Many thanks to Maret Delf for her assistance with this article. So, you’re about to raise money for the first time. Good luck! Before you start approaching VC firms for pitch opportunities, though, be aware that investors typically expect a certain amount of organization and structure from your company despite its early stage. Below is… Read more »

Your pitch deck arguably is the single, most important document that you will generate in the life of your company.  It is the opening salvo with your potential investors.  It is “the hook” by which you will (or will not) capture the attention and imagination of a potential investor. What does a “perfect” pitch deck… Read more »

So you’ve formed a new company, launched a new product/service offering, added a new feature to an existing offering, or maybe your company has been doing business and offering products/services for a while now but you still haven’t considered trademarks.  If so, it could prove to be a costly mistake down the road. What is… Read more »

The inevitable has happened. There is an oft-repeated saying in the information security world:  “There are two types of companies:  those that know they’ve been hacked and those that have yet to find out they’ve been hacked.”  No matter how many times it happens, however, people rarely get used to it.  While no one enjoys… Read more »

Most high growth companies that are set up for venture capital funding don’t use a stockholder agreement We sometimes get asked whether founders should put in place a “stockholder agreement” at the time of formation.  People have different practices but in my experience most companies do not use a stockholder agreement at the time of… Read more »

Convertible debt is a structure with debt-like features, and converts into the issuer’s equity in certain circumstances. See here for our forms of Series Seed debt documents. Many early stage companies use convertible debt for their initial fundraising.  This article identifies and explains the basic terms of convertible debt.  A few variations on the “classic”… Read more »

Corporations are distinct legal entities owned by their stockholders.  Unlike a partnership, a corporation may be owned by a single person who may (but need not) be the corporation’s sole director and serve as any required officer.  The stockholders elect the corporation’s board of directors but are not otherwise active as such in the management… Read more »

Scenario 1:  You need additional staff for your growing business or an upcoming project, but want to avoid the expense of hiring new employees. Scenario 2:  You would like to set up an intern training program as a means of recruiting and promoting the company. You have heard of other companies using unpaid interns for… Read more »

Ready for prime time?  Is your story compelling enough to interest venture capital investors? Some businesses, even if they succeed, simply will not get large enough to deliver the kinds of returns that venture investors seek. Do you have demonstrable results? Customer traction? Patented intellectual property? Consider raising a small amount of money from angels… Read more »

Focus on what’s important, negotiate and resolve the important points early, get the deal closed as quickly as possible and get back to growing the company. When you receive a term sheet from a VC for a full preferred stock financing, the abundance and variety of terms might seem overwhelming.  It can be difficult to…

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