.” Year 3) You’re doing well if you’re still struggling to break-even. Year 4) You’re doing extremely well if things start to come together in year 4. If you’ve haven’t flamed or given-up by now (like 90% of startups!) then those first 3 years of hell will begin to pay-off sometime in this fourth year. Good luck!
Peter Diamandis is one of my favourite people. He believes we live in a world of abundance and that the opportunities have never been greater. But success is however dependent on the following mindsets and tools: 1) Understanding Exponentials, 2) Seeing the World as Abundant (vs. Scarce), 3) Leveraging Exponential Technologies, 4) Having a Massively Transformative Purpose, 5) Tapping the Crowd for Expertise, Solutions & Capital, 6) Launching Your Vision, Experimenting & Disrupting Yourself. Take heed.
Corporate Venture Capital in Europe
A source of capital often overlooked by startups is “an investment by a corporate (fund) into external startups in order to make a financial return or to gain a competitive advantage” – otherwise know as corporate venture capital. OMAR MOHOUT explains how it works and why it “has a bright future in Europe and will gain influence in the coming years.”
Wall Street Wants Your Data
Selling data is not new. And neither is building value on the back of data harvested by a startup. Matt Turck however uncovers a new angle for startups to build value in the form of data for Wall Street in general and hedge funds in particular. Very smart insights here that can apply even more widely to other verticals.
All the Public Pitch Decks in One Place
Andy Sparks is compiling a list of high-profile startup pitch decks that have made it into the public domain. All the usual caveats apply of course like times change, circumstances change, people change, blah. But you could do worse as a starting point if you’re looking for ideas on how to structure your pitch deck.
Disrupting Wealth Management
Here’s an interesting take by Julia Chen on how WealthFront is disrupting the stuffy old-world of wealth management. Among others, they’ve done an exceptional job of pivoting boldly, making investing viral and relentlessly experimenting with the customer experience.
Fintech Disruption Roars in China & Evolves in the West
China accounted for more than 50% of total global fintech investment dollars in the first 9 months of 2016. Citi report on how those fintech dollars are disrupting the world of finance.
Open Banking Opportunities
Daoud Fakhri highlights some of the key opportunities for banks by embracing the upcoming Open Banking (EU-mandated PSD2) regulations that kick-in January 2018. The alternative he says is not pretty. The three options are: 1) Bank as a marketplace where they “transform themselves into portals, using their open APIs to allow third party services to be accessed from within their own platforms. 2) Bank as a facilitator where they open up their APIs to promote the creation of new products and services from external developers. 3) Bank as a service where they become fully fledged support services for fintech specialists and other third parties.
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