Founders! We’re very excited to announce a major product improvement. At CoFoundersLab we’re dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build strong founding teams. Today I’m happy to announce that in addition to helping you find the right co-founders, CoFoundersLab can also help match you up with the right advisers.
Advisers can be incredibly valuable to building your company, particularly if you’re a first-time founder. Both at my last startup and at CoFoundersLab, I’ve been lucky enough to attract some of the best advisers I could have ever dreamed of including Bill Wade, Dr. Julie Edge, and Carl Leubsdorf Jr. - thank you! You have to really work at maintaining relationships with your advisers to extract value for your company. This means keeping your advisers regularly updated, knowing what decisions to pull them into by matching challenges up appropriately with their strengths, and articulating your expectations up-front. As a founder, I also benefit from being an adviser to other early stage companies. For example, I’m currently advising Programming.com. Each time I meet with them, it helps me keep my skills fresh in an industry outside of my own, as well as learn new tools and methods their team may have discovered.
CoFoundersLab previously allowed members to create profiles as either an adviser or mentor. We’ve combined those into a single profile type called Advisers. There are many different definitions of an adviser and how this role compares to that of a mentor; here’s my personal take. A mentor helps you, maybe over many years, through different stages/companies/projects, and typically there’s no economic relationship. Mentors are accountable to you and watch out for your personal interest. Conversely, advisers are focused on the interest of the company and the scope of the advice you receive is focused around how to grow and improve your company. Advisers will typically expect to be compensated by cash, equity or a combination of both. In this release we’ve created a new adviser profile type which helps includes information to help you choose the best adviser. In this example, you’ll notice additional information about Michael Krupit that you won’t find on a founder profile including things like the number of startups they’ve advised, how they expect to be compensated, and what specific areas of the business they’re qualified to advise you on.
Currently, it’s free to create an adviser profile, but this will likely change in future. Also, unlike Founder profiles that can be created by anyone, creating an Adviser profile is by invitation only. We’re taking extra care to ensure we have well qualified Advisers in order to protect our community. We’re also watching out for people who are more of a service provider (i.e. lawyers, accountants, etc.) attempting to game the system for customers. We’re still trying to figure out the best method for qualifying Advisers. For now, unless you’ve been invited during the signup process, you’ll be asked to apply. If approved you'll receive a code that you’ll need in order to proceed in creating your profile. We’re approving each person manually, we appreciate your patience if you’re applying.
We’re on the lookout for organizations who have pre-qualified advisers, i.e ICSB. If you’d like to suggest organizations like these, please contact us here. As with co-founder matching, building the critical mass takes time. We appreciate your patience as we attract the best entrepreneurs who are ready to advise you in building your company. If you’d like to apply to become an Adviser to the largest community of founders online, you can get started here.
If you previously had an adviser or mentor profile on CoFoundersLab, watch out for an email coming soon where you’ll be invited to apply and refresh your profile.
We wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year, and may 2014 be the year you launch your dream startup.