While thousands of start-ups grow to become great successes, there are still several more that may fail. There could be several reasons for this; everything from team dynamics to flawed business models. Still, many of those elements fall under a single theme, one that often plagues start-ups: a lack of outside advice and expert support.
No matter how innovative an idea or passionate a founder, a successful endeavour can’t succeed in a silo. Launching a start-up can mean navigating everything from business models to legal and regulatory challenges. That requires a breadth of knowledge that may not exist within a small team focused on developing a new idea. However, start-ups often don’t get connected with strategic advisors when they most need them.
As a serial start-up founder himself, Josh Adler wanted to help fix that problem and find a way to build support for other founders who needed advice in order to keep progressing in a sustainable and effective way.
“I found that many start-ups struggled with getting the correct guidance they needed to succeed,” said Adler an entrepreneur in his mid-20s.This is when he created Open Advisor, a network designed to connect start-up founders to the support they need, all in exchange for one per cent equity, which goes to the strategic advisor.
The model has already proven successful, working to fill a demonstrated need in the start-up world. In its first month, Open Advisor attracted applications from more than 4,000 strategic advisors and signed on 600+ start-ups looking for that boost of guidance.
“The goal was to help as many founders as possible, and it’s incredible to see the positive responses from founders globally,” Adler said. “They not only want this platform, they need it.”
How it works
Open Advisor helps guide early to mid-stage start-ups join with the goal of finding strategic oversight. They are then able to choose from hundreds of vetted advisors to effectively guide them in their right direction while navigating start-up grey areas.
The strategic advisors have freedom to choose as well and are able to gain valuable equity in a start-up that most aligns with their goals and relevant experience. The platform is also entirely free, giving start-ups a competitive edge in creating the next disruptive unicorn.
Making a difference
As Adler sees it, a startup’s greatest asset is its people. OpenAdvisor provides resources to help solve challenges in start-ups all across the world -- all from one centralised hub.
Offering the platform free works to support the growing number of startups from around the world, including developing nations. “Plus, it's an awesome way to give back to founders who wouldn't normally have the opportunity to connect with strategic advisors,” Adler said.