Tag Archives: Startups

Newly Expanded Preccelerator® Program Now Accepting Applications for Digital Media & Tech Companies – Apply Now!


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.  The newly expanded program will host 10 companies in its Santa Monica-based co-working space. To Apply visit www.preccelerator.com/application

Benefits include:

  • Potential investment in select Preccelerator companies up to $50,000
  • 24/7 access to co-working space and a collaborative environment
  • a robust strategic perks program worth over $250,000 to early-stage Preccelerator companies and $450,000 for Preccelerator-funded companies
  •  50+ strategic mentors that provide regular office hours and are dedicated to each company’s success
  • Over 50+ educational and networking events per year
  • Potential introductions to funding sources
  • With an emphasis on community and collaboration, the Preccelerator alumni continue to participate, give back and help foster the success of current and future Program participants.
  • Access to the top Southern California business law firm of Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP for legal services and their extensive network and relationships
  • Access to the business advisement and business development services and network of CREATV Media

The Preccelerator® has had 22 companies go through the Program, with a majority of the companies being accepted into larger accelerator programs and/or getting their seed funding.

To read about the recent expansion of the Preccelerator and partnership with CREATV Media, click here.

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





Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and CREATV Media Featured in L.A Biz Article Regarding Preccelerator Expansion

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and CREATV Media were featured in a L.A. Biz Article outlining the two firms’ strategic alignment to grow the Preccelerator Program and seek out potential investments in promising startup companies in the digital media and technology space.

To view the full article, click here.

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




Napkin Finance Founder Tina Hay Featured on Equities.com®


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


Preccelerator Program Presents: “From Runway to Exit – How Proper Financial Modeling Sets up Startups for Raising Capital & Financial Success”

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




“From Runway to Exit – How Proper Financial Modeling Sets up Startups for Raising Capital & Financial Success”





Thursday, May 19, 2016




Bring your Laptop!


**Food, Drinks & Networking Included!**






Eli Eisenberg has more than 35 years of hands on experience in the financial and business management of entrepreneurial companies.  As founder and CEO of Straight Line Management™, he specializes in providing financial expertise and mentoring to high-potential early stage companies. Mr. Eisenberg helps them to increase profitability, secure funding, evaluate and capitalize on opportunities, streamline financial operations, and get the financial side of the business under control.

Since launching his Straight Line Management consulting company in 1991, he has served as a trusted advisor to more than 70 early-stage companies, both traditional and web based, across a variety of industries including software and game companies, high and low tech manufacturing companies, wholesale distribution companies, product and services companies and non-profit organizations.

Prior to starting Straight Line Management, Mr. Eisenberg served as Chief Financial Officer for three high technology companies, served in senior financial and operational management positions (including VP of Finance and VP of Operations) in several other high growth companies, and established, ran and sold his own successful consumer products company.

Mr. Eisenberg has extensive experience in strategic planning, capital raising strategies, financial management and forecasting, business plan preparation, and development and streamlining of management reporting systems and controls. He received his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1976 and became a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California is 1978. He is also a Fellow of the Larta Institute, where he conducts workshops and mentoring sessions for entrepreneurs in conjunction with their NIH, NSF, TATRC and USCA Commercialization Assistance Programs


Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP
1453 3rd Street Promenade, Suite 300
Santa Monica, CA 90401
4th Street/Broadway ramp or in the Santa Monica Place Mall
We hope to see you there!

Preccelerator® Program Now Accepting Applications!


SAM NewPreccelerator

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP is one of the leading business 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 24/7 access to our 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
  • Access to our extensive network of mentors
  • Potential introductions to our network of investors and other service providers
  • Partnerships with Google Cloud for Startups, Amazon Web Services, FacebookStart, the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA), Trinet, Early Growth Financial Services (EGFS) and many more!
  • Perks package worth approximately $150K!

Apply Today

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


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.


Highlights of the PATH Act and How It Benefits Startup Companies – By: Michael Shaff

PATH-Act-carnegie-invest.jpgCongress passed and the President signed a tax act in December. Here are some highlights that may benefit startup companies.

R&D Changes

  1. R&D Credit made permanent. The research and development (“R&D”) credit of 20% of qualified research expenditures had expired for costs incurred after December 31, 2014. The new tax act (known as the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes or the PATH Act) retroactively extends the credit for costs incurred after December 31, 2014. If your company filed a tax return for a fiscal year or a short year ending during 2015 and your company had qualifying R&D costs, consider filing an amended return to claim the credit on the qualifying expenses.
  1. R&D Credit applicable against AMT. An eligible small business (one with average annual gross receipts over the most recent three year period of not more than $50 million) may claim the R&D Credit against the alternative minimum tax (“AMT”). AMT is imposed when the alternative minimum tax [imposed at 20% for corporations and for individuals and other non-corporate taxpayers at 26% (for AMT net income not more than $175,000) or 28% (for AMT net income over $175,000) but computed without many deductions and credits], exceeds the regular tax. The regular tax is imposed at up to 39.6% for individuals and other non-corporate taxpayers and 35% for corporations.
  1. R&D Credit applicable against payroll tax. A qualified small business—meaning an entity having less than $5 million in gross receipts and which did not have taxable receipts in any year more than five years previous (meaning a startup that recently started to have sales income)—may claim some or all of the R&D Credit against the employer portion of FICA withholding. The amount of the R&D credit that may applied to reduce the business’s employment tax liability is limited to $250,000 per year. There are several further limitations on the use of the R&D credit against employment taxes, one of which applies to limit the use of the R&D credit against the entity’s employment tax liability, to the lowest of (a) the amount of the R&D credit elected for use against the employment tax liability, (b) the amount of the R&D credit for the year, or (c) the amount of the R&D credit that would otherwise go unused for the year.

