How to Create Board of Directors:
5 Critical Roles for Your Startup
The right Board of Directors will have a huge impact on the viability of your startup. Choose wisely and you’ll sail through some of the challenges you face as a new business – choose poorly and you’ll struggle, no matter how great your concept is. While it is tempting to fill the positions with people you know, your friends and family may not have the skills or objectivity you need to round out your skill set.
If you want to know how to create your board of directors, and fill positions for several roles such as VP, CFO, CIO, CISO, CLO and CCO, look for self-starters who have true expertise to bring to the table for your startup and seek to fill these five critical roles right away:
Chairman of the Board: The Big Boss
This may or may not be you; this position should be filled by someone with the business savvy to make tough decisions and the ability to see the big picture for your business. In some organizations, the Chairman of the Board is also the Chief Executive Officer for the company, playing a hands-on role in day to day activities and development.
Your other startup board of directors members can be labeled in a variety of ways, but to make sure that all of your possibilities are covered consider including the following people within your Board:
Chief Financial Officer (CFO): The Money PERSON
This person may or may not have an accounting background, but they should be able to have a firm understanding of all aspects of the business, from your HR to your supply costs and expenses. Your CFO needs to be able to strategically employ your assets and make recommendations based on the input provided by your accounting and related staffers. An understanding of the complexities involved in the funding and operation of a business is a must, as is the ability to say “no” to some expenses and possibilities.
Chief Information Officer (CIO): The Techie
You can hire an IT team and web designer, but having a tech savvy professional leading up your tech and information management teams is a must. From securing your proprietary data and protecting customer information to coming up with innovative ways for you to interact with and reach your target prospects, this key team member needs to be able to make connections and oversee a constantly evolving side of your business. If you’re not technically adept, you won’t be able to tell if you are deploying your assets wisely or if you are leaving your business open to hackers and competitors – you need someone who is immersed in technology to oversee your information.
CHIEF InFORMATION SECURITY OFFICER (CISO): Security
This is a newly popularized position that could eventually become a board position. As Angel Kings has invested in several top companies within industries like biotechnology and cybersecurity, we're noticing more companies adding this position to the board of directors.
Chief Legal Officer (CLO): The Rainmaker
This role may not be filled by someone who is on site every day, but having an attorney on your side to protect your interests will help you as you startup and grow. Ideally, this key player will have the ability to not only protect your existing assets, but spot new possibilities and prospects. A strong business or sales background, extroverted personality and the ability to close up any possible loophole is a must for this strategic team member.
While your individual startup needs will vary, making sure you have startup directors to oversee each of these important areas can help you as you grow and scale your business. It can be difficult to hand over some of the control you’re accustomed to, but as your startup grows, these key players will be able to support your vision and ensure your success.
Chief creative Officer (CCO): The Dreamer
At least one member of your team needs to be your visionary, your creative leader and the one who comes up with imaginative solutions to existing issues. The ability to dream, imagine and create without limitations is a must; think Walt Disney, Richard Branson, and the engineering team that brought the Apollo 13 crew home. Your visionary could be from the creative field, from marketing or even from engineering – the ability to conceive and idea and then relate it to others is a must for the person who will head up your creative team. Having a creative type as one of your startup executives ensures that you never stop dreaming and growing.
Secretary of the board
The secretary of the board is a role that provides the Board of Directors with accountability. The secretary of the official scheduler, organizer, and minutes coordinator. This isn't your traditional "secretary." The secretary is there to provide a voice and opinion on important matters as they relate to the company's future direction.
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