A blog about making your business leaner, faster and smarter

Startups and The Angel Investor Partnership

You can have the best idea in the world to create a startup, but without the funds to back it up you may feel like you are at a stalemate. It takes cold, hard cash (or plastic or checks or even PayPal) for an entrepreneur to make the dream a reality to pay the rent, payroll, office supply company, and electric bill. Bank loans are the typical option to consider, but angel investors are becoming more prominent (especially with tech startups).

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5 Most Common Pitfalls that Startups Should Avoid

The entrepreneurial spirit is as much a part of the fabric of America as baseball, democracy, and McDonald’s. We dream big, work hard, and invest our finances into something that we truly believe in. While our intentions may be noble and our ideas unparalleled, there are many things to consider before launching a startup business.

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Congrats newly-minted JDs!

Now that you’ve wrapped up the bar we want to offer you the chance to start working right away with one of the fastest-growing startups in the legal industry. UpCounsel is seeking legal research and writers to work for our senior attorneys! Get started with your application by emailing us at: juniors@upcounsel.com

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3 Tips for Issuing Equity to Startup Employees

Most startup companies get going with a plethora of cost-saving measures including working out of dismal (read cheap) spaces, employing sweat equity, and promising future equity. Most startups reward early hires for taking the risk and joining an unproven team by offering them company equity – after all working for a startup doesn’t always mean a big reward in the end.

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Are Convertible Bridge Notes Better for Startups or Investors?

We discussed convertible notes recently, and noted that the reasons they were popular. The primary feature of a convertible promissory note is that the debt investment automatically converts later into company equity at a discounted price per share. Some investors, however, do not like the terms of the typical convertible bridge note feeling that they do not adequately compensate an investor for the risk taken during early-stage startups.

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How to Use Google Patent Search for Patent Research

The first step to getting a patent is determining whether someone else already has the patent. Remember the first to file rule? If you’re the first person to come up with the idea, you can patent it and you’ll have a monopoly over that invention’s use for 20 years from the date of your patent application.

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What does a Convertible Note look like?

Convertible notes – or convertible debt – have become the de facto standard for small (i.e., less than a million) seed-stage deals in the last few years.

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What Should I Expect to Pay in Legal Fees for Series A Financing?

Statistics from top law firms routinely show that new startups spend a good deal of their money in legal costs. The legal fees for Series A financing are reported to range from between $40-$60K – about half to 70% of which will be paid by the investors depending on how your agreement is negotiated.

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What’s the Danger in ‘Liquidation Preferences’?

The term ‘liquidation preference’ is one of the essential components of a preferred stock agreement – it’s generally considered the second most important term in a venture capital investment and it’s outlined on the term sheet.

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How do you Understand a Series A Term Sheet?

The first round of investment from a venture capitalist or ‘angel investor’ is called a Series A round and that is defined by the terms included in the Series A Term Sheet. Each round of investing has its terms and definitions and this one defines the terms the first time an entrepreneur or small business seeks outside capital funding. If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur and have just been handed a Series A Term Sheet by a venture capitalist, whatever you do don’t sign it just yet. Many business founders have been dazzled by the numbers and signed a term sheet that was not in their favor simply because they missed a sneaky clause or discovered an term too late. Here’s an important thing to note – term sheets are non-binding which means they are just a way of moving along the process of negotiation with some terms …

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