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Introducing the Startup Superhero Video Series! – This Week Featuring Scott Alderton on “Positioning Your Company For Financing”

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and the Preccelerator Program are proud to announce the launch of their Startup Superhero Video Series – featuring SA&M Attorneys, Preccelerator Mentors, and entrepreneurs on topics specific to entrepreneurship and lessons learned throughout the journey.

This week we’re featuring SA&M Managing Partner Scott Alderton as he chats about “How to Position Your Company for Financing.”  Scott is the Co-Chair of the Venture Capital & Emerging Growth practice at Stubbs Alderton, General Partner of SAM CREATV Ventures, and a thought leader in the startup financing space.

 

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Transcript

Heidi: Tell me a little bit about your practice and experience and what you love most about working with emerging growth companies?

Scott: Sure, I have been doing this for a long time. My practice is broad-ranging. Early on in my career, I was more of a corporate & securities lawyer doing traditional SEC type of work with larger companies. As this thing called the “Internet” began to develop in the ’90s, it looked like it was interesting, I transitioned my practice to being more of a technology and venture capital lawyer. I really like working with companies all along their evolutionary path, but I really like working with early-stage companies. They have diverse, wide-ranging needs, they typically don’t have the resources that large companies have. I feel like I can play a vital role as an advisor even more-so than a lawyer. The lawyering part is the easy job to me, the advising part is really the fun part.

Heidi: Let’s talk a little bit about emerging growth companies and how they approach financing. What are some of the things an early stage company should be thinking about when they are going for funding. If they are really early, how do they attract investors?

Scott: I think it’s really a couple of things. The first thing that every company needs to do is to decide what its vision is and what kind of company it’s going to be. Venture capital is not right for every company and there’s lots of different ways to fund your businesses. The overwhelming majority of businesses do not get funded with venture capital. Venture capital is a way of financing a business through its growth stage. When it has a proven product, when it’s found its market and when it now needs to scale and grow. That’s when venture capital comes in and helps a company do that, but to get to that point is challenging. First you need to decide; am I a company that is going to require venture capital and am I company that is going to address a large scaling market, be disruptive, grow to be very large? That’s a venture fundable business.  Through the early stage, the second thing you need to figure out is  – how am I going to get to the point where professional investors are going to be interested in me? Professional investors are not going to be interested in every company like I said they are going to be interested in companies where they can apply their capital, grow and scale the business.

Heidi: As far as some of the tips that you would give to them, for them to actually attract investors – where do they look for them? Are warm introductions the best thing? What are some of the tactics?

Scott: First of all, don’t look too early. Understand that if you are really going out and seeking traditional, professional investment that you are going to have to have some metrics. You’re going to have to have at least a MVP of a product, you’re going to find a market where that product is being accepted. You are growing and scaling a business in that market. Whether its users or customers – whatever it is – you have to get to that stage first. How do you get to that stage? Well, you get to that stage by raising money from friends and family, from people who know you. From people that are going to invest in you, because you’re the entrepreneur. They believe in you. Relatives, friends, strategic business partners. A second way to look at that is for people who ultimately will be interested in your product, even though you have no metrics or proof of your product today. They will invest in you because they want your product to hit the market. Might be a strategic investment. Figure out a way – come hook or crook-  to raise that initial capital to where you can develop your product. Find a market place and the other doors will open.

Heidi: From a legal and business stand-point, how do they best position themselves?

Scott: Early stage companies by necessity cut corners, right? You don’t have resources. You’re boot strapping. You’re making promises that you can’t fully document. You can’t always afford lawyers or professional advisers and that’s fine. Do not second guess any of that. You got to where you are, but when you reach that point where you are now ready to go out and find professional capital, it’s important to look internally first. That you look at yourself, do the same kind of diligence with yourself that an investor is going to do on you. That way there are no surprises. Figure out capital issues and fix them. Figure out your employment issues and fix them. Figure out your commercial contracts that you have done on a whim and fix them. So that investors don’t look at you and think good concept, but I am not going to take all this risk.

Heidi: There’s another topic that startups tend to think a lot about but aren’t typically fully  educated on – how should they approach valuation and dilution?

Scott: I think that people get hung up on valuation because they have some number set in their mind or they have some experience that they talk about with other entrepreneurs. They think they either have to hang on to a certain percentage of their business or it’s not appropriate to give a certain amount at a certain round. You have to come into a financial transaction with an open mind and understand not just what you’re selling and what you have to give up for that. Also, where you are going and where that money is going to take you? I see entrepreneurs being penny wise and a pound foolish all the time. They think they don’t want to be significantly diluted. They end up throwing a wrench in the negotiation  or they loose a financing deal because they want to hang on to a few points of equity. In reality that money is going to take them so far that they are going to be vast and more valuable. Its a simple proposition of – there’s a pie and you want a piece of that pie. It’s much better to own a smaller piece of a gigantic pie than it is to own a big piece of a small pie.

