Advisors · Advisory boards

Attracting startup advisors

Ivana Petkova entrepreneur

January 11th, 2019

Hi all, my startup has finally reached to a point where we need to start looking for external advisors but wondering where to start. How do you normally approach this process and what type of equity or other returns do you offer? Any tips will be highly appreciated. Thanks!

Christopher Conrad Taking great ideas, breaking them down, making them amazing businesses

January 11th, 2019

Hi Ivana!

That's an amazing stage to be at. You've done well and now you can shine!

Advisors have to love your project as much as you do, but also give doses of reality when needed. You want someone who isn't too passive but also someone who can give you a kick in the tail when you need it.

In regards to compensation, it really depends on what they are bringing to the table: Wisdom, connections, investors, etc. all have differing value sets and the more you cut into the pie, the less you will have to give later. I'd start with your team deciding how much you are allocating for future investors, founders shares, and for advisors I usually have seen 10% of the total pie allocated to be divided between your core advisor panel.

Last bit of advice, don't just go for a profile, go for passion and an advisor who can contribute. There's a lot of companies that have rock star advisors, but high profile doesn't mean it'll be best for your company.

Hope that helps!

Robert Warren Hess Entrepreneur, business owner, investor, seasoned early stage advisor, corporate secretary, operation

January 11th, 2019

Hi Ivana. A good advisory board can be a big help. This book provides some good insights on professional advisory boards -

Joan Moreno Founder at Soundcrawlers

January 14th, 2019

Hi Ivana, the best way to contact Advisors is through Connectors. Meet with people, Connectors, that know your target Advisor. Explain them your business and then ask them to put you in contact with the Advisor. Approaching Advisors through Connectors is better than trying to meet with them directly. From the point of view of an Advisor you will gain more trust if someone that they know talks about you and your business. Good luck!

Nick Yocca Founder Nick Yocca Law Firm

January 16th, 2019

Advisors are ideally retained with a proper agreement package, which you prepare in advance and use over and over for all advisors, usually with some equity upside and customary assurances about NOT being an officer or director and thus being NOT exposed to liability like one. The number of shares is normally up to you to set. Advisors normally do not quibble about the amount or what fraction of a percentage it may represent if it sounds substantial. Last, it is commonplace to apply a rule that the equity only vests and becomes valuable in installments over a period of years of continuous advisory service.

Steve Lehman Investor, Entrepreneur

January 16th, 2019

Find someone who can value add and has expertise and contacts in your business. You can start an advisory board and allocate some options in the Company to advisors. Options should have a vesting schedule.

Karl Sigerist Investor | Advisor

January 17th, 2019

Hi Ivana, check out the Founder / Advisor Standard Template (FAST) from the Founders Institute

Evan Lodge

January 11th, 2019

Hey Ivana - if an advisor does not believe in your business enough to invest in it, they probably wont me great advisors... The top companies out there do not pay their advisors (unless they are board members).

Remi Mičiulis Looking for Angel investors

January 17th, 2019

E.g. We have internal Advisor and she is paid in equity shares.

So do not need external advisors, at least for now

QuantsEdge Advisory Strategic Business Advisory

Last updated on January 19th, 2019

Hi Ivana,

Glad to know about your startup!

Always look-out for advisers who have exposure to work with startups and offers value added services under one umbrella. This will decrease the time consumed and cost while also helping you in right decision making. Always keep in mind, fund raise is not a problem but solution and how to make best out of it is a big hiccup face by startups these days as they cant afford a full time CFO to take care of it, where our role comes in to manage your business as well as financial that works simultaneously. To know more about us kindly visit or write to us

Don't see your company as a owner but an investor!

srinidhi kashyap 10 years of techno,business and sales entreprenuer

January 11th, 2019

Hi Ivanka, I am Srinidhi Kashyap from India, running a IT start up from India from past 6 years. Stakes can be discussed with cofounder. Generally, working partners shall get equal stakes, investors get some percent. If organisation is bootstrapped then also stakes can be negotiated. Find a cofounder who shall compliment your start up and improvise your ideas and vision. Happy entrepreneurship