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Crowdfunding and IP in Health and Biotech Start-ups (Part 3): Potential Dangers

This is the third in a 3-part series about the use of crowdfunding in health and biotech start-ups. We started with the story of a tech start-up which set records for funding through a Kickstarter campaign, triggering the...more

“Notable By Their Absence: Finders And Other Financial Intermediaries In Small Business Capital Formation”

Small businesses are often regarded as the catalyst for economic growth in the United States. Small businesses account for the creation of two-thirds of all new jobs, and are the incubators of innovation. The majority of...more

Crowdfunding and IP in Health and Biotech Start-ups (Part 2): The JOBS Act

Crowd Funding ImageThis is the second in a 3-part series about the use of crowdfunding in health and biotech start-ups. We started with the story of a tech start-up which set records for funding through a Kickstarter...more

Venture Capital Coast to Coast – June 2015

As we reported in January 2015, 2014 was a banner year for venture capital on all fronts, from fundraising, to investment and exits – save, however, for the small drop in the number of deals versus the largest aggregate...more

FTC Announces First Action Involving Crowdfunding

Last week, the FTC announced its first legal action involving crowdfunding. For those of you who don’t know, crowdfunding is the practice of raising money for a project by seeking contributions from a large number of people,...more

Crowdfunding Isn’t Charity

“How do I get backers for my project?” - You see this question asked frequently on social media sites. The projects are sometimes serious, but have often advanced little more than a dream. The person seeking funds may...more

Crowdfunding Project Creator Settles FTC Charges of Deception

In the FTC's first case involving crowdfunding, the agency took action against a project creator who was ostensibly raising money from consumers to produce a board game, but instead used most of the funds on himself....more

Insights Newsletter - Spring 2015

In This Issue: - The Importance of Accredited Investors for Small Business Capital Formation - “All Appropriate Inquiries”: Update on the Environmental Due Diligence Standard - A Hunt for Justice Erodes...more

Misuse of Funds Dooms Crowdfunding Board Game Project

For those participating in the crowdfunding for The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, their investment was doomed by the promoter who used the funds for himself. In its first crowdfunding case, the Federal Trade Commission...more

Dead Hand Proxy Puts Face Continued Scrutiny

"Dead hand proxy puts’’ have emerged as the target du jour for entrepreneurial plaintiffs counsel litigating corporate governance claims. Since last fall, at least seven separate actions have been filed in the Delaware Court...more

Income Tax & Crowdfunding

Income tax may not be front of mind when starting a crowdfunding campaign, but early consideration of the issues could prevent a panic-inducing call from the Australian Taxation Office. The choice of crowdfunding model...more

Employee Ownership of Patentable Inventions

A startup in the oil-and-gas service sector sought to improve downhole well stimulation technology. After a few years, differences between the three founders culminated in the ouster of Mr. Groves, one of the founders. Mr....more

More Provinces Crowd into Crowdfunding, but Not Yet Ontario or Alberta

On May 14, 2015, the securities regulators of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Québec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (the Crowdfunding Jurisdictions) announced that they have implemented, or expect to implement,...more

KISS the SAFE Goodbye? Another Alternative for Start-up Financing

Only recently, we debated the merits of the SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity), an alternative funding mechanism for early-stage companies designed to replace the industry-standard convertible note financing....more

Mini-bonds – So good things come in small packages?

This may be a slightly odd question with which to start a legal blog post, but do you like burritos, wine, or chocolate? Who doesn’t, right? If only there was a way of making money off your addiction to tasty Mexican treats...more

Trademark Dos and Dont's: Conducting a Trademark Clearance Search

So you’ve come up with a creative name for your business or your product. You have thought hard about it, and probably feel a vested interest in this name. The next step in protecting your name is to conduct what is known as...more

Don’t Forget Your Corporate Formalities … It’ll Cost You

Many individuals believe that it is easy to protect themselves in starting a business by simply setting up a new corporation or LLC. But it is important that shareholders or members abide by corporate formalities. Even the...more

Miami: The Next Global Frontier

Miami’s second annual eMerge Americas Conference marks another milestone in the city cementing itself as a hub for tech startups and entrepreneurs. In the last 18 months, Miami has established and cemented many of the key...more

Structure Your Start-up For Fundraising Success - Part Five: 5 Leverage Government Funding

If you’ve determined that your new venture is going to require outside investment, there are a number of things you can do to make your company more attractive to investors: Leverage Government Funding. The federal and...more

Structure Your Start-up For Fundraising Success - Part Four: Sign up your employees and contractors

If you’ve determined that your new venture is going to require outside investment, there are a number of things you can do to make your company more attractive to investors...more

Real Estate: An Introduction to Leasing For Start-Ups

Now that you have decided to rent “real” space and pay rent to a landlord in an office building, what are the basic terms you need to know about? Whether you are doing “desk sharing” or a more formal lease, focus on five...more

Structure your start-up for fundraising success - Part Three: Protect your intellectual property

If you’ve determined that your new venture is going to require outside investment, there are a number of things you can do to make your company more attractive to investors. ...more

Intellectual Property: Crowdfunding and Confidentiality for Tech Start-Ups

I recently attended Launch Festival 2015 in San Francisco and Angel Launch’s LaunchFEST Mixer: Doing Deals with Silicon Valley—Attracting Funding, Angels, and Tech Trends in downtown Los Angeles. The events were very...more

Structure your start-up for fundraising success - Part Two: Organize your corporate records

If you’ve determined that your new venture is going to require outside investment, there are a number of things you can do to make your company more attractive to investors....more

Bill Gross, Founder of Idealab, On Big Ideas and the Real Limitation to Starting Companies [Video]

Today, my special guest is Bill Gross, Caltech Trustee and fellow Caltech Alumni, Chairman and Founder of Idealab. Bill started his first company in grade school selling candy bars at the bus stop (his version of the lemonade...more

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