Essential Law for Entrepreneurs in Innovation-Driven Startups and Growth Companies (4Dx)

Dates:

NEW FOR 2014  An innovation-driven startup or growth company—one designed to commercialize a new technology or a business model enabled by a new technology—faces distinctive law-sensitive challenges. This program is a hands-on, focused “deep dive” into the law-sensitive issues that face innovation-driven businesses at key junctures.

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Essential Law for Entrepreneurs in Innovation-Driven Startups and Growth Companies (4Dx)
Certificate Track: Management and Leadership
Location: Online
Tuition: $3,300
Program Days (for certificate credit): 2

This course will be delivered exclusively online in six 2-3 hour sessions taking place once a week over six weeks.

This program is a hands-on, focused “deep dive” into the law-sensitive issues that face innovation-driven startups at key junctures.  An innovation-driven startup–one designed to commercialize a new technology or a business model enabled by a new technology–faces distinctive law-sensitive challenges. Key stakeholders need to understand how the law shapes the risks and opportunities presented by innovation-driven start-ups and the commercialization of new technologies. With a deeper understanding of legal issues,you will bring better judgment and more effective leadership to key junctures in the founding and growth of these exceptionally dynamic ventures. A partial list of the strategic challenges considered in this program include:  


  • In innovation-driven startups, there is often a team of entrepreneurs, rather than a single founder. The timeline for growth of the business is not linear–there is often a substantial period of no revenues and investment followed, hopefully, by extraordinary growth. This also creates a need for investors, and in particular investors who share the founders’ appetite for risk. How can this network of stakeholders, in an environment of radically shifting risks and opportunities, design an appropriate legal framework for ownership, compensation, incentives, responsibilities, commitment and control?
  • When the value of a venture is based upon an innovation, intellectual property (IP) rights are often key to growing that value. How can IP rights be acquired? How do legal considerations shape an effective IP strategy? How can IP be protected from threats such as the departure of key employees? 
  • Some innovation-driven startups have as their goal growth into a fully mature enterprise. But often the goal is to develop a product or service to the point where its value is clear enough to attract a buyer for the entire venture. Negotiations with prospective buyers are typically very asymmetric–with the new venture sitting across the table from a counterparty with far more resources and experience. (This is also often true in negotiations with prospective investors.) What tools does the law provide to protect the entrepreneur in such settings?
  • As the innovation-driven startup matures, taking on investors and shifting its business focus beyond enabling the innovation, pressures are generated for shifts in governance and management. The board, which at the outset is typically just the founders, takes on new members, more formal functions, and a more complex set of legal responsibilities and liabilities. Founder-CEOs are often replaced even as a venture achieves early success (and sometimes precisely because of that success). What do key stakeholders need to understand about how the legal framework of the venture channels these changes? 
  • Such ventures have an acute need for savvy legal advice and representation, but lawyers are expensive and resources are often very limited. How does the startup obtain and finance the legal services that it needs?
  • An innovation-driven startup is a high risk/high reward venture, and even those that are ultimately successful may suffer periods of financial distress. Financial distress creates major legal risks for a business entity and its managers. What legal pitfalls must be avoided during times of such distress, or during a winding down of the venture? 

    Session Dates and Estimated Times (you must attend all):

    Tuesday, November 11, 2014: 11am-2pm Eastern U.S. Time
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014: 11am-2pm Eastern U.S. Time
    Tuesday, November 25, 2014: 11am-2pm Eastern U.S. Time
    Tuesday, December 2, 2014: 11am-2pm Eastern U.S. Time
    Tuesday, December 9, 2014: 11am-2pm Eastern U.S. Time
    Tuesday, December 16, 2014: 11am-2pm Eastern U.S. Time

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