Tag Archives: Emerging Growth

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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Three Stubbs Alderton & Markiles’ Attorneys Selected to 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars List

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP, one of Southern California’s leading business law firms, today announced that three attorneys of the firm have been selected to the 2017 Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars list.  SAM Partner Sean Greaney is a returning honoree from 2015 and 2016, while Nick C. Feldman and Ryan Duckett are first time honorees.  Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

Sean Greaney is Partner of the Firm.  Sean’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, and general corporate matters for both public and private clients, focusing on middle-market, emerging growth and development stage companies.  In addition, Sean counsels companies in connection with company formation process, SEC reporting requirements and registrations, federal and state securities laws and compliance, corporate governance issues, joint ventures, employee incentive plans and executive employment agreements.

Ryan Duckett is an associate of the Firm. Ryan’s practice focuses primarily on employment, commercial, intellectual property and entertainment litigation. He has successfully litigated cases for both plaintiffs and defendants with trials and appellate experience that has secured over millions of dollars in jury verdicts for his clients, to arguing California jury instructions that were created by the case he second chaired.  He manages and handles all aspects of civil actions from pre-litigation matters to law & motion to trials, post-trials & appeals.

Nick C. Feldman is an associate of the Firm. Nick’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, private equity transactions and general corporate matters for both public and private clients, focusing on middle-market and emerging growth companies. In addition, Nick counsels companies in connection with entity formation, corporate governance, federal and state securities laws and compliance, joint ventures, employee incentive plans, executive employment agreements and other executive compensation matters.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in the practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, visit SuperLawyers.com

About Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
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. For more information on Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, visit www.stubbsalderton.com 

Press Contact:
Heidi Hubbeling
Director of Marketing
hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com

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SAM Encourages You to Attend “ACG101’s First Annual Emerging Growth Pitch Competition & Showcase”

DATE AND TIME
Wed, June 7, 2017 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM PDT

LOCATION
Hub 101
31416 Agoura Road #105
Westlake Village, CA 91361

On June 7th, we’re showcasing 10 of Los Angeles’s finest startups in an event you won’t want to miss. These selected startups will pitch to attendees, guest judges (investors and seasoned entrepreneurs) in a showcase/demo table style presentation.

From 5:30 to 7:00, we’ll enjoy complimentary beverages and amazing food from Chef Kim Vu of Vucacious Catering as we hob nob with founders, investors and ACG101 Member professionals. From 7 to 8, let the votes be counted, feedback and awards begin!

Guest Judges – Coming Soon!

Featured Startups
Post-seed round and working on something awesome? We’d love to have you pitch! Register for the Pitch Competition to Apply!

Agenda
5:30pm – 7:00pm: Startup Pitching and Showcase – Enjoy Free Drinks and Catering by Vucacious Catering!
7:00pm – 8:00pm: Votes are Counted, Judges Give Valuable Feedback to Participants, and Awards are Presented!

 

ACG101 Emerging Growth Pitch Competition Sponsors

ACG101

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles

Cal Lutheran University

HUB101

We hope to see you there!

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SAM Client Colle Capital Partners Receives Strategic Investment from Zain Group to Close Out Fund

Colle Capital Stubbs Alderton & Markiles client Colle Capital Partners, a global, opportunistic, early stage technology venture fund based in New York, with a presence in San Francisco, has closed its fund, after a strategic investment by Zain Group, a leading innovator of mobile communications in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa. Colle Capital Partners has a diversified technology focus with an emphasis on data in the Energy, Media, Telecommunications, Health IT, Security, and Software Development sector.

To read the full press release visit here.

Stubbs Alderton attorneys representing and acting as Fund Counsel to Colle Capital Partners are  Scott Alderton and Jonathan Friedman.

About
Colle Capital Partners is a global, opportunistic, early stage technology venture fund. Managers have completed deals in various verticals and across all capital structures. They pay special attention to data. Virtually all their deals have intrinsic relationship with data as they believe that data will drive future growth for all their companies.

