Venture board effectiveness: the relationship between boards and venture growth
Stakeholderz are delighted to kick start our November events programme with Dr Natalia Blagburn for our upcoming webinar on ‘Venture Board Effectiveness – the relationship between boards and venture growth’ on 4 November 2020 at 10.30am
With a background in venture capital and management consulting, Natalia is currently working with the Newcastle Business School where she coaches teams of student entrepreneurs and mentors startup founders whilst teaching starting up, growing and closing ventures. Her work is at the coal-face of entrepreneurship, encouraging and challenging young leaders who are making their way with their businesses. She is a Vice-Chair of the regional branch of the Institute of Directors and has broad board experience, including non-profit, commercial and venture non-exec roles.
Having experienced first-hand how early boards can help propel startups to growth, Natalia has been researching venture boards ever since. In particular, she focuses on understanding the complex interplay between the performance of early ventures and directors’ skills, experiences, behaviours, as well as board purpose, systems and processes.
Natalia is passionate about promoting conversations surrounding boards and why they are so important:
Board added value is unequal: effective venture boards make a huge impact and add value, but this impact varies significantly from venture to venture, even within the same VC investee portfolio, and, sometimes, even when ventures have the same Chair.
Lack of understanding: with over 500 ventures reaching a unicorn status, researchers have the data to better understand the development journey from startup to growth. Boards make a huge impact; however, we know very little about them. Advice and practice on venture board composition and processes have not changed much.
Trends: recent trends originating from the US show highly successful ventures now prefer to remain private, as opposed to doing an IPO. Their boards are founder-heavy as opposed to a traditionally heavy VC presence. Thus, VC firms need to better understand how to govern this new dynamic at the top end of their portfolio.
Having recently completed her doctorate on this topic, she is now on a mission to share what she has learnt from her research, and to help founders get the most out of their investor boards.
Natalia will be talking to our Venture Relations Manager, Megan Snijman, and they will be delving into many aspects including the mismatch of founder-board expectations, differences between a public company board and venture board, how to make a board fit for purpose in terms of structure, what the focus should be, the implications of an ineffective venture board, conflicts of interest, and the unicorn governance dilemma.