The following agenda outline works well for early-stage startup board meetings:
- Management high-level update: What went well, what didn't go well, what did we learn, what are we doing about the issues we identified
- Current KPIs
- Optional focus topic: It's often a good idea to have rotating focus topics that the board spends a bit more time on (30-45 minutes). For example, you can rotate between product deep dives, marketing and sales, HR strategy, annual budget (as the last session of the year). This allows the board to think more deeply about crucial topics without getting distracted too much by operational details.
- Short operational updates (1-2 slides each) from all sectors:
- Current financials
- Administrative: Approval of minutes, potentially approval of new stock option grants, etc.
- Asks and tasks
d) Market update (e.g. notable competitive developments) and Partnerships
e) HR and Team
f) Finance and Operations
Startups that are backed by professional financial investors almost always have a Board of Directors that consists of some set of founders, investors and sometimes independent directors. While the management of a startup company deals with the day-to-day decision-making within the company (strategy, budgets, goals, tasks, compensation) ultimately the Board of Directors has the legal governing responsibilities for these things.
The SaaS Board Meeting
Soon after a startup raises its Series A round, it begins to have board meetings for the first time, and I'm often asked what the agenda and format should be. This post describes my recommendations for SaaS board meetings. To make things easier, you can use this board deck template that my team and I developed with Quaestor.