There was a time when a CEO was surrounded by a bevy of willing advisors. An experienced board of directors or a seasoned angel investor was there to keep you from falling on your face and guide you through the rigors and pitfalls of running a company.
But, those days are long gone. It’s all lean start ups and breakneck sprints to market. And, with a new company getting funded every five minutes, seed money coming from crowdfunding and institutional investors overseeing portfolios of 30 companies or more, you can’t get that sort of support anymore. Maybe other experienced independent mentors and advisors exist but how do you find them and how do you work with them? The VCs are sensing the change too; First Round Capital just announced how independent advisors can work with their portfolio of companies.
I’ve advised 50 companies, started a dozen of my own and watched friends either fall down flat or go out and score 10-digit success. And, something became abundantly clear: world class mentors and advisors were vitally important. Without them, companies are far more likely to fail and while today’s CEOs surely have the brains and the guts, they might lack the experience.
That’s why I helped develop and launch Bad Ass Advisors. Imagine having the ability to get answers to questions like “how do I move from Kickstarter backers to being distributed at Best Buy” or “how can my SaaS company build an internal sales culture”. The answer is experienced tech execs (check out some of our who’s who) who can guide your bad ass company in exchange for monthly slivers of equity. Get advice from those who have done it before, truly enjoy advising and mentoring and who have the expertise in the areas you need.
Matching Advisors to Companies
A simple three-step process allows you to get matched with advisors and cut a deal. Our system offers thoughtfully curated, exclusive pairings, and guidelines to keep it all on track. We don’t promote one-hour drive-bys of advice — we believe good advice needs to be thoughtful, researched and ideally comes from people that have been there and have a vested interest in a company’s success.
The Bad Ass Advisor Deal
We’ve created an in-depth agreement that covers your NDA, proprietary rights and details like equity. It’s a win-win for everyone, with terms that are friendly to both the advisor and the company and anyone can download and use it.
A Neutral Environment
We are Switzerland. Our job is not to take sides. We stand in the middle to hook up the best advisors with the best up and coming companies. We collect no fees. We are a complimentary non-binding arbiter in the case of disputes, working toward fair agreements for everyone. We work with qualified incubators, VCs, angels and established companies, starting in Silicon Valley and San Francisco and expanding east as we scale up.
In the end, you can save thousands in legal and consulting fees, and tons of hours of management by making a Bad Ass Advisor Deal.
So Who’s a Bad Ass Advisor?
If you’ve started or been on a exec team that sold a company for $50M or more, are an industry influencer, can work for equity, say you are bad-ass and laugh it off and love working with badass companies — apply.
We started with a charter group of about 100 advisors that we know can help. They have proven it. They are the real deal. Their net worth didn’t come from advising — it came from doing. Advising is now what they love. Sure, they’re busy but are always looking to help and get involved with the next big thing.
Are You A Bad Ass Company?
Of course you are and you can’t have too many great, active advisors on your bench. We’ve uncovered thousands of great stories in person, on Quora and in near every incubator we’ve visited over the past year.
But, how do you attract advisors today? You might get introduced by a friend or investor, or meet someone at an event. An angel investor might offer to advise, but unless you are compensating them a bit more, it’s the money, not the time, you are getting from them. Are they really the best advisor (for you and your company) you can find? Our private, curated network should make all this courting and vetting faster and easier.
Consider joining the dozens of funded companies that have signed on to our soft-launch include Kickstarter darling Next Thing, Happy Inspector and Dispatch. We know we are still raw but consider us and leave whatever ideas and comments below.
Mark Goldstein July 2015