Category Archives

How To Tell If Your Startup Ecosystem Is Sick

I had an interesting lunch with some fellow lawyers the other day. I know, “interesting” and “lawyers” shouldn’t be used together in a sentence, but bear with me. We were discussing venture capital deal terms we had encountered with various startup financings we had worked on. One of the other Read More

Startup Financing Is Not A DIY Project

There are projects that are easy enough for a smart startup founder to take on, and then there are projects that are simply too complex, and which require the help of an experienced lawyer. Financings, such as a seed round or convertible note financing, are definitely not DIY projects. Several Read More

EQUITY CROWDFUNDING 2.0

On October 30, the SEC took another shot at legalizing equity crowdfunding, by passing final regulations that are much more streamlined and simpler than the original regulations. The new regulations will take effect sometime next spring or summer, at the earliest. Under the new regulations, a company can raise a Read More

Choose Your Investors Wisely

A recent episode of Shark Tank demonstrates why startup founders have to be careful with who they choose to invest in their companies. I say “recent,” but I don’t watch the show every week, so for all I know, what I saw was the formula for every episode. On this Read More

The Friends & Family Round

Prior to doing a seed round or a full venture capital financing, startups frequently need to do a “friends and family” round of financing. This money is often essential to carry startups through to the point where an angel investor would be interested, especially in the regions where angels will Read More

VC Lawsuit Highlights Need for Discrimination Policies

If you follow the worlds of startups and venture capital, you have probably heard of the sex discrimination lawsuit that Ellen Pao has filed against her former employer, the prestigious venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. While there are all sorts of interesting details in the case, one item Read More

SAFE – A New Financing Tool for Startups

If you follow startups, you’ve probably heard of convertible notes and Series A financings, but the newest item is the SAFE – the Simple Agreement for Future Equity. SAFE is a seed-stage financing tool that provides a lower-cost, speedier alternative to convertible debt financings. SAFE was devised by Y-Combinator partner Read More

Can A Letter of Intent Be Binding?

The answer is, sometimes. When companies are exploring a potential deal – whether it is an investment, a merger, or the sale of real estate or some other asset – they often put together a “letter of intent” prior to finalizing and signing a definitive contract. The purpose of the Read More

AN INTRO TO THE “ACCREDITED INVESTOR”

Startups and other companies seeking investment through private securities offerings will quickly have to master the concept of the “accredited investor.” The underlying idea is that accredited investors have either specialized knowledge or a level of wealth that gives them greater protection in making more speculative investments. By selling only Read More

Clean House Before Your Financing

Admission: I don’t have a housekeeper, but if I did, I would have to clean my home before the housekeeper comes by, because I don’t want to reveal what a slob I am. Startups thinking about venture capital financing or mergers should adopt the same approach. Before closing the deal, there Read More