Startup Boards: Getting the Most Out of Your Board of Directors

Overview

Let's face it, as founders and entrepreneurs you have alot on your plate, from building your product, landing customers,and building a team to managing your finances and raising money. Asyou develop your business, especially after you raise capital, youshould have a board of directors—usually three to sevenindividuals who'll seek your attention and, at times, tell you whatto do. You'll also discover that with the formation of a board comethe inevitable board meetings.

So how ...

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Overview

Let's face it, as founders and entrepreneurs you have alot on your plate, from building your product, landing customers,and building a team to managing your finances and raising money. Asyou develop your business, especially after you raise capital, youshould have a board of directors—usually three to sevenindividuals who'll seek your attention and, at times, tell you whatto do. You'll also discover that with the formation of a board comethe inevitable board meetings.

So how does an entrepreneur manage this beast called the board,which has many heads, and even more opinions? Indeed, dealing withthis aspect of a startup can be tricky for anyone. That's why BradFeld—a Boulder, Colorado–based entrepreneur turnedventure capitalist—and seed investor Mahendra Ramsinghani havewritten Startup Boards. In it, they skillfully demystifyboard dynamics and the inner workings of a boardroom for today'sentrepreneur.

Establishing an objective outside group is essential forstartups, especially to keep you on track, provide you with supportand advice, call you out when you flail, and, in some cases, saveyou from yourself. Here, you'll not only gain a betterunderstanding of the softer dynamics involved with startup boards,but you'll also become familiar with the various legal andgovernance aspects associated with them.

Along the way, Feld and Ramsinghani detail the best practicesthat can make startup boards more effective. They, along withtwenty other entrepreneurs, board members, and lawyers, share theirreal-world experience in this area, and provide examples of whatworks, and, equally as important, what doesn't. From proactivelybuilding a high-performing board and running more productivemeetings to learning by sitting on the boards of otherorganizations, this book offers valuable insights into a necessarypart of any successful startup.

Engaging and informative, Startup Boards is a practicalguide to one of the most important pieces of the startuppuzzle.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118443668
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/31/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 593,915
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Brad Feld has been an early-stage investor andentrepreneur for over twenty years. Prior to cofounding FoundryGroup—a Boulder, Colorado–based early-stage venturecapital fund that invests in information technology companies allover the United States—he cofounded Mobius Venture Capitaland, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures. Feld is also acofounder of Techstars and has been active with several nonprofitorganizations. He is a nationally recognized speaker on the topicsof venture capital investing and entrepreneurship.

Mahendra Ramsinghani has over fifteen years of investmentand entrepreneurial experience and has led investments in overfifty seed stage companies. He helped draft the underlyinglegislation for a fund-of-funds for the state of Michigan. For hiscontributions, Ramsinghani's immigration to the United States wasapproved under "national interest." He is the author of TheBusiness of Venture Capital (Wiley). His articles and blogshave been published in Forbes, MIT Technology Review,Thomson Reuters, and the Huffington Post. His educationalbackground includes a BE in electronics and MBA in finance andmarketing from the University of Pune, India.

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Table of Contents

FOREWORD ix

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii

PART ONE: OVERVIEW 1

CHAPTER ONE
Introduction 3

CHAPTER TWO
What Is a Board? 11

PART TWO: BUILDING YOUR BOARD 23

CHAPTER THREE
Creating Your Board 25

CHAPTER FOUR
Recruiting Board Members 49

CHAPTER FIVE
The Formal Structure of the Board 63

CHAPTER SIX
Aligning Your Board 71

CHAPTER SEVEN
Is an Advisory Board Useful? 77

PART THREE: THE BUSINESS OF THE BOARD MEETING 85

CHAPTER EIGHT
The Actual Board Meeting 87

CHAPTER NINE
Motions and Votes 101

CHAPTER TEN
Legal Challenges 111

PART FOUR: COMMUNICATIONS 115

CHAPTER ELEVEN
Managing Ongoing Expectations 117

CHAPTER TWELVE
Trying New Things 131

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
Communication Confl icts 135

CHAPTER FOURTEEN
CEO Transitions 143

PART FIVE: TRANSACTIONS 151

CHAPTER FIFTEEN
Financings 153

CHAPTER SIXTEEN
Selling a Company 157

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
Going Public 167

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
Going Out of Business 173

CHAPTER NINTEEN
Conclusion 179

APPENDIX

Checklist 1: Preparing Your Board Package 183

Checklist 2: Conducting Your Board’s Annual Assessment185

Checklist 3: Question for Your Legal Counsel 187

Checklist 4: Should You Get Directors and Offi cers Insurance89

Checklist 5: Stock Option Grants and 409A Valuation 191

NOTES 195

INTERVIEWS 199

BIBLIOGRAPHY 201

ABOUT THE AUTHORS 203

INDEX 205

Excerpt from Startup CEO 211

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