A founder's guide to Transition to Portfolio

What is Transition to Portfolio?

Transition to Portfolio is a professional development programme which helps c-suite and executives transition to a portfolio career. Alongside 30 hours of specialist CPD learning content, the programme provides a pro bono advisory placement with a startup within the Connectd network. This provides those on the programme the chance to build their practical experience and skills, while offering startups the support and expertise of a seasoned professional totally free of charge. Those on transition to Portfolio also have monthly one-to-one mentoring sessions with a seasoned board professional, ensuring that they, and the startups they work with are fully supported.

What are pro bono advisors?

Pro bono advisors are experienced professionals who work with businesses in an unremunerated capacity. Pro bono advisors are an attractive option for time and resource poor startups who may have skill and capacity gaps in their founding teams. Many pro bono advisors are at the start of their career transition and are looking to bring their knowledge to early-stage businesses, while boosting their experience of working with boards, founders and startup teams.

What are the benefits of engaging a pro bono advisor?

Board advisors can offer a wealth of expertise, knowledge and insight which they bring from successful corporate careers, bringing best practices and keen insights into dynamic startups. Pro bono advisors can add value to businesses in a number of ways, including providing sector or industry-specific advice, mentoring and supporting founders and offering strategic input . As pro bono advisors are usually at the beginning of their portfolio careers, they are willing to work without compensation, in order to broaden their portfolio skills and knowledge and build valuable connections and networks.

What skills and qualities should advisors have?

There is no one-size-fits-all skillset which all advisors possess, and what is desirable to one founder in an advisor, may not be for another. Our blog Crucial qualities of a board advisor outlines what you should be looking for in an advisor. Many founders place importance, understandably, on sector specific skills and knowledge but qualities such as integrity, good communication skills and cultural fit are also incredibly important.

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