Startup-Advisor Dating

I get about 4 emails a week from law students and attorneys with questions about launching a law practice. It’s an awkward and humbling experience for me. I’m not a law practice management expert and several years ago I had many of these same questions. But I try to answer as many emails and calls as I can.

I wish more startup veterans would do the same and provide mentorship to new entrepreneurs, such as taking a seat on a startup’s advisory board. A lot of the startups I work with placer a higher value on mentorship than investment capital, and would have no issue with a small equity grant to a good advisor. Do you really think startups flock to TechStars and Y Combinator for the cash?

Why does it feel like most successful startup participants have their success and fall back into the shadows of the city? Maybe it’s just Dallas. But I’m pretty sure this problem exists in most startup communities.

There are successful startup veterans in every community. They just don’t engage with the local startup scene for one reason or another. But I’m willing to bet these startup veterans received good advice along the way–or wish they did–and would be willing to return the favor.

I think it’s time to start a Startup-Advisor Dating service, in the spirit of Founder Dating. In addition to the hacker meets pixel pusher events, how about hacker & pixel pusher meet advisor events?

Maybe there’s one around that I’m missing. Anybody?

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15 thoughts on “Startup-Advisor Dating

  1. I believe one of the more successful entrepreneurial social interaction/community building initiatives is TechCocktail. – http://techcocktail.com/home/

    Although the after-hour get together parties are meant to be a bit less formal and a means to inject some camaraderie and fun into a sometimes socially detached and sobering high tech region, I know from speaking with Eric Olsen (one of the founders) that the gatherings have networking and follow-on mentorship as a primary objective.

  2. I believe one of the more successful entrepreneurial social interaction/community building initiatives is TechCocktail. – http://techcocktail.com/home/

    Although the after-hour get together parties are meant to be a bit less formal and a means to inject some camaraderie and fun into a sometimes socially detached and sobering high tech region, I know from speaking with Eric Olsen (one of the founders) that the gatherings have networking and follow-on mentorship as a primary objective.

  3. Ryan, great post and I agree. Make it happen 🙂

  4. Ryan, great post and I agree. Make it happen 🙂

  5. Agree, great post. Make it so 🙂

  6. Agree, great post. Make it so 🙂

  7. Ryan, Avid reader of your post. I currently have a startup in the works (seeking funding in Q3). Recently brought on someone as an advisor. We have been meeting roughly hour/week, and he has been providing tremendous value. What do you think, or what do other readers of your blog think are a fair equity grant amount? I have no issue doing this, as you mentioned above, but I'm not sure how much is too much/too little. Any thoughts?

  8. Ryan, Avid reader of your post. I currently have a startup in the works (seeking funding in Q3). Recently brought on someone as an advisor. We have been meeting roughly hour/week, and he has been providing tremendous value. What do you think, or what do other readers of your blog think are a fair equity grant amount? I have no issue doing this, as you mentioned above, but I'm not sure how much is too much/too little. Any thoughts?

  9. In New York, we have incubators for startups and a relatively strong vc community to act as mentors

  10. In New York, we have incubators for startups and a relatively strong vc community to act as mentors

  11. Tom – Usually starts around a quarter of a point (0.25%) and may vest monthly (usually without a cliff).

  12. Tom – Usually starts around a quarter of a point (0.25%) and may vest monthly (usually without a cliff).

  13. I'm in total agreement. Dallas is in definite need and I'll pitch in in any way I can to help make it happen.

  14. I'm in total agreement. Dallas is in definite need and I'll pitch in in any way I can to help make it happen.

  15. Ryan:

    Loved your post – found it as I was doing some research about “advisorship”. Great concept.

    http://smokejumperstrategy.com/archive/hanging-out-my-advisor-shingle/

    Cheers,
    Brent

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