Primer for Building an Effective Board for Growing Startup Companies

Having lived through two successful exit strategies in the last four years, served on a few startup boards, and mentored numerous budding entrepreneurs, I have concluded that putting together a board of directors for new companies that are beyond proof of concept often is not a top priority, but it really should be. In the span of my career, I have witnessed firsthand both functional and dysfunctional boards. This article is a distillation of lessons learned and meant to be a guide for founders of entrepreneurial startups.

This article provides a high-level overview of some key questions and issues that may confront startup founders, and are in no manner meant as a substitute for recent literature available in the market, such as the excellent comprehensive book on this subject, Startup Boards: Getting the Most Out of Your Board of Directors, by Brad Feld and Mahendra Ramsinghani. Nor should the company’s founder fail to consult the regulatory framework established by the SEC, or seek legal and financial advice offered by a general counsel or a management services firm.