“You had a job” might be funny when a birthday cake topper goes bad, but if we’re talking about executives not showing up for board meetings, the stakes are much higher.
“Disengaged or dysfunctional boards aren’t just bad for CEOs and LPs; they’re bad for everyone,” writes Matt Blumberg, co-founder and CEO of Bolster, a realization that prompted him to revise meeting formats to include follow-up surveys and additional outreach.
“It’s a lot of moving parts to manage, but I find it helps keep the meeting fresh and well-paced.”
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Many entrepreneurs view board meetings as obstacles to be avoided or overcome, which is unfortunate. Well-run sessions are legitimate opportunities to discuss challenges and ask for help when needed.
Example: No one wants to read slides at a board meeting, so distribute the materials well in advance and ask your attendees to submit questions via email. A board meeting should be a working session, not a monologue.
To promote engagement and diversity, Blumberg recommends adding an independent director for each investor board seat and reserving a single spot for a founder or team member.
“There is no doubt that running an effective board or serving as an effective director takes a great deal of time, energy and diligence,” he says. “But that’s no reason not to try.”
Thank you very much for reading,
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+
Today: Q&A with Silicon Valley Immigration Lawyer Sophie Alcorn
I host a Twitter Space today at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET with immigration lawyer and TC+ columnist Sophie Alcorn.
If you’re trying to navigate the Byzantine U.S. immigration process — or know someone who is — please join the conversation and bring your questions.
8 investors discuss what awaits reproductive health startups in a post-Roe world
Dominic-Madori Davis interviewed eight investors about the role venture capital could play in this new era where Americans no longer have the legal right to obtain an abortion.
The Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision affected more than health care and privacy: Will capital and talent flee US states that restrict reproductive rights? Will investors back more startups that expand healthcare?
Given “the tenuous relationship between venture capital money and ethics”, Dominic-Madori asked the group how they plan to exert influence – and how they prefer to be approached by entrepreneurs:
- Hessie Jones, Partner, MATR Ventures
- Lisa Calhoun, Gary Peat and William Leonard, Valor Ventures
- Mecca Tartt, Executive Director, Startup Runway
- Ed Zimmerman, Founding Partner, First Close Partners
- Theodora Lau, Founder, Unconventional Ventures
- McKeever Conwell, Founder, RareBreed Ventures
Pitch Deck Teardown: $7 million Party Round, uh, party round deck
In November 2021, Party Round, a startup that aims to automate seed-stage fundraising, used its own platform to raise $7 million.
Its founders recently shared with us their pitch deck of 10 unwritten slides so TC+ members can see what worked:
- The solution
- Value proposition
- Competitive advantages
- “Why now?”
Dear Sophie: My EB-2 priority date will be delayed by 2 years! What should I do?
In her latest column, Sophie Alcorn answered questions about green cards in the EB-1A category for Extraordinary Ability and Multinational Managers, EB-2 NIW and with PERM, as well as EB-3 for Professionals:
I was so close! My priority date for my EB-2 application to register permanent residence was only nine days from the date on the September 2022 Visa Bulletin, but now the date on the October Visa Bulletin 2022 goes back more than two years!
I’m a software engineer and wanted to get my green card before changing jobs, but now I’m reconsidering my path. The only thing holding me back is that I’ve heard that employees will be fined if they leave their employer before getting the green card.
What do you recommend?
— Crushed by the Bulletin
I am currently on an L-1B and my employer sponsored me for an EB-3 green card. I only have one year left on my L-1B, so my employer signed me up for the H-1B lottery, and I was selected!
Will I keep my EB-3 priority date if I switch to H-1B?
— Committed employee
I’m an author and motivational speaker, and I’m 60 years old. Can I apply for an EB-1A green card?
— Successful Speaker
In Latin America, founders and investors seek to reconcile caution and optimism
If valuations are your benchmark, Latin America’s startup ecosystem has recently reached maturity.
“Marking a long-awaited inflection point,” the region’s first unicorns have emerged in the past five years, according to Julio Vasconcellos, managing partner at venture capital firm Atlantico.
In its third annual TC+ report, Vasconcellos compares LatAm’s recent gains in sectors like telemedicine, grocery delivery and fintech in the United States, where “pandemic-era market darlings … have been forced to downsize as usage levels return to the historic pre-pandemic trend line.
What the CHIPS and Science Act Means for the Future of the Semiconductor Industry
For more than two years, the global semiconductor supply chain has been pushed to its limits.
There is no single cause: extreme weather, COVID-19, a protracted US-China trade war, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are just a few contributing factors, not to mention the growing demand for cryptocurrency mining.
The United States accounts for just 12% of global semiconductor production, but the recent passage of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 will free up $52.7 billion in workforce development grants national work, R&D and manufacturing.
“The CHIPS Act seems like a green light for domestic manufacturing,” says Simon Butler of Perforce Software.
“However, a presidential executive order issued earlier this year may be a stumbling block for semiconductor design shops keen to service national security projects.”