Skip to main content

Hayley Barna is a Partner at First Round Capital, where she leads investments in seed stage consumer companies. Prior to joining First Round, she co-founded Birchbox, the leading beauty and grooming retailer. She served as Co-CEO for five years, growing it from launch to over a million monthly subscribers and raising $70M in venture capital in the process. So, let’s just say she’s been there and she gets it.

Board meetings too often turn into reports in which founders solely seek approval. Hayley and the team at First Round believe that working sessions are better at the formative stage of a company’s life. An investor at the seed stage should be the first person you call, the coach in your corner — and the kick in the ass when you need it most.

Don’t spend hours preparing for a quarterly board meeting. Instead, collaborate with your investor with her template for working sessions.


  1. This is a collaborative conversation to clear a roadblock, not a standing meeting.
  2. Pre-load your investors with relevant context via an email beforehand.
  3. Choose a single success metric for the working session up front.
  4. Don’t “spin” any details – pulling punches will reduce the value of the conversation.



Define Success

What do you want out of the meeting?


Strategic Discussion

Whats blocking you?
What’s the main bottleneck you need help with?
What have you tried already?
What is your current hypothesis?


What’s Next

What other roadblocks might be coming up?
What’s the next issue where proactive help from your investor could be helpful?
How do you feel about the state of the business?


General Business Update

KPIs, Metrics, Forecast & Runway
Mission and Vision


Hayley Barna is a Partner based in New York. At First Round, Hayley has led investments in consumer companies including Mirror, Thirty Madison, Squad and Studs and B2B companies including Anvyl, Alma and Caper

Prior to joining First Round she co-founded Birchbox, the leading beauty and grooming retailer seed funded by First Round in 2010. She served as Co-CEO at Birchbox for five years from conception and launch to growing the business to over a million monthly subscribers. She also raised over $70M in venture capital, expanded the business internationally and launched new businesses and channels like men’s and retail stores. Hayley oversaw key functions including marketing, operations, strategy and technology.

Before launching Birchbox in 2010, Hayley received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She started her career as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company in New York. She also spent time at two very different ends of the retail spectrum through her roles in strategy at Christie’s in Hong Kong and product management at Amazon in Seattle.

Reach new standards in financial collaboration

Learn how Standard Metrics makes real-time data sharing easy.


Download template