I'm a big believer in paying it forward. Meaning I can make introductions and help out with the networking without being a formal advisor. Let's first establish an informal relationship and figure out if we both want to work together and whether both of us can help each other out. Ask whether your network of connections can help them. Also ask whether you can learn something from being an advisor. I wanted to learn and there's no better place than the startup to learn about everything. Going to these conferences and speaking is not easy. You have to put yourself out there. Get known and then it's a virtuous cycle where you'll get introduced to more people. You'll hear about the value you added, you'll add more value.
We help guide the CIO-Startup relationship on both a 1:1 and 1:many basis. On the 1:1 front...If there's interest expressed, we'll often connect CIOs to startups in our portfolio where there is opportunity for mutual value exchange (i.e. SME, network, etc) Sometimes executives will mentor companies or do more informal office hours. We definitely recommend building the relationship before diving into any sort of formal advisory role. We also see CIOs who are looking to startups and external ecosystems to help reinvent their companies...grow...solve problems etc. Collaborating with an accelerator or venture capital firm can be a great way to filter out the noise and find the startups who are poised to help.