Advisors

Baldwin: Advisors – Stop Screwing Startups

Today’s post of the day comes from Micah Baldwin. Micah isn’t a VC – he’s an entrepreneur, CEO, and experienced mentor (he’s been involved in TechStars since the  beginning.) He has a great rant titled Advisors Stop Screwing Startups. He makes several very important points about how advisors are screwing startups, why they should stop,…

Are People Who Claim To Be “VC Brokers” Legit?

Question: We are looking early stage funding for our startup and came across some people claiming to be “VC Broker”. Is there such a concept in the investing world? It’s highly unlikely that they are legit. I’ve never heard the specific term “VC broker” before and generally don’t think much of people who represent to early…

I Cut The Wrong Deal With An Advisor – Should I Kill It?

Q: I am the co-founder of a startup that is currently in the process of trying to raise an early stage venture round. We recently brought on an advisor who has been incredibly successful in our space and has made introductions to dozens of potential partners and VC firms where he is an investor. He…

What Should I Pay a Recruiter?

Q: When working with a recruiter to hire for VP Engineering, etc. jobs, what are the standard terms I should expect in the recruiter’s contract?  Should there be a time duration in which the new employee should stay with my company prior to the recruiter getting paid? Todays answer is courtesy of Seth Levine, one…

What Are Standard Legal Fee Arrangments For Un-Funded Startups?

Q:  My question is “What is a reasonable compensation package for a startup lawyer/firm”?  I’m now starting a company in Seattle and have been talking with an attorney in Seattle.  After 2-3 meetings, we got around to his compensation proposal and I was a bit shocked. I thought it would be a reasonable equity piece…

Are Advisory Boards Helpful?

Question: Does a Board of Advisors provide much value to a startup company? Would having a Board of Advisors have any impact, negative or positive, on angel or venture capital funding? It’s a lame answer, but “it depends.” We’ve seen the effectiveness of these boards skew all over the map. We’ve seen some that are…

Should A Company Use A Founder’s Spouse As Legal Counsel?

Question: One of our founders (not the majority shareholder) has a wife who is partner at a law firm with great VC connections. We’re setting up as a C-corp, and the question is, would it be dangerous to let our partner’s wife’s firm handle our legal issues? On the one hand, they would definitely keep…

When Is It Appropriate To Bring Your Lawyer Into Your Deal?

Question: For an entrepreneur, when should a lawyer be introduced into the conversation when dealing with Angels and / or VCs? Our Take: This depends a on whom your lawyer is and also who you are. From your question, my assumption would be that you aren’t perfectly comfortable with how your lawyer will “play” in…

How Do You Find A Good Law Firm?

Question: How do you find a good law firm? Which one’s can help me get in touch with VCs? Our Take: There are many good law firms out there doing start up work. What used to be seen as solely a costal practice, has now permeated through out the country. Most major cities have at least one…

Check Your Sketchy “Business Coach’s” References

We get a lot of questions that have “simple answers” and “more complex answers.”  It’s kind of like life – and the simple answers usually trump the more complex ones.  For example, I received the following question the other day by email. I’ve been working on a startup concept for many months now. I have…