For more information about our Venture Capital and Emerging Growth Practice , contact Scott Alderton at salderton@stubbsalderton.com

 

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SAM Preccelerator® Program Featured in San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Trouble viewing the article? Click SFVBJ – Stubbs Alderton Article.

SFVBJ - Stubbs Alderton Article_Page_1 SFVBJ - Stubbs Alderton Article_Page_2 For more information about the Preccelerator® Program, contact Heidi Hubbeling at hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com or (310) 746-9803.

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles Assists Colle Capital Partners I, L.P. with Fund Formation

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP recently completed the formation of Colle Capital Partners I, L.P., a $20M global, opportunistic, early stage technology venture fund.  Managers have completed deals in various verticals and across all capital structures. They pay special attention to data. Virtually all of their deals have intrinsic relationship with data as they believe that data will drive future growth for all of their companies.

SAM Partner Jonathan Friedman served as lead counsel in connection with the formation of the fund.  For further information on SAM’s fund formation practice, please contact Jonathan Friedman at (818) 444-4514 or jfriedman@stubbsalderton.com.

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SAM Preccelerator Program Presents, “How to Network for Capital” with Len Lanzi of LAVA

JOIN STUBBS ALDERTON & MARKILES, LLP
FOR THIS EXCLUSIVE EVENT!

 

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“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.

 

Eventbrite - SAM Preccelerator Program Presents: "Networking for Capital" with Len Lanzi

THURSDAY, JANUARY 21, 2016

5:30PM-8:00PM

 

FEATURING

Len Lanzi

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
SAM-High-Res-Logo-1
1453 3rd Street Promenade, Suite 300
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Parking
Ramp #5 on the Corner of 4th and Broadway
or at the Santa Monica Mall
We hope to see you there!

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SAM Client HelloTech Raises $12.5M Series A to Expand Its In-Home Tech Support

 

HelloTech PicStubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP announced today that it assisted client HelloTech with its $12.5 Series A Financing to expand their in-home tech support.  The funding was led by Madrona Venture Group with participation from Upfront Ventures, CrossCut Ventures, and Accel Partners.  HelloTech closed their $4.5M seed funding in February, bringing their total raise to $17M.

HelloTech is a new on-demand tech support service provided by our fully-vetted team of techs. Each HelloTech Hero is hand-selected, background-checked and completes a variety of tests and assessments. In addition to a complete range of tech support services, we also provide new technology consultation and training. We not only fix problems, we educate and help architect a home’s tech eco-system.

In today’s world of connected devices and the Internet of Things, our mission is to make the newest in technology available and understandable to all. We’re making technology in the home simple.

SAM attorneys Scott Alderton and Caroline Cherkassky represented HelloTech in this transaction.

To view the TechCrunch article, click here.

For more information about our Venture Capital & Emerging Growth practice, contact Scott Alderton at salderton@stubbsalderton.com or (818) 444-4501.

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Five Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for Your Startup, and Five Things to Look For When You Do

In a perfect world, a business lawyer isn’t the person you run to when things go sideways—it’s the trusted advisor you consult regularly to anticipate challenges and put you in the best position to succeed. While it may seem like a luxury for some startups, there are several important factors to consider that make hiring a lawyer earlier than later a smart decision.

 Five Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for Your Startup

Guidance

At the incorporation stage, the value of a lawyer has as much to do with helping you figure out what you need as it does with preparing documents. When it comes to what kind of entity to form, how to structure and distribute equity, or the best strategy to protect your intellectual property, a good lawyer will help guide you toward where you need to be—and then get you there.

 Ownership

 When people embark on a business venture together, it’s best to establish everyone’s rights and expectations at the outset in case there are disagreements down the road. It’s a lot easier to resolve a conflict before it arises, and you’d never imagine anything could break the bond between you and your co-founders… until it does.

 Intellectual Property

Intellectual property can be one of the biggest assets—and, if not protected, liabilities—of a startup company. Whether it means preparing nondisclosure agreements to protect trade secrets, drafting license agreements, defending trademarks, copyrights, or patents, or avoiding infringement of all of the above, a good lawyer will keep you protected.

