a16z Podcast: How to Get the Most from Your Board

If you’ve listened to parts 1 and 2 of this 3-part podcast series (which originally aired on YouTube), you learned whether venture capital is the best source of funding for your startup, and you’ve successfully negotiated a term sheet and put money in your bank account. Congratulations!

Now it’s time to get the most of your venture investor (who will likely take a board set) and the rest of your board over the life of your company. (Sobering and perhaps terrifying statistic: the relationship you build with your venture investor is now on average longer than the length of a typical marriage in the United States.)

In this episode, a16z Managing Partner Scott Kupor shares practices for working with your board over time as it grows from just you, your co-founders and first investor all the way through the time when you are recruiting independent board members in preparation for going public.

Scott answers a16z Deal and Research Partner Frank Chen’s questions about the lifecycle of your board:

  • What do you want from a board?
  • How much should you share with your board, given that the board might have the power to remove you as the CEO?
  • How do you handle situations in which the economic interests of your board members diverge?
  • When should you start recruiting an independent board member? What should you look for?
  • What is a “management carveout” and should you get one?
  • How do you negotiate three different scenarios: a tough “down round” or wind down, a successful acquisition by a bigger company, and (most fun!) an IPO? What do you want from your board in each of these situations?
  • What do you need to understand about the incentives of your investment banker who is taking you public?
  • What are Scott’s key takeaways from his book about raising money from venture capitalists?

Want to learn more? Read Scott’s book Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It.

Previous episodes:

The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments and certain publicly traded cryptocurrencies/ digital assets for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly) is available at https://a16z.com/investments/.

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.