Small Business Changes

  1. 1374 tax on built in gain for S corporations only applies for 5 years now. When a C corporation elects S corporation status or when an S corporation acquires assets of a C corporation in a tax-free transaction, it must determine its subchapter C built in gain—the excess of (i) the value of the assets of the C corporation at the time that the corporation’s subchapter S election becomes effective or the time that the acquisition of the assets of the C corporation by the S corporation is effective over (ii) the tax basis of those assets. If the S corporation sells those assets within five years of the date of the subchapter S election or the date of acquisition of those assets, the S corporation is taxable at the corporate level on the subchapter C built in gain. That five year period was reduced from ten years. A C corporation now only has to wait five years after the effective date of its subchapter S election before it becomes a completely pass-through entity.
  1. Section 1202 100% exclusion now permanent. Section 1202 allows a complete exclusion from tax on gain from the sale of stock of a qualified small business corporation. This may be a very attractive provision for startup companies that engage in a qualified business, in general any business other than personal services, real estate, farming or hotel management. Any C corporation engaged in a qualified business with aggregate gross assets having a value of $50 million or less may be a qualified small business. If an investor (other than a C corporation investor) holds the qualified small business stock for five years, any gain on the sale is permanently excluded from federal income taxation. This had been the treatment since 2010. This provision was annually extended. The PATH act made the 100% exclusion permanent. Incidentally, if qualified small business stock is disposed of after being held for six months but less than five years, the gain may be deferred if the amount realized (not just the gain) is rolled into new qualified small business stock within 60 days of the first sale. That latter rule was unaffected by the PATH act.

Section 179 Expensing Changes

  1. Section 179 allows a business to deduct up to $500,000 in qualified capital expenditures that otherwise would have to be capitalized and depreciated over the useful life of the assets purchased. The PATH act provides that the $500,000 expensing limitation will now be indexed for inflation. The ability to expense the cost of capital assets is reduced for each dollar over $2 million that capital expenditures represent, so at $2.5 million in capital expenditures, the deduction is reduced to zero.
  1. Section 179 allows for expensing of the cost of computer software that might otherwise have to be depreciated or amortized. The computer software would have to satisfy the other requirements of Section 179 for expensing capital expenditures.
  1. The right to revoke the 179 election without IRS consent has been made permanent by the PATH act.
  1. The PATH act made permanent the right to expense up to $500,000 (commencing in 2016) of the cost of qualified real property, which is defined as qualified restaurant property or qualified retail improvement property that was (1) of a character subject to the allowance for depreciation, (2) acquired for use in the active conduct of a trade or business and (2) not excluded under any of the rules that exclude other types of property from being “section 179 property.” The cap on the cost of qualified real property that could be expensed was $250,000 for 2015.

Section 181

Section 181 of the Internal Revenue Code allows expensing of up to $15 million ($20 million for expenses incurred in certain designated distress and low income communities) in film and TV production costs as long as 75% of the compensation costs for actors, directors, production personnel and producers were for services performed in the U.S. Section 181 was supposed to sunset for production costs incurred after 2015, but the PATH act extended the eligibility for the Section 181 deduction for production costs.



Michael Shaff joined the firm in 2011 as Of Counsel. He is chairperson of the Tax Practice Group. Michael specializes in all aspects of federal income taxation. Mr. Shaff has served as a trial attorney with the office of the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service for three years. Mr. Shaff is certified by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California as a specialist in tax law. Mr. Shaff is a past chair of the Tax Section of the Orange County Bar Association. He is co-author of the “Real Estate Investment Trusts Handbook” published annually by West Group.

For more information about the PATH Act and the Tax & Estate Planning Practice at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP, contact Michael Shaff at mshaff@stubbsalderton.com


SAM Client Finny Raises $300k to Help Parents Balance Children’s Device Time

SAM client Finny announced the completion of an initial funding round of $300k that includes participation from Spartan Ventures, Inc. (www.spartanventures.com) and several angel investors.  “We are very excited to be able to support Finny — a socially responsible and quite frankly, necessary tool for the benefit of our most prized possessions — our children,” said Reg Lapham, Spartan’s President. Finny’s parental engagement platform is the first mobile solution that turns screen time into learning moments. An increasingly valuable need as research continues to prove that device addiction is causing serious academic, social, and medical issues that are affecting today’s youth.

Targeted to 7-14 year olds, Finny monitors unproductive device usage and interrupts by triggering a custom quiz. Whether reinforcing traditional academic subjects or introducing new topics, the content library contains over 15,000 questions across a range of categories (Math, Science, Current Events, etc.). Through a comprehensive dashboard, parents can customize settings, receive real-time report cards, and gain visibility into their child’s device usage.

“This is the perfect tool to engage with your child and improve mobile habits.”
– Professor Eric Curcio, MD UCLA Pediatrics

The company, based in Santa Monica, California, intends to use the funds for continued product enhancements while igniting marketing efforts. They are focused on building out a powerful influencer network to drive awareness and legitimize messaging. Currently available for download on Google Play and with iOS scheduled for early 2016, Finny is ready to begin driving change by making device usage productive.

Follow along and join the movement, as everyone’s participation is important to combat the magnitude of the problem.

SAM Partner Louis Wharton represented Finny in this transaction.  For more information about our Venture Capital & Emerging Growth practice, contact Louis at (818) 444-4509 or lwharton@stubbsalderton.com


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





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





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

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.