 Taxes

It probably goes without saying that you don’t want to violate tax laws or incur unnecessary tax liability, and that you want pay the taxes you owe so as to avoid penalties. Tax laws can be complex, and a good lawyer will keep you ahead of the curve on tax issues and structure your business accordingly.

 Contracts

Finally, there’s the day-to-day legal that every startup encounters. Airtight vendor agreements, employment and contractor documents, and website terms of service and privacy policies are all invaluable for startups to get right—the first time.

 

Five Things to Look For When You Do

 Expertise

First and foremost, you want someone that is skilled and experienced with the types of legal issues you will face. This includes both the underlying business issues and the challenges specific to your industry—an attorney with knowledge relevant to your business is best positioned to become the advisor you need.

For many startups across the board, it’s extremely advantageous to hire an attorney (and law firm) with experience in both formation and financing. An attorney who regularly helps companies get “up and running” but is also frequently involved in seed-stage and venture capital financing will be able to give you better advice, and better facilitate accomplishing your goals.

 Fit

It’s also important that your lawyer (and his or her firm) is a good fit for your company. This means someone that you get along with and enjoy working with, but also someone who “gets” your business and industry and has the resources at their firm to serve all your potential needs. If a lawyer doesn’t speak the language of your business or understand the world in which you’re operating, it’s harder for him or her to adequately represent you.

 Responsiveness

It should go without saying that you want a lawyer who responds to your calls and emails in a timely manner. What’s equally important is how they respond. A good lawyer shouldn’t just tell you “no.” They respond to a problem with the right questions and a new suggestion of how to get what you want: “This is what you can do.”

 Connections

 You might be thinking about your lawyer in terms of connections or cache, and you wouldn’t be alone in that thought. While the expertise, fit, and responsiveness of an attorney should take precedence, the ability of your lawyer to introduce you to investors or potential partners—as well as their guidance in how to do so and the credibility they lend—is simply part of the value proposition.

 Fees

 Let’s be honest: one of the biggest considerations in hiring a lawyer is the bottom line. The lawyers most start-ups deal with typically bill by the hour, and the hourly billing rate may vary widely between junior and senior lawyers. Depending on the complexity of your issue, the lawyer may be able to offer a flat fee arrangement to offer you some predictability, or at least offer an estimate of the amount of time it will take to complete the task at hand.

 If you make the time and effort to find the right attorney and firm, you can get quality representation at a fair price. In the long run, hiring a lawyer for your startup is worth it—in time and money saved, and stress avoided, by starting down the best path in the beginning.

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Nick FeldmanNick Feldman’s practice focuses on corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, private equity transactions and general corporate matters for both public and private clients, focusing on middle-market and emerging growth companies. In addition, Nick counsels companies in connection with entity formation, corporate governance, federal and state securities laws and compliance, joint ventures, employee incentive plans, executive employment agreements and other executive compensation matters.  Nick also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Loyola Marymount University, where he lectures on media law topics.

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For more information about services for your legal needs, contact Nick Feldman at nfeldman@stubbsalderton.com or (818) 444-4541.

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SAM Preccelerator Program Now Accepting Applications!

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Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP is one of the leading start-up law firms in Southern California. We pioneered a fixed fee start-up package making the formation and organization of your start-up as seamless as possible. Our Preccelerator Program is a platform offered to select start-up companies out of our Santa Monica office that provides interim office space and sophisticated legal services, with the objective of helping you grow your idea from business concept to funded startup. The Preccelerator Program provides free co-working space and other perks for 5-6 promising young startups.

The perks include:

  • Free co-working space on a rolling basis, including free wireless access to the Internet and access to conference rooms for meetings and presentations
  • Access to real-time legal advice and transactional legal services on site (under our standard engagement and/or fee arrangements)
  • Access to in-house educational workshops and activities
  • Potential introductions to our network of investors and other service providers

Apply Today

For more information about the Preccelerator Program, visit http://www.stubbsalderton.com/preccelerator or contact Heidi Hubbeling at (310) 746-9803 or hhubbeling@stubbsalderton.com

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