Heidi: Appreciate you for being here and I’m sure we will have you back for other topics some time soon.

Scott: Thanks, looking forward to it.

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To learn more about our Venture Capital & Emerging Growth Practice, contact Scott Alderton at salderton@stubbsalderton.com.

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles LLP Featured in LA Times

LA Times Stubbs Alderton & Markiles  was recently featured in an article in the LA Times Tech Round Up discussing the expansion of its Preccelerator® Program and new partnership with Creatv Media‘s Peter Csathy.

“By adding more companies, formalizing our class structure, expanding benefits and providing initial seed capital, we will give them a greater shot at success,” law firm managing partner Scott Alderton said in a statement.

To read the full article in the LA Times click here.

Applications are now open for the Preccelerator® Program, an early-stage start-up accelerator focused on the technology and digital media space! Deadline for applications is March 15, 2017. To apply visit www.preccelerator.com/application

For more information about the Preccelerator and its offerings, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com or (310) 746-9803.

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SAM Partner Kevin DeBré Featured as Speaker at USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Kevin DebréStubbs Alderton & Markiles’ Partner Kevin DeBré will be featured as a speaker for a Legal Workshop for the USC Viterbi Innovation Teams during the Maseeh Entrepreneurship Prize Competition and Min Family Engineering Social Entrepreneurship Challenge. Congratulations on this honor!

To find out more about the Min Family Engineering Social Entrepreneurship Challenge visit here.

To find out more about the Maseeh Entrepreneurship Prize Competition visist here.

To find out more about Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ Intellectual Property & Technology Transactions practice contact Kevin DeBré at kdebre@stubbsalderton.com

 

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP ranked in 2017 “Best Law Firms” for Commercial Litigation

SAM-High-Res-Logo-1December 2016 — U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the sixth consecutive year, announce the “Best Law Firms” rankings.

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP has been ranked in the 2017 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list and regionally in 1 practice areas.

Firms included in the 2017 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

The 2017 Edition of “Best Law Firms” includes rankings in 74 national practice areas and 122 metropolitan-based practice areas. One “Law Firm of the Year” is named in each of the 74 nationally ranked practice areas.

Ranked firms, presented in tiers, are listed on a national and/or metropolitan scale. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity.

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP received the following rankings in the 2016 U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”:

  • Regional Tier 2
    • Los Angeles
      • Commercial Litigation

The official Best Lawyers 2017 publication can be read in its entirety here.

For more information about Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP contact the firm at info@stubbsalderton.com.

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SAM Preccelerator Program Presents: “How to Network for Capital” with Len Lanzi

Join Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
for this exclusive event!

 

 
 
 
“How to Network for Capital”
 

This session will focus on techniques and ways to network in the VC and Angel Community.  We will interact and share best practices on business development and promoting your start-up. 

 Thursday January 26th, 2017
5:30pm-8:00pm
 
**Networking and Startup Demos!**

SAM Preccelerator Program participants will have demo tables where they will showcase their companies. Check them out!
 register-200x200
 
  

Featuring

Len Lanzi, Executive Director,
LA Venture Association, (LAVA)
 

Len Lanzi is Executive Director of LAVA, and has over 20 years of non-profit organization management and fund development experience. In his role, he works with the LAVA board of directors to direct the strategic plan and organize educational and informational programs about the venture business environment in the greater Los Angeles region.

 
Sponsored by

   Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
1453 3rd Street Promenade, Suite 300
Santa Monica, CA 90401

 
Parking
4th Street/Broadway ramp or in the Santa Monica Place Mall

 

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Napkin Finance Founder Tina Hay Featured on Equities.com®

napkin-finance-how-to-start-a-startup

Congratulations to SAM Preccelerator® Program’s company Napkin Finance and its founder Tina Hay for having an article featured on Equities.com this week. The article written by Tina Hay, entitled “A 7-Point Financial Checklist to Starting Your Own Business”  creates a list  to help guide those new to entrepreneurship. Napkin Finance is a multimedia company that simplifies financial matters and uses napkins to teach users everything they need to know about money in 30 seconds or less.

To view the full article on Equities.com click here.

For more about the Preccelerator® Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling, Director at
(310) 746-9803 or hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com

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SAM Client Alert: “Time Off to Vote” Notices

635928989646379029-1077750017_headlinerCalifornia law requires employers to post a notice (available here) ten days before an election (which is tomorrow) advising employees of provisions for taking paid leave for the purpose of voting in statewide elections.

