Too early to onboard a TV celebrity advisor? How much equity?

We have attracted the interest of a TV personality, total random ask … but she’s interested in being involved with us. We met and connected at an event. We are an early-stage B2B product with low traction and trying to raise our seed round. Her team has asked me for what we want from her in exchange for equity. She has worked with startups before as an ambassador/spokesperson. I’m thinking:

– we splash her name on the site
– we ask for her to list our business on her LinkedIn
– we ask her to help us raise capital (her team already said no to capital but yes for spokesperson)
– we ask to film a brief promo of her talking about us (at the right time)

Do I push forward, let them know what we want and act all established? Or, do I be honest about our true position and say we need more time to get more traction, raise money and show revenue?

If we do move forward, how much equity do you give to a celebrity advisor?

    • OP here.

      Do you know the concept of an advisor?

      In this case she would be an advisor / spokesperson. These roles can still get equity even though they don’t provide capital.

      • I do and they’re normally not worth it. Hence the POV. Don’t post something here if you don’t want opinion’s from people that, gasp, won’t agree with you.

  • I love that someone just wants in on the possible upswing but has no skin in the game. Oh we can use your name but you’re not giving any money, suck it. Oh you’re “invested” but not going to help actually fundraise, suck it. How much would she ACTUALLY work. Let’s be real, this is a HORRIBLE DEAL!

    • OP here:

      Their ‘skin in the game’ is being a spokesperson, offering their reputation/status to promote, help generate exciting momentum among investors etc…

      Correct she would not really work much, but we take advantage of her association with us.

      Finally a smart answer. Yes, essentially a glorified advisor. OK, 0.25% – 0.5% makes sense. I was thinking offering around there, but thought they’d push back hard due to her status.

      • OP, you seem to already know the answer to your own question saying one answer “finally smart” and being sort of defensive on some.

  • This is the opportunity of a lifetime. Having a personality with a fan base could get investors who want to be seen as being invested in the same startup. Also she can have her tell her fans about it and also may get connections to celebrity investors. Do all of things you thought above. If you start to catch real traction you will probably be able to get her further involved. Also google how other companies are using celebrities. Look at the kim k mobile game its killing it.

  • Have to agree with earlier comments about the value of the celeb’s investment/returns and I wouldn’t give more than 2.5%.

    What do you know about her other ambassador projects? Did her fan base deliver, are they your market and motivated to pay for your product?

  • Regardless of the amount I equity, make sure it vests over time.

    I say go for it, and put other ppl on the advisory board. People that can really help you like this person seems to can.

  • I think some of the haters on this thread are unrealistic about marketing. To get a celebrity to do an advertisement can cost a big brand millions of dollars. If they are relevant to what you do and can promote you then I say go for it! For sure do vesting, just in case they don’t actually promote the way they should.

    Just a side note- interesting new research has shown that youtube stars can get equal or better traction than a big name celebrity and they usually cost much less.

  • I agree with the “haters”. OP consider this. This is the first celebrity or person that has approached you to get involved. She is for sure not the ideal spokesperson for you company, just the first. If you allow her to be your spokesperson you are simply taking the path of least resistance, not the best one. I am in a similar situation where a semi-known radio personality wants in on my company. She wants a hefty 5-10%. I flat out said know and educated her why. #1 she is not relevant to my demographic, she would simply open doors a little sooner than I can on my own because if you know how to grind and talk to people you can get through to the same people. And by the way those people would want something for their contribution too and that equals you giving up more and more. Unless you sell sneakers and she is the female Michael Jordan, I personally don’t think you need her.

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