This course will cover theoretical and practical issues that arise when taking an entrepreneurial venture from conception, through formation, financing and growth, including planning for exit. It will provide students with a basic understanding of the legal and economic considerations and principles involved in, and the role of lawyers in counseling, early stage companies and their founders and investors including the major issues a lawyer is likely to encounter in the course of such representation. Topics to be covered include intellectual property, corporate, financial and ethical issues involved in the formation and development of a technology start-up including basics of a venture capital financing transaction. Students will develop an understanding of the principal legal and business concepts and issues in the start-up process and, through the use of mock transactions and agreements as examples, gain practical exposure to the transactions and documents themselves. Prerequisites: Corporations.
The curriculum will cover both federal and state law issues that impact the start-up/venture capital process. The federal issues will be principally in the areas of intellectual property, securities and tax. Various states’ laws will be considered, with emphasis on jurisdictions of significance to the venture capital/start-up process. However, the course is not intended to cover those areas fully and only issues of relevance to the course’s main topics will be explored. The course will also address the economic and business issues associated with early stage companies and how those issues are affected by the law.