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The power of an advisory board in startups

By January 29, 2016 May 10th, 2017 No Comments

We honorably announce the addition of our new advisors, Walter Gilbert, PhD, Biotechnology/ business advisor and Michael Fox, MD, PhD, and an advisor in Neurology and Movement Disorders. This is an amazing milestone because an advisory board is fruitful yet difficult to establish in startups.

Mint Labs adds a great team of advisers to help us in our mission.

We have the pleasure to add two great experts in their respective fields to our team of advisors.

  • Walter Gilbert, PhD, a biochemist, physicist, molecular biology pioneer, and Nobel laureate. He is a co-founder of the biotech companies Biogen and Myriad Genetics. He has also been a venture capitalist, so he sees all the angles of the business. He brings great expertise and experience in translating science into successful biotechnology companies.
  • Michael Fox, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Laboratory for Brain Network Imaging and Modulation, as well as Associate Director at the Deep Brain Stimulation lab and Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. His knowledge in imaging and utility to aid diagnosis and prognosis of patients with Parkinson’s and other movement disorders will be of great importance in the future shaping of our products and services.

The chain of successful entrepreneurs through advising and mentoring

The role of the advisors in startups is essential. Great advisors with a lot of experiences and expertise complement the skills of the founders. Especially when the founder is the first-time entrepreneur, advisors guide them to help avoid mistakes and to expand the network of investors, partners and/or clients. Also, great advisors give credibility to a young startup. An ambitious startup proposes a novel vision and new business models, it may be difficult to understand and believe for some investors or clients. The endorsement and guidance from well known advisors in the field make the startup stronger in the eyes of investors.

Statistically Startups with at least one good advisor performed better than ones without any advisor. According to a research, 33% of the founders who had been mentored by successful entrepreneurs built a top-performing companies. This probability is over three times better than other startups. In fact, there are plenty of stories about formal or informal advice in the early days of top-performing companies. Steve Jobs mentored Mark Zuckerberg. Mark mentored Drew Houston, the CEO of Dropbox, among many other examples.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/22/mentors-are-the-secret-weapons-of-successful-startups/

http://www.fastcompany.com/3042436/tech-forecast/dropbox-versus-the-world

Forming an advisory board is like a marriage

The Business Development Bank of Canada revealed the performance of small and medium sized businesses with advisors. The growth rate of SMBs with an advisory board is three times more than others in three years. Despite this clear difference, 57% of the entrepreneurs believed it took too much time and effort to build an advisory board and only 6% of those surveyed had an advisory board.

http://business.financialpost.com/entrepreneur/advisory-boards-boost-canadian-small-businesses-but-only-6-use-one-study-says

Steve Blank, a startup guru, suggested that founders should think about their board strategy as a balance between the amounts of control given to outsiders versus the great advice outsiders can bring. “Date advisors, marry board members”. It requires a lot of trials to meet the best advisor. Even after forming the advisor, there must be some efforts to keep a good connection with the advisors. However, the good relationship with the advisor will bring a huge happiness.

http://steveblank.com/2013/07/09/dont-give-away-your-board-seats/