Don’t you just hate when you’re out skateboarding, minding your own business, and suddenly one of the wheels comes off and you break a kneecap? Well now there’s a new startup called BoardProspects, which aims to help companies build better boards. A quick glance at their website reveals that the company is not going to be able to solve your skateboarding woes, however, but it may help your business roll more smoothly.
If your company is in need of new members for the board of directors (cough Yahoo cough) or the advisory board (cough Honeywell cough), you may want to give Boston-based BoardProspects’ upcoming offering a second look.
Having just raised a $650,000 seed round, BoardProspects basically offers a platform that connects individuals (‘prospects’) with organizations, and also provides educational resources and tools to improve boardroom service.
The online community is set to launch some time in the second quarter of this year, but the first 1,000 people to pre-register for the service will receive a free lifetime premium membership (the company didn’t mention what this entails, but surely it must be good!).
Here’s the problem that BoardProspects says it identified:
There are more than 60,000 publicly traded companies in the United States that are required by law to have a board of directors. In the Fortune 1,000 alone, there are more than 1,100 directors currently serving that are over 70 years old, according to GMI Research, the leading independent provider of global corporate governance, ESG and accounting risk ratings and research.
The number of vacancies for the nearly 1.6 million non-profit organizations in the United States is exponentially larger, with more than 1.8 million of these seats turning over each year. These dramatic numbers do not include the hundreds of thousands of private companies that could benefit from building a board of directors or an advisory board, recruiting valuable members, or applying best practices to improve board performance.
Poised to prove that it’s not just about ‘who you know’, BoardProspects aims to apply social networking mechanics and technologies to “transform the way that boards and prospects connect, communicate, and serve”. It’s unclear whether they also make rad skateboards.
Angel investors who participated in the seed round include Mike Verrochi (managing partner at Blue Rock Ventures), Brendan McCarthy (managing director of Goldman Sachs) and Paul Sullivan, partner of family-owned Sullivan Tire.