Some say it takes five years and twenty million dollars to train a venture capitalist. This last quarter, I crossed that five-year mark. And while I’m not sure about that $20M number (my learning curve is still vertical when it comes to fund management, board responsibilities, and relationship management; perhaps it always will be…), one thing I’ve definitely learned is that “becoming” a VC is just that: an ongoing becoming, a journey, a continuous hypothesis test.
To that end, I host a quarterly roundtable session with fellow next-generation VCs on becoming a better board member. These “get-real” gatherings bring together diverse members of our early-stage investment community who I trust to share best practices, discuss lessons learned, and provide objective feedback.
So far we’ve covered:
Building the right option strategy: Finding the right balance between dilution and having the assets to attract talent is critical at the early stage. What are best practices? What are the consequences at the next round of funding?
Applying a legal prism to supporting early-stage companies: Board members have a fiduciary duty to our LPs. How do we help from a legal perspective with issues such as planning for the long term and assessing disputes as the team grows?
How to best prepare for and engage in early-stage (often working) board meetings: Board basics with a twist: How to be effective when teams are small and the future is (or seems) wide open.
We’ve drawn from our Bee bench of trusted advisors to get the best content for these meetings, which, so far, have been led by our long-time attorney, by an experienced angel investor, and by a many-time early-stage board member. One of our trusted advisors will be leading the next meeting on the psychodynamics of early-stage boards.
Would you or someone you know benefit from attending? Do you have other topics that we should cover? Want to chat about why we take board seats at inception? Hit reply, email me at email@example.com or call me at (208) 860-7855. I’ll be around for the next five years.
Photo by Nikita Vantorin