Advisory boards · Advisors

What Type of Advisory Board Due Diligence Do You Do Prior to Acceptance?

Jason Gorham Corporate Executive Recruiter at Aflac

December 7th, 2015

I'm curious what do people look for or at prior to accepting a advisory board member role?

Peter Kestenbaum Advisor, Investor, Mentor to Emerging firms

December 7th, 2015

Advisory Boards are either biggest bargain for startups or useless waste of your equity. I have had clients that have gone from startup to 100M+ valuation (that was right in my wheelhouse and I added significant value to) and clients that I called periodically to remind them I was there to help them (and subsequently resigned my role). It all has to do with the expectation and agreement up front.. If you clearly state what you need and the advsor clearly states what value he can add and there is a match that goes a long way toward the qualification process. Good advisors understand they have to add value.. More specifically any good advisor will agree with you to a 30-60-90 day trial ( the agreement gets written with a cliff ) so he is not going to sign up to work with you unless he knows he can really help you. So to answer your question about how to qualify an advisor, do an agreement as to what your mutual expectations are... if they work you are good to go... if not no harm no foul... Peter Kestenbaum

Lonnie Sciambi

December 11th, 2015

I have a previously written several blog posts about selecting advisors, but tow in particular apply here.  This one - - touches on 6 crucial areas you should focus on in your due diligence process.

However, I agree with Peter's comments. No matter the due diligence you do, selecting an advisor or creating an advisory board will only be as good as the objectives you have for using them.  And this second post - - addresses how to ensure that your advisory board is not "all dressed up with nowhere to go!"  Good luck with it.  Hope this helps.

Daniel-Flavius Lucica Innovative Technology Leader

December 15th, 2015

Having an advisory role is similar, if not more important, to making a financial investment, thus the same VC investment standard due diligence is necessary. After all, an adviser will be investing his/hers time, which is his/hers most valuable asset. One can always make more money, but can't really buy more time.

I have seen VCs that would ask for much more equity if the investment deal was not just about money. That speaks volumes of how much they value their time.

I am talking about the real thing and not just a standard meeting once a month for reporting purposes.