Business Law

Business Law

Why Choose a C-Corporation for Your Startup Journey

In this podcast you will learn why C-Corporations are the vehicle of choice for tech startups in Silicon Valley and the tech sector. You’ll learn why it doesn’t make sense to operate as an S-Corporation, or an LLC, and how you can escape paying taxes when you sell your C-Corporation shares.

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A Recipe for Success in Patent Licensing

Why it’s not easy to collect patent license fees and what it takes to be successful in patent licensing.

In this podcast, we explore why patents are often asserted through dedicated patent assertion entities, why an army of patent litigators, prosecution attorneys, inter-parte review attorneys, patent brokers and technical experts are required.

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Business Momentum

Momentum is critical for success in business, especially in the fast moving tech sector. Recognizing this and figuring out how to generate positive momentum can make the difference between your venture winding up in a painful shutdown or reaching a profitable IPO.

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Understanding Angel Investors

How angel investors work, how they syndicate investments and how they structure their investments as convertible notes or preferred stock rounds of financing. David Smith presents materials from the Silicon Valley Business School Raising Finance for Startups course and explains how he managed to raise more than $20m from angel investors in one of his previous startups.

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Why Startup Valuation is Not Startup Valuation

This episodes explains how startups are valued and presents the argument as to why venture capital investments in startup ventures should not be used as the basis to place a valuation on the company.

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Preferred Pizza Toppings

This episode explains how venture capital investors get preferred stock, and founders get common stock. Preferential toppings provided to investors include liquidation preferences, veto rights, board rights, anti-dilution rights, co-sale and drag-along rights. David Smith talks to Mark Cameron White, founder of the White Summers law firm, about the terms Mark’s seeing in Silicon Valley and elsewhere today.

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Forming the Startup Company and Partnering with Co-Founders

David talks to Mark Cameron White, Harvard-educated lawyer who founded and financed hundreds of Silicon Valley startups, about forming the company and forming the founding team.

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The Startup Journey–Targeting your Destination

If you don’t know where you’re going, what chance do you have of getting there? This is the first in a series of episodes on the startup journey and today we’re talking about targeting your destination. Future episodes will deal with other aspects of your journey like generating momentum, gathering your provisions, setting and achieving milestones and selecting your travelling companions. In this series on the startup journey, you’ll learn that you’re most likely to reach your destination if you know exactly where you’re going, you have sufficient fuel to get there, you plan for contingencies, maintain momentum and assemble a winning team. This episode looks at some of the alternative destinations you might want to select for your startup.  We’re going to talk about independent survival, where you build a business independent of outside investment, with the goal of generating profitable revenues, for years to come. We’ll talk about IPO, where you build a company that has its shares traded on the public markets.  “IPO” stands for “initial public offering”. Then we’ll divide a sale of the company into two types. Cash flow sale is where you sell the company as a profitable going concern. The buyer is getting a cash-flow generating business. The term “asset sale” has a more specific meaning in legal jargon, but for the purpose of our startup journey, we’ll use this to refer to a situation where a buyer acquires your company for your product or technology.  In Silicon Valley, there are situations where unprofitable companies are acquired when they have a hot product, or some unique technology or asset that will enhance the buyer’s business. In this episode you get to learn the basics of how venture capital investment funds operate, how they select startups for investment and what types of companies are suitable for venture capital investment. This is an important episode as it provides a foundation for future discussions we will have on this podcast series.

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