FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q – What types of companies does the Board-Ready Bootcamp help?
A – The bootcamp initiative is designed to help Massachusetts tech companies increase board diversity by preparing candidates, making them more visible, and helping them get more networked within the tech community. While we are specifically seeking to address the lack of diversity on tech boards, we have designed a program that also prepares candidates seeking to be a “tech board member” on a non-tech company board.
Q – Is the Board-Ready Bootcamp for Massachusetts executives only?
A – The bootcamp initiative aims to bring greater diversity to tech boards in Massachusetts and we have a focus on the many people in our local market who are not being “seen” for these opportunities. However, in order to meet the varied needs of tech company boards, we will consider applicants from outside the state who bring some special functional/domain expertise or other unique value.
Q – What level of seniority is appropriate for participating in the Bootcamp?
A – Applicants should be “board-ready” candidates which typically means CXO or rising star at the SVP level. We understand that titles have different meanings and every board is different, so we will consider other titles and encourage applicants and their executive sponsors to help fill in details through their application about why a candidate is appropriate for a board role.
Q – Am I overqualified if I am a CEO or already serving on a board?
A – No. While seeking to address board composition, the Board-Ready Bootcamp is fundamentally designed to improve the quality of board governance at tech companies by providing a high-impact curriculum on board fundamentals, strategy and governance that will also help existing leaders be better board members and committee chairs.
Q – Who can be an executive sponsor? Do they have to be at the same company as the applicant?
A – We rely on the executive sponsor recommendation to help ensure that candidates are truly board-ready. The executive sponsor is typically the applicant’s CEO, supervisor, or other senior executive. In the case of a CEO applying, the executive sponsor would typically be a board member. We recognize that in some cases an executive sponsor may be former colleague or executive from another company.
Q – Is there a cost to participate in the Board-Ready Bootcamp?
A – Yes. While “for-profit” board bootcamps have a ‘profit motive’ and might charge $5-10K+ for a similar program, our goal is to build a large alumni pool so that the ‘lack of available candidates’ is no longer cited as a constraint to board diversity. Consequently, with the support of our underwriters, we are able to offer the bootcamp for just $1500 and are building the capacity to accept a broad cohort. We are also working with our underwriters to provide scholarship support to qualified candidates where needed.
Q – Who typically pays for the bootcamp?
A – We anticipate that many companies and executive sponsors will underwrite the bootcamp admission fee as part of an executive’s professional development. In some cases, where this is not possible, executives will pay for the bootcamp as part of their own investment in personal leadership development. In the case of a qualified applicant for whom the admission is a barrier to their participation, we will work with our underwriters to provide some additional scholarship support.
Q – Is there an application deadline for the Board-Ready Bootcamp?
A – Yes, in fact there are several application review deadlines – August 16th & 30th, September 13th & 27th. Applications received prior to each deadline will be reviewed by the committee and accepted candidates will be notified within 7-10 days thereafter. Once accepted, candidates must register and pay to confirm their participation in the bootcamp. When the October 2019 bootcamp reaches capacity, accepted candidates who have not completed their registration will be invited to join the waiting list and/or register for the next bootcamp, likely in April and October 2020.
Q – Does MassTLC have a fee-based board placement service for its members?
A – No. MassTLC is not currently involved in board recruitment or placement and makes NO REPRESENTATION that participation in the Bootcamp will result in being named to a board of directors. MassTLC provides education, visibility, and networking services designed to make it easier for tech companies and their recruiters to identify and meet qualified diverse candidates that they might consider for participation on a company board or other opportunity.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“The MassTLC Board-Ready Bootcamp is a perfect way for ready now tech execs to both gain a fundamental understanding of what it takes to be a successful and contributing member of a Board. and to increase their exposure and network to be considered for Board opportunities at tech companies.”
– Nicole Fitzpatrick, Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Akamai Technologies, Inc.
The MassTLC Board-Ready Bootcamp provided me with concrete information, best practices and tips to be an effective board director and evaluate board members for my company. The information was presented by a well-rounded group of lawyers, accountants, experienced board directors, academics and even leading tech CEOs. I highly recommend the experience to anyone interested in serving as a board director – and I commend the MassTLC for mobilizing to broaden the pool of potential board directors in Mass.
– Lauren Kelley, CEO, OPEXEngine
“Bootcamp answered so many of the questions I had about being on a board. I feel significantly more prepared and ready to tackle this next milestone in my career.”
– Emmanuelle Skala, SVP Customer Success, Toast
The bootcamp provides a great overview of the roles and responsibilities of a board and what it takes to get on one. For anyone thinking about board work, I highly recommend it to help you get started.
– Kamala Grasso, President, KJG Consulting
Thank you to the following organizations for providing the financial support and thought leadership to make this initiative possible.