BEST – BrightChange Advisors for Entrepreneurs
BRIGHTCHANGE EXECUTIVE SERVICE TASKFORCE ©
Do you have what it takes to advise and mentor new ventures?
The services of the super-achievers are rarely, if ever, available for hire because they highly value their time, shun liability and enjoy financial independence, so they do not need to work for financial reward. These exceptional people, however, often enjoy “giving back” through public service as entrepreneurial advisors and Business Angels.
The BrightChange Executive Service Taskforce (BEST) is a resource of BrightChange Charity. BEST enables entrepreneurial advisors, mentors and coaches to provide guidance to early-stage ventures both as volunteers and paid advisors. BEST is an elite academy of entrepreneurial business greats with a mission to identify, evaluate and mentor the absolute highest quality early-stage opportunities and entrepreneurs with a focus on developing public financial support.
Invitations to become a BEST Fellow will be issued by BrightChange. Appointments for an initial period of three years may then be renewed by BrightChange after that introductory appointment. No annual dues are required of the Fellows. Quite the contrary, the Fellows and the professional consultants supporting the Fellows via Beacon are each to be compensated by being allocated opportunities to purchase, at significant pre-public discount prices, shares of common stock in promising new companies which become Beacon Group clients – especially, in new ventures which the Fellow nominates, helps to evaluate or mentors.
The Executive Secretary of BEST, the Librarian and small administrative and educational support staff will support BEST Fellows worldwide. Fellows and consultants of BEST are expected to participate meaningfully. They are expected to return telephone calls or emails from client company entrepreneurs who seek help by contacting the BEST team.
Fellows are expected to volunteer the names of promising concept, start-up or early-stage investment opportunities to the staff for analysis and vetting. Fellows are encouraged to mentor fledgling firms in their area of expertise, identify merger targets and assist with recruitment and networking. Fellows are also expected to recommend under-exploited or dormant patents that might have potential for new business development. The time commitment of Fellows is generally not expected to exceed one-half hour per week, on average. In unusual cases, Fellows may be asked to average up to three hours per week.
Again, BEST Fellows will also receive optional opportunities to purchase additional, inexpensive common stock in new client companies on the Beacon Model© continuum and before shares are available to the public.
In sum, potential capital gains to Fellows may be substantial, depending upon their interest in investing. However, there will be no requirement or expectation for them to do so.
Beacon Star Award
Annually, a committee of BEST Fellows will select the regional winners of the Beacon Star Award. This prestigious Award will also carry a financial prize – blocks of stock in client companies. The Grand Prize will be 100 blocks totaling 10,000 shares.
BEST is a call to high public service and offers recognition for the encouragement of early-stage entrepreneurs. BEST is unlike previous programs to attract seasoned executives such as the SBA’s Service Corps of Retired Executives [SCORE] and the International Business Executive Core [IBEC], largely for Fortune 500 executives.
BEST’s focus will be upon the coaching of entrepreneurs in early-stage companies by entrepreneurs distinguished by past success and by expert advisors on a wide range of specific questions that may arise. BEST rather closely parallels the national academies of the United States. Those academies are privately controlled foundations, chartered to provide help to Congress on questions requiring scientific knowledge, but, which academies are also free to investigate scientific protect medical questions of their own choosing. Their members are honored scientists, engineers and physicians, whereas the Fellowship in the BEST Academy honors the entrepreneur and the Business Angel.
Giving Back to the Universities
Beacon-managed Business Development Companies (BBDC) will, in accordance with an agreement with BIP, escrow 5% of what would otherwise be paid as a performance incentive to Beacon. This money will be earmarked to make grants to BrightChange to support BEST, graduate student and PostDoc researchers at those universities responsible for the most disruptive technologies distinguishing BDC portfolio ventures. The Fellows of BEST will be asked to advise on such university grants, which could be substantial when the BDC’s shares in a publicly-traded portfolio client venture are sold.
© BIP December 30, 2009; updated July 16, 2013
About the Authors
Vincent A. Fulmer is a co-founder of the M.I.T. Enterprise Forum and a member of its Executive Board. He is a nationally recognized advocate of entrepreneurship.
George W. Beard is Managing Member of Beacon Investment Partners, LLC (Delaware, USA) and founder and CEO of KeepTrack USA. KeepTrack is a development-stage physical cargo security and supply chain IT firm. KeepTrack features a portable Katie Bar® internal locking platform for containers which securely incorporates patented sensing and imaging while offering every innovator an “open” standard, “plug-and-play” bus and an open application programming interface (API).