How do I become a startup advisor?

My name is Ilya Movshovich, Managing Parter at Volk Consulting, and I love to help startups in any way I can, and I love it when others want to help startups as well. But it takes commitment and hard work to become a startup advisor who can make a difference. The question that I hear […]

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

My name is Ilya Movshovich, Managing Parter at Volk Consulting, and I love to help startups in any way I can, and I love it when others want to help startups as well. But it takes commitment and hard work to become a startup advisor who can make a difference.

The question that I hear most often is, “How do I become a startup advisor?”

I love to help startups in any way I can, and I love it when others want to help startups as well. But it takes commitment and hard work to become a startup advisor who can make a difference.

My time as a Managing Partner at Volk Consulting fueled my desire to help more startups. My colleagues on the Volk Consulting leadership team and I have personally invested in helping startups from the earliest days of our careers — as mentors, nonprofit board members, and angel investors. Our work as angels is what laid the foundation for Volk Consulting, and those experiences crafted Volk Consulting’s vision of helping good companies.

How do we do it? And how can you do it too? Here are the six most important things to do if you want to become a startup advisor:

Be the hardest worker in the room.
Be the most prepared person in the room.
Be thoughtful, passionate, and persistent.
Become an expert in the market and function.
Accomplish something and be successful.
Immerse yourself in startups.

Being a startup advisor is not about taking a backseat or sitting on a board. The best advisors should want skin in the game. You can’t just be an advisor and not do the hard work, which, honestly, is the most rewarding part.

Here are five ways to actually help startups as an advisor:

Mentor some founders with no strings attached.
Write a few angel checks to get skin in the game.
Be available, accessible, and empathetic.
Actively listen to your startups and share your function/market expertise.
Be willing to open up your network.


If you’re an entrepreneur ally, an operator helping an operator, startup advisor gigs (for equity) will come.

Follow along at Ilya Movshovich for more startup advice!

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.