A start-up Board of Directors

Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

The Board of Directors of a startup is one of the most useful tools for the company, if executed correctly. We, at DILA Capital, wanted to put together a document for our portfolio companies that we can use a guideline for Board Best Practices. We asked our founders, investors and fellow board members for their advice on the best practices for startup boards and have decided to publish it so it is available to all founders, not just those in our portfolio. The idea of this post is for everyone who reads can send us their comments and inputs, so we can create an ever broader and more complete guideline. I hope the experiment works.

The goal of a board meeting should be to maximize the value you (the founding team)get while minimizing the amount of time you spend preparing. It should therefore focus less on results and more on strategy and problem solving. The best boards are those who are very close to the Management Team and have constant communication. It is the Management Team’s job to have a close relationship with their board members. The closer they are, the more helpful they will be.

Advise on how to keep your board members close, engaged and interested:

A good board meeting should not last for more than two hours. You must have an agenda and stick to it. Most startup boards meet quarterly and in-person.

Tips for a great board meeting:

One of the most important things for a Board Meeting is sharing all key elements of the business effectively and efficiently. And to this end, a well-structured deck is the right tool to achieve this. A board’s job is to give advice, help solve problems, reinforce best practices, and so on. When all of this is on topic, it can help guide you through the company-building process. We believe this is a great general structure for Board Meetings:

  1. Summary

2. Results

3. Operations

4. Legal and Corporate Manners

General tips for Management Teams during Boards:

Looking forward to you comments and input.

Alejandro Diez Barroso. General Partner @ DILA Capital, a venture capital firm focused on Latin American and Hispanic startups.

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