I was recently copied on an email exchange that took place between an entrepreneur and an investor.
It was brought to my attention that you have included my name and bio in your company materials as an advisor to your company. Both you and I know that I am not advisor to your company. We spoke at (event redacted) some months ago and that is the extent of it. Please immediately cease and desist from using my name and remove it from your business materials. Thanks. (name of angel investor redacted).
The probability of this firm ever raising an angel round just took a serious hit. At the very minimum it lost a potential deal lead. Depending on how this is handled the water could be poisoned across the entire angel community.
While having a small stable of advisors is extremely important for a startup, you need to form relationships with such folks and seek their permission before listing them as an advisor. And after you get them involved you need to keep them engaged so something like the following does not happen.
Lance: Entrepreneur of Newco tells me you are one of his advisors.
Advisor: Yeah, what’s going on with Newco, I have not talked with them in a long time.
Getting good advisors is a bit like dating. You don’t want to make it of the high school variety where you tell everyone that you are hanging with the most popular woman when that is not the case. She is going to find out and it is not going to be pretty. Your rep will take a hit and lord knows what her real boyfriend will do.