Learning to be an effective leader in the boardroom

All VCs know that investing in a startup goes well beyond writing a check. To help a portfolio company succeed requires the investment of a VC’s time. Young companies need advice and leadership, which is why many VCs sit on the boards of their portfolio companies. And it’s also why NVCA held its first-ever Board Service Excellence Forum on September 15 in Austin, TX. This one-day learning seminar provided 80+ VC investors with actionable insight on how to become more effective leaders. The audience heard from accomplished CEOs within the Austin community and their board members with panels covering how to guide a challenged company led by Latham & Watkin’s Scott Craig, and the CEO’s perspective moderated by SVB’s Dax Williamson, Rounding out the event were discussions on paths to exits and navigating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I).


Six key takeaways for VCs:

  1. Alignment is key. Startup CEOs and their boards work best when everyone is on the same page in terms of company goals, progress, challenges, and strategy. Julia Cheek, CEO of Everly Health, works to understand each of her board members’ communication preferences and tailors her approach accordingly to ensure important information flows easily to all stakeholders.
  2. Be prepared. Come to board meetings to keep up with the latest company milestones and issues. Use the board meeting to tackle big decisions, not updates. Co-founder of ICON, Evan Loomis, provides his board with mid-quarter memos that keep his board abreast of critical (Read more...)