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Brad Feld, Founder, Foundry Group

Interview with Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group

“The best board members “work for the CEO as long as they support the CEO.” If they don’t support her, they should do something (which could mean changing the CEO, or working hard with her to get back to a place of support). For me – that’s the fundamental “trick” to being an effective board member”

Bradley Tusk, Founder, Tusk Strategies, Tusk Holdings, Tusk Ventures

Interview with Bradley Tusk, Managing Partner, Tusk Ventures

“For us, we really try to focus on and add value around our core skill set both because founders want and need it and it’s something we know really well. That can happen as a board member (we have seats currently on four boards) but doesn’t necessarily need to – we just need to be able to offer our expertise and ideas and make sure they’re taken seriously. Obviously, transparency and honesty is the key to a healthy relationship between the board and the CEO”.

Giuseppe Donvito, Partner, P101 Ventures

Interview with Giuseppe Donvito, Partner, P101 Ventures

“In my experience adding value as a board member has always been key; this means contributing to value creation with a very pragmatic, hands-on approach. Giving strategic counselling to companies’ boards, looking for potential clients and partnerships and contributing to the development of strategic business agreements.”

Jing (Gabriel) Zhong, Investment Director, Cash Capital

Interview with Jing (Gabriel) Zhong, Investment Director, Cash Capital

“The relationship often falls in two ways: sometimes investors become micromanagers haunting the growth of the companies, sometimes investors can’t even get involved. The first thing to remember is to keep the right distance, stay on board, but don’t give companies the feeling of being micromanaged. Try give a call every other week on daily matters, give some advice but control the big picture”.

Marc Wesselink, Partner, VentureRock

Interview with Marc Wesselink, Co-Founder, VentureRock

“We only work with seasoned entrepreneurs who went through the rocky ride themselves and will always adding value during board meetings. These board meetings are always as transparent as possible and is only focusing around strategy”.

Matthew Le Merle, Managing Partner, Fifth Era

Interview with Matthew Le Merle, Managing Partner, Fifth Era

“Every investor is different and their personal skill sets will also be different. Good investors know what they are good at and what they are not good at. Then they figure out how to get their companies everything they need. Even if they themselves are not good at it”

Nell Watson, IEEE, Singularity University

Interview with Nell (Eleanor) Watson, Co-Founder, QuantaCorp

“Many excellent firms have their follow-on funding pulled simply because the market needs time to mature until they can cross the chasm, and the VC needs to close the fund. All of that technology, carefuly nurtured team, and a great culture ends up wasted, or acqui-hired for a pittance, whilst the staff ‘phone it in’ until they can vest and escape”

Pedro Ceia, Managing Director, Faraday Venture Partners

Interview with Pedro Ceia, Managing Director, Faraday Venture Partners

“We deal with eventual conflicts and/or lack of alignment with the CEO, before we enter the deal. Our approach to deals is made in such way that everyone’s interests are fully aligned, and we use very straight forward and measurable metrics regarding performance. We keep an open channel with all our portfolio, so these issues can be approached in different angles”

Pete Hartigan

Interview with Pete Hartigan, MP, Marketplace Funds

“Having been on both sides – an approach of “no surprises” helps create a productive work environment. Like any good relationships – the key is communication (proactively), & getting into business with people with the same values”

Richard Webb, CEO, Cataliize, Venture Capital Companies / Venture Capital Firms

Interview with Richard Webb, CEO, Cataliize

“We believe the best cultures are ones which empower the founders to be focused and collaborative. We have simplified and productised our management reporting systems which give all stakeholders access to consistent objective data. Our partners success is directly related to the founders and all stakeholders interpretation of the same operating data”

Sébastien Derhy, Founder and Former VC

Interview with Sébastien Derhy, Former VC

“If I had to choose, companies with an average performance would probably be the ones where I would invest less time, because by definition, things move slower for them”

Tim Mayeur, VC

Interview with Tim Mayeur, Angel Investor

“Realize first and foremost that they are people; treat them as such. If I’m making an early stage investment, I’m making an investment in the founders and I only benefit when they succeed. With exits averaging 5-7 years, that’s one hell of a journey that I’ll be a part of and I go into it considering them friends”