I have been a startup advisor for a colleague of mine for several years. He is primed to go from incubatory stage to launch and has some excellent blue-chip customers lined up. He is having admitted issues closing his first big deals and has asked me to assist him. I am willing to give of what time I can (uncompensated) to help him close his first few deals and generate some incoming revenue.
I will be representing his organization in some upcoming meetings. His initial thought was to title me COO and provide business cards for legitimacy in business meetings. I see a number of issues with this as I am an advisor and not an an officer of the organization much less an employee. This could also be a flag if he goes for funding in the future. What title best provides the proper legitimacy for meetings without raising flags? My initial thoughts were Advisor, Strategy Advisor or possibly CSO.
My interest is for my colleagues' success. I want to help him launch. I also want to know, however, if I am opening myself up to liabilities in my assisting him. Should I require D&O insurance for this pro-bono assistance?