My idle thoughts on tech startups
Why Entrepreneur Advisors Matter
As the holiday season is behind us and 2015 is firmly underway, we wanted to take a moment to both announce and celebrate the collection of top entrepreneurs who have agreed to return as our Entrepreneur Advisors. These individuals have all graciously agreed to continue their prior commitments to NextView-backed startups and entrepreneurs.
We’re excited and feel incredibly lucky to have them back on board:
- Niraj Shah & Steve Conine – Co-founders of Wayfair
- David Cancel – Co-founder/CEO of Driftt (Co-founder/CEO of Performable at the time he first joined our group of advisors, after which he became HubSpot’s Chief Product Officer following and acquisition of Performable.)
- Mike Baker – Co-Founder/CEO of DataXu
- Brian Shin – Founder/CEO of Visible Measures
- Stephano Kim – SVP & Chief Data Strategist of Turner (President of [x+1] at the time he first joined our group of advisors)
The Purpose of Entrepreneur Advisors
We frequently tell entrepreneurs that advisors who are just names on a page are kind of a waste of time. We believe the same is true for us here at NextView, which is why we think it’s important to take a second and explain what NextView’s own “Entrepreneur Advisors” do.
When Rob, David, and I started NextView nearly five years ago we thought it was important to enlist a small group of talented entrepreneurs as we built and helped our portfolio over time. These were all folks we’d known for a number of years, and people we respected deeply. Their expertise is focused across the range of software and internet sectors that we focus on here at NextView – from SaaS to e-commerce, ad-tech to mobile.
At their core all of the folks listed above are builders — they have all founded and run exceptional software and internet companies, in some cases multiple times. But we also believe in the ”keiretsu” principle here at NextView. In parallel with their entrepreneur advisor roles with us, many of these individuals are also active angel investors themselves independent of NextView, or else they have relationships with other companies or investment groups. Thus, we can all work in concert within the broader startup ecosystem.
So if they’re not just names on a page, how are these entrepreneur advisors involved with us at NextView and our portfolio companies? Practically speaking they help us in three ways:
- New Investment Opportunities – These advisors sometimes introduce us to new entrepreneurs and new companies we might invest in.
- Insight During Our Due Diligence – We frequently touch base with these people when we are looking at a potential new investment where the advisor has unique insight. In some cases, the advisors’ companies form business relationships with startups NextView is vetting.
- Advice Post-Investment – All of these individuals are busy people with limited bandwidth, but they’re generous enough to periodically provide advice and mentorship to founders in the NextView portfolio.
We’re pleased that as NextView has grown, all of these original entrepreneur advisors have extended their relationship with us.
But … we plan to expand this group slightly with a handful of other high quality folks which we’re equally as excited to introduce publicly. So keep an eye out in the coming weeks and months when we’ll talk more about these additions.