FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q – How does the new virtual Board-Ready Bootcamp compare to the in-person bootcamp?
A – The new virtual bootcamp format has proven to be more impactful than the in-person format for several reasons. Spreading the bootcamp over three weeks and making all the materials and session videos available in the bootcamp portal have enabled participants to better absorb and retain the material. Interactive polls, chat and breakouts have enabled participants to get answers to questions and learn key insights in real time. The unique 1:1 networking enabled more connections with people who can help guide participants on their journeys.
Q – What is the bootcamp portal? And what technology platforms will you be using?
A – The bootcamp portal is a Dropbox Showcase containing a dozen session videos for participants to review before or after the live sessions. The portal also includes the bootcamp agenda, faculty/speaker profiles, participant list, sponsor info, board journey worksheet, and numerous articles and resources to help prepare you for your board journey. The majority of the bootcamp is conducted in a Zoom meeting with use of polls, chat, and breakout rooms for small group mentoring. We then move to Hopin for an hour of 1:1 speed networking each day.
Q – What types of companies does the Board-Ready Bootcamp help?
A – The bootcamp initiative is designed to primarily help 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 is geared towards tech companies in the United States but will have some applicability globally as well. The reality is that tech companies employ leaders all over the world, and while our speakers and curriculum have a US focus, the bootcamp initiative seeks to bring greater diversity to tech boards. Given our virtual format, we encourage applicants to participate from any location.
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. In order to deliver the most value to leaders at different points on their board journeys, we group participants into “tracks” of peers with similar levels of board experience (ie, those on public or private boards tend to be grouped together, those on non-profit, government or advisory boards tend to be grouped together, and those just starting their journeys tend grouped together for breakouts and discussions).
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 or peer CEO. 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 for members ($2500 for non-members) 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 additional scholarship support.
Q – Is there an application deadline for the Board-Ready Bootcamp?
A – Yes, in fact there are several application review deadlines (see below). 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 bootcamp reaches capacity, accepted candidates who have not completed their registration will be invited to join the waiting list and/or register for a future bootcamp.
Rolling Application Review Deadlines:
Spring (April) 2021 Cohort
– Friday, January 29, 2020
– Friday, February 12, 2020
– Friday, February 26, 2020
– Friday, March 12, 2020
– Friday, March 26, 2020
Fall (October) 2021 Cohort
– Friday, July 30, 2021
– Friday, August 13, 2021
– Friday, August 27, 2021
– Friday, September 10, 2021
– Friday, September 24, 2021
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.