There are key tensions between the two sides of a board's institutional role and function – of controlling and monitoringvs. that of resource gathering and strategizing. Drawing on a 38 month field study of eight new ventures in the UK hightechnology sector, we take a close look at the structural composition, knowledge base and behaviours of board directors in early stage hightechnologyventures. Our findings suggest that the early ventureboard, which typically consists of part-time members with diverse knowledge background, can be seen as an extension of the full time internal top management team. Together – as ‘collective entrepreneurs’ – they play a vital role in the venturing process, pointing to a collaborative model between inside senior executives and outside board directors that goes beyond the principal-agency model. We discuss the wider implications of our work for the field generally.