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The Start Smart legal series is a joint effort of the Innovation Institute, the Innovation Practice Institute at the Pitt School of Law,  and Project Olympus at Carnegie Mellon University. Starting any business presents many legal questions. Start Smart is designed to provide legal assistance to entrepreneurs, both from Pitt and CMU, and the community at large. From negotiating contracts to protecting intellectual property to hiring, raising capital, and more, Start Smart can help entrepreneurs grasp the fundamental legal issues that startups face. The seminars are free and open to the public.

Start Smart 2017 Schedule

 

 

Starting a Business with an F-1 Visa

Thursday, January 19, 2017
5:30-7 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: Panel Discussion
Register

Join us for a panel discussion that will address how students with an F-1 visa can start a business or work on a startup team without violating their student status.

The panel includes: David Kalson, Director of the Emerging Business Group, Cohen & Grigsby, Larry Lebowitz, Director of the Immigration Group, Cohen & Grigsby, Linda Gentile, Director of the Office of International Education, CMU.

Company Formation

Thursday, February 9, 2017
5:30-7 pm
University of Pittsburgh, Barco Law building, Room 109
Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA  15260

Presenter:  David Lehman, K&L Gates
Register

Learn the basic legal issues that can occur with entity formation, including founder arrangements, founder employment arrangements, splitting the founder’s equity pie, founder agreements and employee equity.  The seminar will be followed by a workshop that will assist startups in the pre-company formation stage with developing a roadmap that covers recommended structure, operating agreements and other formation issues.

If you have a startup and would like to participate in the workshop, contact Kit@cs.cmu.edu.  If you are a student interested in participating, contact SAD111@pitt.edu.

 

Raising Capital

Thursday, February 16, 2017
5:30-7 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates
Register

Learn about the legal issues associated with raising capital through friends and family, seed and series A, B, C, etc. Discuss the following:
• Structuring the investments to maximize growth
•Opportunities available due to the new JOBS Act
•Crowdsourcing and proposed SEC regulation
•Funding from incubators/accelerators, government and foundations

 

Raising Capital Part 2: Negotiating Term Sheets

Thursday, February 23, 2017
5:30-7 pm
University of Pittsburgh, Barco Law Building, Room 109, 3900 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Presenter: David Lehman & Henry Snyder, K&L Gates
Register

Attend this interactive workshop to learn how to address the business and legal issues associated with making investments in startups, including negotiation strategies, valuation, founder and investor rights, vesting, management and exits. Participants will divide into two groups—one to represent the investor and the other to represent the company. Both will decide independently on the terms they want and then brought back together for the negotiation led by the lawyers.

 

Preparing for an Exit

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
5:30-7 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates
Register

Acquisitions are the most common form of exit. Learn how to prepare the company for sale, including the due diligence process, sale process and potential auctions, the role of investment bankers, tax implications, typical structures, including earn-outs, employment and non-competition obligations.

Social Enterprise: Profit with a Purpose

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
5:30-7 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: Stephanie Dangel, IPI, University of Pittsburgh Law
Register

This is a must-attend event for anyone interested in starting and running a company that blends profit with purpose. Learn about for-profit, non-profit and hybrid social enterprise entities and the legal issues related to each entity choice, including financing and employment issues.

 

Protecting Your Company’s IP Assets

Thursday, April 13, 2017
5:30-7 pm
University of Pittsburgh, Barco Law Building, Room 109
Presenter: George Dickos & Lauren Shuttleworth Murray, K&L Gates
Register
*NSF I-Corps Site Teams required to attend*

This seminar will cover legal issues related to intellectual property, including:
•How to protect your company’s IP and how not to infringe on another’s IP
•How to handle IP created by your employees, including non-compete clauses
•Which IP protection to use: copyright, patents, trademarks and/or trade secrets
•First to file vs. First to invent: changes in US patent law