A critical component to success for a startup or early stage company is the construction of proper governance and board oversight, but often many questions surround the “how” and “when.” In this session, speakers addressed when to form a board, board selection, composition and compensation, the “nuts and bolts” of startup boards and common pitfalls to avoid. Attendees joined angel network leaders, Rick Timmins and Leslie Goldman and venture capitalist, entrepreneur Chris Staffel and Sandy Wallis for insights and lessons from the trenches.
Attendees gained insights on:
· When to form a board
· Board, size composition and balance
· Advisory boards versus boards
· Common pitfalls to avoid
· “Nuts and Bolts” of startup boards
· Lessons from the trenches from venture capital, angel investors and entrepreneur perspective
Partner, Artemis Fund
Co-Founder, Monarq Incubator
Diana is Co-Founder of the Monarq Incubator the first national, funding focused incubator curated for gender diverse founding teams and women-led startups. She has fifteen years of experience in due diligence and financial modeling working in various roles on Wall Street.
A decade in tech investment banking M&A and institutional commodities sales company led to a desire to improve the lives of women. After building and launching the first women-only iPhone app for new friends and networking, Diana became compelled to solve the difficulties women founders faced rather than build only one company and solve only one type of problem. She grew her network in NYC/Houston through high impact events including #SheHacks hackathons, #MonarqMoguls Investor + Founder events and the #MentHERnyc summit bringing together the most promising women-led companies with the most active investors/advisors in the NYC area. Through the Monarq Incubator we power exceptional women-led companies providing them with all the resources, mentorship and introductions they need to raise their next round.
Diana is currently funding women-led companies founded by resourceful and passionate management teams, driven by a deep understanding of the problem they are solving, their customer, and the market.
She is also a mom, global traveler, eater, hiker, climber, entrepreneur, and forever kid at heart!
Founder & Managing Partner - Curation Farms
Director, She’s @ Work, Blue Barrel Solutions, Sea Dog Theatre and The Houston Community ToolBank
Chris Staffel is a serial entrepreneur and investor with experience in both startups and publicly traded companies. Over her career she has built 3 start up midstream companies with an aggregate exit valuation of 1.38 Billion. Leveraging her entrepreneurial credentials, Chris brings a wealth of in-house experience in executing strategic decisions from start to finish in the lifecycle of a company, building high-performance teams, acquisition and divestitures of assets and exit strategy execution. As a former executive of a public company, she provides perspective on the process of grooming companies for the IPO route, assembling boards, strategies for running a publicly held company as well as managing shareholder and board member expectations.
Chris currently serves as Founder and President of Staffel Capital, LLC which directly invests in entrepreneurial companies with a focus in Real Estate, Enterprise Products, FemTech, B2B Software, Consumer Technology Products, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, FinTech, Energy and Healthcare. As an active angel investor, she is currently a member of Portfolia, Houston Angel Network and the National Angel Capital Association.
Prior to transitioning to investing, Chris Staffel served as a founding member of PennTex Midstream Partners, LP, (NASDAQ:PTXP), Laser Northeast Gathering Company and Delphi Midstream Partners LLC. At these midstream energy companies, she oversaw HR, PR, IT, Government Affairs, Risk Management and Facility Planning. Chris also served as the NE spokeswoman for Williams Companies where she managed all public affairs and strategic outreach for Williams’ interstate gas pipeline expansion project development and execution along the Atlantic-Gulf Transco system.
Ms. Staffel holds an Executive MBA from Rice University as well as an MFA from the University of Central Florida and a BM from Wheaton College. She currently splits her time between New York City and Houston while serving on the boards of Blue Barrel Solutions, Sea Dog Theatre and The Houston Community ToolBank. She is the Co-founder and Executive Director of She’s @ Work – a non-profit devoted to women speaking into the lives of middle school students about the many possibilities of career paths that lie ahead of them post-graduation. She also volunteers as a mentor for Station Houston, The Women’s Resource Center RISE, She Has Hope and Prisoners Entrepreneur Program.
Director, InterPlayLearning, Broadway Bank, and National Angel Capital Association
Rick is a resident of Austin, Texas and is heavily involved in the Austin start-up community. He is the former Board Chairman (six years) and member of the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), the most active angel network in the country. He has personally invested in 44 start-up companies since 2009 and has assisted many entrepreneurs with insight and recommendations through mentoring and formal participation on Boards, accelerators and incubators. Rick, is also one of the two partners in Mid-City Development, a development and construction business in Austin which specializes in the development of mixed use apartment/condo/townhome communities in Austin neighborhoods. Mid-City currently has nine projects in various stages of development.
He brings with him 35 years of experience in financial management and strategic guidance from two Fortune 50 technology companies, Rick served as Vice President, Corporate Controller and Assistant CFO of finance at networking technology leader Cisco Systems from 1995 to 2007. There he was instrumental in developing and implementing an e-culture of financial reporting across all of Cisco’s worldwide operations. When he arrived in 1995 it took Cisco 21 days to close its monthly reporting books. Under his leadership that task was reduced to less than 1 day worldwide.
Prior to Cisco, Rick served as Vice President of finance for Motorola for 23 years. He had worldwide financial responsibility for the MOS Semiconductor Group for several years. He also was also the CFO for Motorola Japan living in Tokyo for 6 years and assisted in helping to develop Motorola’s cellular and semiconductor operations in Japan, which experienced high growth from $200 million to over $2.5 billion.
In addition to his operational experience, Rick has also worked with numerous top tier venture firms from across the country, including as Venture Partner at G51 in Austin.
Rick is currently a Board member in five companies/organizations: one public and one private and three non-profits. Rick previously served on four other public company Boards and six private company Boards. Rick holds a B.S. degree in accounting and finance from the University of Arizona, an M.B.A. degree from St. Edward’s University, and was previously a Certified Public Accountant.
Board of Trustees, Sawanee
Director, Lawndale Arts Center
Steering Committee, Ignite Healthcare Network
Sandy has an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern and a B.A. cum laude from the University of the South, with her pre-college education in London.
Following her degree, she was awarded a Watson Fellowship, traveling to and studying business management styles in Japan, India and Australia.