Building advisory relationships with Tech Nation's executive alumni

Building advisory relationships with Tech Nation's executive alumni

At the beginning of 2022, Invigorate and Tech Nation partnered to improve business outcomes for businesses in their community, provide experienced alumni with opportunities for further professional development, and power transformative advisory relationships across the Tech Nation ecosystem.

Quality advisors can be hard to find in the UK, and advisors with experience scaling and operating a high-growth business are even rarer. Invigorate and Tech Nation’s partnership was created to change this, giving members of their incredible alumni community the tools to confidently step into advisory roles, and thereby providing earlier-stage businesses in their ecosystem with an invaluable resource.

So far the partnership has already seen some great outcomes and accomplished several key goals:

Establishing best-in-class governance for advisory engagements

A lack of established governance for advisory relationships has typically formed a key stumbling block in the ecosystem. It is a major culprit in failed advisory relationships and relationship breakdowns between businesses and advisors, and on a less dramatic level, can lead to wasted time and resources even in successful engagements. Without adequate governance, it can also be difficult for businesses to assess the value and credibility of the advisors they hire, because they may not have the right structures in place to measure impact.

As a part of the partnership, Invigorate provided businesses and advisors with information and resources to help them establish appropriate governance around their engagements - reducing risk and helping advisors confidently deliver real value. With this governance, Tech Nation’s new alumni advisors can expertly navigate every part of the advising process - from establishing goals and identifying key metrics, to collecting business feedback - and businesses can ensure they receive maximum value for their engagements.

Here’s what some of the participants said:

Segev Hochberg, COO of Lunio - “If you are looking for a comprehensive & concise course that will give you a framework to start your advisory career, this is the one.”

Freddie Blackett, CEO of Patch Plants - “I've come away with so much more clarity and confidence on how I can add value to the ecosystem.”

Helping top operators turn experience into expertise

Tech Nation’s alumni community already contained an incredible amount of scaling experience - boasting over 30% of the UK’s unicorn herd as alumni - but for individual operators entrenched in the day-to-day running of their businesses identifying and articulating this expertise could be an overwhelming and complicated process.

Invigorate worked carefully with members of Tech Nation’s alumni community, providing them with the structure to break down their experiences and identify their most valuable areas of expertise. We then helped them package this expertise up into easily understandable advisory propositions, to help businesses easily identify the potential value they could bring to their business.

This step can often be one of the major stumbling blocks to potential advisors, and we have been very pleased to see promising results:

Mathew Prior, CEO of Trusted Housesitters - “This workshop feels like a terrific springboard into advisory life. It is very thorough, thought-provoking and clearly built on a platform of real expertise. Some areas, such as defining your value proposition, seemed daunting beforehand but the step-by-step approach that Lauren has developed simplifies this enormously. A half day very well spent”

Douglas Lloyd, CEO of Macademia - “An interactive, concise and highly informative workshop. In half a day, you receive the critical guidance to market your lifelong work experience as an advisor to companies that match your skills and expertise.”

Supporting advisor-business fit

While a great value proposition and effective governance are both vital parts of establishing a successful advisory relationship, Invigorate also worked with Tech Nation to kickstart this process in their community. This was accomplished by matching businesses who reached out for support with suitable alumni advisors, providing businesses with access to trained and credible advisors, and hopefully kickstarting the beginning of many valuable working relationships.

Neil Andrew, CEO of Lunio - “Having worked with several advisors on our scaling journey, I know how valuable they can be to unlocking that next stage of growth. The Tech Nation Advisory Programme allowed me to get connected with a pre-vetted advisor that I knew I could trust, and who could help guide me through the challenges I face as a first time founder & CEO. Connecting with Steve was quick & easy, and a great fit with regards to the hands-on expertise and experience I was looking for.”

Final word

So far the partnership has demonstrated significant potential - allowing us to train and equip an incredible group of operators with all the tools they need to confidently support the next generation of businesses. As the advisors engage with businesses in Tech Nation’s programmes, we also look forward to seeing how their expertise benefits the businesses they support, and the extra value that will be created across Tech Nation’s ecosystem.