Thank you to Zoe J. Sussman, Esq. of Thomas Employment Law Advocates, APC for this update. For more information on this and other employment law matters, contact ZSussman@ThomasEmploymentLaw.com

 

 

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ Partner Greg Akselrud to Speak at Digital Hollywood – Fall 2016

Greg_Akselrud
SAM Partner Greg Akselrud, Chair of the Internet, Digital Media & Entertainment practice,  will speak at Digital Hollywood – Fall 2016 on a panel entitled “Investment, Financing & Packaging Projects: Unique Content – Unique Technology”  this Thursday, October 20th at 2:15pm in Skirball Center’s Herscher Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 305.

Other panelists include:

Diane McGrath, Managing Director Media and Technology, Streicher, J Streicher Capital

Monica Dodi, Managing Director, Women’s Venture Capital Fund

Josh Stein, Special Counsel, MG+

Michael Terpin, CEO, Transform Group

Joey Tamer, President, S.O.S. Inc., Moderator

To view the full announcement, click here.

To learn more about our Internet, Digital Media & Entertainment practice, contact Greg Akselrud at gakselrud@stubbsalderton.com or (818) 444-4503.

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Preccelerator® Program Company BallParq Launches Crowdfunder Campaign

SAM Preccelerator® Program company BallParq, a web-based platform for building startup financial models for entrepreneurs, universities and incubators, has launched a Crowdfunder campaign with the mission of raising $300,000. To view their campaign, visit https://www.crowdfunder.com/ballparq/invest

 

Ballparq is a web-based platform that lets entrepreneurs create engaging financial model through an easy-to-use interactive process. The entrepreneur is able to demonstrate financial sophistication by telling the story of their business from the bottom up.

  • Step-by-step: With Ballparq, entrepreneurs will be guided through a logical step-by-step interview that documents key assumptions about their business model while at the same time trains them to think about their business financials in conventional terms that are easily communicated to others.
  • Customizable templates: We will have industry specific templates and Ballparq will enable the entrepreneur to form complex connections between assumptions through a simple user interface. The entrepreneur won’t need to be a financial engineer to test the unique interdependencies between activities, revenues, and costs within their business.
  • What-if analysis: Users can make side-by-side copies of their models and utilize built-in knobs and levers that adjust model parameters on the fly to do effective “What-if” analysis.
  • Secure Sharing: Ballparq will enable users to interactively share their models with others in a secure environment.
  • Marketplace: Ballparq will serve as a marketplace for user engagement. With public and private live chat, users will be able to connect with the larger user community. They will be able to share their custom templates and discuss startup strategies and contacts with each other. Users will also be able to connect with consultants or other startup service vendors to assist in taking their startup to the next level.

For more information about BallParq, contact founder Carey Chico at carey@ballparq.io.  To learn more about the Preccelerator® Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com or (310) 746-9803.

 

 

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Preccelerator Program Presents: “The Art of Fundraising Episode II – Setting the Deal” – August 18

Join the
Preccelerator Program

for this exclusive event!

 “The Art of Fundraising Episode II:  
Setting the Deal

 

When

Thursday, August 18, 2016

 5:30pm-8:00pm

 **Food, Drinks & Networking Included!**

 

 

Location

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
1453 3rd Street Promenade, Suite 300
Santa Monica, CA 90401

 

 

Parking

4th Street/Broadway ramp or in the Santa Monica Place Mall

 

 Register!

Featuring

Moderator:

Delilah Panio, Founder – Stiletto Dash

I love helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams… just like I am!

As the founder of Stiletto Dash, I am passionate about helping women build their dream companies and achieve economic independence through entrepreneurship. Through my one-on-one consulting and soon to be launched online courses, I work with clients on their business planning and getting investor-ready.

I am leading the L.A. chapter of SheEO’s Radical Generosity program in which 1000 women invest $1000 to provide low interest loans to 10 local women-led companies. I am also a Co-Founder of We Are Enough, a non-profit that educates women on why and how to invest in women-owned businesses. As well, I am active in the LA entrepreneur community, including as the Co-Chair of Women in LAVA (Los Angeles Venture Association) and coach for local pitch competitions.

My background is as a capital markets expert with 10 years in business development at the Toronto Stock Exchange, including as the Director, Business Development & Strategy. I have advised many companies on the going public process and can provide an understanding of private and public financing options in Canada and the United States.

