Non-executive directors and start-ups: the benefits

King built a dotcom called Improveline in the late 1990s and raised £10m before the market crashed in 2001. The business recovered sufficiently, however, to have hit revenue of £40m by the time King sold it in 2005.

These days, he’s a non-executive director for Magpie, a Brighton-based social media analytics company. King says it’s been a good experience. “You get to see a lot more of what’s going on in the market. You see deals coming up and you get to talk to people about different ideas and businesses. There’s a lot more variety.

“I think at some point there’s another business I’ll get involved in full-time, but I’m taking my time and haven’t found it yet.”

King believes the non-exec is an important resource for a start-up. “I think it’s very valuable for the first-time entrepreneur to have people around as sounding boards; people who have made the mistakes and got away with it. The challenge is then to figure out which advice is good advice and which fits his particular situation.”

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