Abonnet is a new service out of Finland that helps connect companies to virtual advisors through the internet. While there’s value in face-to-face meetings, Abonnet opens up companies to a wider range of experienced advisors, which is great for companies who are limited by geography or by the size of their personal network. The service reminds me of a dating service– a company founder or CEO creates a personal and company profile, and then invites advisors to join the board. Advisors can also apply to open Advisory Board positions via the service. Some advisors may join for free, some have set a price for their expertise.
This opens up the online boardroom, which is a secure room for document storage, discussions, and online video meetings. The service is pretty simple and straightforward. Its easy for companies to brows advisors by expertise, and advisors can see a list of pitches by companies to see if their knowledge would be useful.
Tuomo Virkkunen provides this update to our earlier report of 160 advisors on the site, which did not take into account the users with private profiles: “We actually now have almost 200 advisors. As an advisor, you can hide your profile and thus not all are visible in the service. As a hidden advisor you can still apply to open board positions but naturally you can not be invited to existing boards.” Currently Abbonet has almost 20 registered companies who are interested in getting an advisory board for their company.