What every founder needs on their board

One minute briefing: So, you’re growing your company and want to shake up your board – or appoint a new one. Where do you start?

by Rebecca Burn-Callander

When it comes to assembling a board of advisors, every company will have different needs depending on their size, the industry they operate in, and the strengths demonstrated by the existing management team. However, some universal truths persist.

Mina Mutafchieva is a Partner at Dawn Capital, the specialist software investor, and a former McKinsey exec. She has helped hundreds of start-ups to structure their boards, as well as being a seasoned board member who has advised many companies over the years. According to Mutafchieva, every founder needs to consider five things when getting a board together.

Don’t get carried away…

“You don’t need more than five people on your board,” says Mutafchieva. “Once you get above six people, a board can become dysfunctional and difficult to run.” She says that founders must work out exactly what’s missing from their companies, in terms of skills, contacts and experience. By sticking to five spots or fewer, founders must then be disciplined in their appointments, finding brilliant individuals who perhaps cover two or even more gaps.

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