Panelists:

Scott Alderton, Partner – Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP (Legal)

Scott Alderton is a founding partner of the Firm, Managing Partner, and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.  Scott is co-chair of the Firm’s Venture Capital and Emerging Growth Practice Group and chair’s the Firm’s Interactive Entertainment and Video Games Group.  Scott advises both public and private clients across a number of industries, including technology, manufacturing and distribution of goods in commerce, finance, the Internet, interactive video games, and new media industries.

Scott’s practice focuses on advising middle-market, technology, emerging growth, and development stage companies in the areas of corporate and securities, mergers and acquisitions, high technology, business, licensing, intellectual property, interactive entertainment and video games, the Internet and multimedia. Scott is frequently referenced as one of the top “start-up” lawyers in Southern California, with over thirty-one years of experience working with technology and emerging growth companies at all stages along their evolutionary path.  Scott’s practice also includes a wide variety of federal and state securities laws matters, including the representation of venture capital funds, issuers and investment bankers in public offering registrations and private placements of securities, counseling both public and private clients in reverse merger and/or exchange transactions with public shell companies (i.e., alternative public offerings), as well as counseling issuers in connection with securities offerings and federal and state securities law reporting requirements.

Austin Clements, Associate – TenOneTen Ventures (Investor)

Prior to joining TenOneTen, Austin was at Sony Pictures, licensing film and TV content to emerging video platforms. He began his career in investment management working with AllianceBernstein and has since held roles evaluating early stage tech investments at Creative Artists Agency, Digital Entertainment Ventures, and NY Angels.

Austin is also committed to encouraging underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in tech and entrepreneurship. He is an active volunteer in various local youth entrepreneurship programs.

Austin received his MBA from NYU Stern with a specialization in Media, Entertainment, and Technology and his BA from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. He is a Los Angeles native and lives with his wife and their son.

 David Melnick, CEO – Web Life Balance (Funded Startup)

David Melnick, Founder and CEO of WebLife Balance, brings almost 25 years experience in technology and security.

David has worked extensively with both US and Global companies advising them on setting strategy, developing risk based priorities, and operationalizing effective governance of highly sensitive and regulated data. David’s experience includes implementing security technology and addressing privacy regulatory requirements including Global, U.S. Federal and U.S. State privacy requirements. As a past two term board member of (ISC)2, David traveled internationally representing the security and privacy profession.

David has authored several books through McGraw Hill Publishing and Macmillan Publishing including PDA Security: Incorporating Handhelds into your Enterprise. Currently his books have been translated into 4 languages including Japanese, Chinese and Italian.

David is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/E CIPP/US), a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

 

 

 

Special Thanks to our Sponsors!

 

 Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP is a business law firm with robust corporate, public securities, mergers and acquisitions, entertainment, intellectual property, brand protection and business litigation practice groups focusing on the representation of, among others, venture backed emerging growth companies, middle market public companies, large technology companies, entertainment and digital media companies, investors, venture capital funds, investment bankers and underwriters. The firm’s clients represent the full spectrum of Southern California business with a concentration in the technology, entertainment, videogame, apparel and medical device sectors. Our mission is to provide technically excellent legal services in a consistent, highly-responsive and service-oriented manner with an entrepreneurial and practical business perspective. These principles are the hallmarks of our Firm. www.stubbsalderton.com

Early Growth Financial Services (EGFS) is an outsourced financial services firm that provides small to mid-sized companies with the exact level of day-to-day accounting, strategic finance, CFO services, tax, and valuation support that they need to focus on their core business. We currently support 300+ companies nationwide and were ranked #5 Fastest Growing Private Company by Silicon Valley Business Journal for 2013. Our mission at EGFS is to provide a completely integrated financial solution for small to mid-sized businesses.www.earlygrowthfinancialservices.com

 

     Capital InVentures is a New York-based boutique investment bank serving middle market companies in the $5-mm to $100-mm range. The firm performs consulting and investment banking services within the global financial community.  Through its association with other investment banking houses, underwriters and other private and public, domestic and offshore financial sources, Capital InVentures handles venture capital deals, bridge and mezzanine financing, syndications, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, corporate capitalization, technology transfer, commercial debt and other creative business structures.www.CapitalInventures.com

 

Since 1985 the Los Angeles Venture Association has been providing forums where entrepreneurs and executives of start-up, emerging growth and late stage venture funded companies actively meet and learn from fellow executives, investors, bankers, financial advisors and other providers of professional services.Our extensive slate of monthly Strategic Interest Group meetings and panel discussions feature exceptional presentations by prominent members of our investment, entrepreneurial, business and academic communities. Our annual Meet the VC conference, First Look LA and the LAVA Awards Dinner are our region’s premiere forums on investment capital. We also co-produce events with many of our affiliated organizations. www.lava.org

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