Advisors · Advisory boards

Has anyone used ExecRank to source advisors or find advisory roles?

David Berkowitz

August 24th, 2015

I recently got a pitch from ExecRank which helps companies find board members and advisors, and then has members pay about $200/month to search for open board seats and network with other members. I'm skeptical of the model and am more focused on supporting companies I'm already working with right now, but I am curious to hear if anyone's used them and what that experience has been like.

[Update: The answers here are astounding and should give anyone pause before spending any time or money with ExecRank and the like. Thanks all for continuing to share your experiences.]

Denise Corcoran CEO, Leadership & Organizational Game-Changer | CEO Advisor | Consultant | Coach | Growing Leaders that Grow Companies

May 23rd, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Somehow I missed many of the prior updates since March till now.  I also promised to update the group about my experience with ExecRank.

I joined ExecRank the 1st week of Jan.  As of this month, I have downgraded my membership (till next month).  Yes, they do have a downgraded membership not advertised on the website from what I can see.  Maybe it's new.

In the last 5 months, I had somewhere between 40-50 board opportunities opened.  Not one interview to date.  I actually have tracked all opportunities on a spreadsheet and where in the 5 step process (with dates) that ExecRank has before application goes to the interview stage.  Once I started to get visibility to how long it took for my application to move from 1 stage to another, I started to call various managers/directors at ExecRank to get answers why it took so long.

I also had a problem with lack to transparency (except for canned generic emails) in ExecRank with those of us who are footing the bill for ExecRank to stay in business.  I also had a problem with why the companies seeking board members have nothing at stake $$, have no incentives to move forward in a reasonable fashion and to eliminate those not serious.

Some of the things I found out when I probed deeper, especially why the process took so long once an application was "under review," I was told that ExecRank sends as many as 100 applications for one opportunity.  No wonder why no one is getting any interviews!  ExecRank does nothing to really match or select "best fit" candidates for board opportunities from what I can see.  I have no clue on where their value add is.

Final comment ... I did an experiment and actually signed up as a company seeking board advisors.  Again I was curious why it took so long.  I did not carry the experiment all the way.  I got a flurry of broadcast emails about the various advisor days.  Beyond that I did not see any attempt to engage me into the process as a company seeking board members.

I will be canceling at mid June in keeping with their cancellation requirements.  Hope my experience was helpful for someone.

Michael Williams Sr. Mgr, Sales Compensation at AIG Life & Retirement

March 16th, 2016

Sarah Oliver,
It appears that Jonathan Aspature, Chairmen & CEO at Exec Rank is a member of your board since 2014.      I Might be looking too much into this, but something seems off to me by that and your comments.

David Evans Angel Investor

March 28th, 2016

Avoid as a potential advisor. Signed up for over a year, applied to dozens of opportunities, got contacted for one troll looking to raise money (but did not disclose in advance). Don't waste the time, money, and energy. They compile a list of stale opportunities and never follow up with you or the company. When they do contact the company, it's pretty much cold. Most "applications" just expire with no notification. Can find 2/3 of their "openings" by doing a Google search which is how I suspect they get most of their listings. Have requested proof they have done ANY work on my behalf...only want to give me the same sales pitch numbers they used at signup. 

Sam Glassenberg Chief Executive Officer

August 24th, 2015

Based on some quick research I did when they contacted me, it appears to be a total scam. 

Anu Shukla Founder & CEO at RewardsPay Inc.

March 23rd, 2016

I just wanted to provide a bit more color on my experience. I just think that the business model is stacked against those that are paying the monthly fee. It is tempting for them to keep on telling you a meeting or placement is being worked on and is around the corner because they have your credit card. Services like this would be a lot more believable if they only took a success based fee and screened the prospective candidates better. As I signed up for it , I was concerned that it was a waste of time and money. And for me that is exactly what it turned out to be - and I gave it 3 months plus one more for the notice period.
Also, it feels like a "Board mill" with lots of messages and meetings in the works but  no follow through. 

Annette Tonti Founder, President at The Start Exchange

April 19th, 2016

Mark - I had the exact same experience. Left Exec Rank after a few month's trial. I am an active mentor of businesses based on my own network. Nothing from Exec Rank.

Manuj Aggarwal

May 23rd, 2016

I had very similar experience. Lots of applications and a few conversations. Most of the companies are looking for advisors who have "business development" expertise - which translates to - someone who can bring in new sales for early stage startups or new projects. Pretty much waste of time and money.


February 17th, 2017

When they gave me ONE month free (I never paid a dime ) I really looked at the companies Most of the companies are startups -they DO NOT WANT or NEED or can AFFORD advisers- they want free VC money raisers- In fact as I am in VC side-I recognized a couple of company names who had previously come to me for funding that I turned down - they had no money the bank.

THE DEAL: the Companies list FREE -they say they want a board member-if they can get a sucker to raise money for free to salve their ego - great (as I am on a Big Shot Advisory Board -LOL ) . You pay $$200 a month to ER to feel good about yourself ..and they laugh all the way to the bank .

Ran Fuchs Senior executive passionate about new tech.

March 10th, 2017

I was one of their execs for quite a long time. All I will say that I was not impressed. Their best part was their pitch.

Ray Ostroski Vice President-Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Shenandoah Telecommunications Company

January 3rd, 2016

I have used ExecRank to search for paid Board positions for the last year or so and recently landed my first paid board position with a start up company in VA. I am very pleased with the information provided by ExecRank relative to prospective board positions as well as their follow-up once I have applied for board positions. They have been great to work with and I intend to continue to work with ExecRank going forward.