First-time entrepreneurs will benefit from the event “The Art Of The Startup” on May 3 in Palo Alto.
By Roger Rappoport (Founder, StartUp Info & Partner, Procopio)

For entrepreneurs, deciding to form a company or become involved with a startup presents enormous challenges. Navigating around legal, fund raising and other issues can often seem overwhelming, and traps for the unwary or uninformed are numerous.

However, successfully avoiding the most common pitfalls can make a significant difference as to whether or not a company is fundable, the sources and types of capital that will be attracted, who controls the company, the economic impact on founders upon exit, and a company’s likelihood of success.

In this “Art of The Startup” half-day workshop on May 3 in Menlo Park, CA – I, Roger Rappoport (Partner and Chair of Procopio’s Emerging Growth & Technology Practice Group) will discuss common startup issues, developing and executing the right funding strategy, and the anatomy of a convertible debt, angel and VC term sheet, in three interactive sessions.

I will cover:

  • Common Startup Issues — including, choices in entity selection; an appropriate capitalization table, stock allocation for employees, consultants, board and advisory board members, and the perils of Section 409A; amount and allocation of founders’ stock (including Series FF Preferred Stock), vesting, assignment of intellectual property, and employment/consulting agreements.
  • Developing and Executing the Right Funding Strategy — including a discussion related to seed, angel and venture capital funding, appropriate funding instruments for each round, the pros and cons of selling equity, convertible debt, and venture debt; selecting, and gaining access to the right funding partner; valuation, and things to do to increase the pre-money value of the company.
  • The Anatomy of a Term Sheet — a brief discussion on the anatomy of the term sheet, understanding the structure of, and the provisions that will most likely be included in, a convertible debt, angel and venture financing term sheet; how to arrive at a realistic pre-money valuation; the economic impact of certain terms on existing shareholders; the provisions that affect the degree to which current founders and management will have to relinquish control of major and/or day-to-day decision making; and the most recent trends relating to liquidation preferences, participation rights, anti-dilution provisions, pay-to-play provisions, redemption rights, registration rights, rights of first refusal and co-sale rights.

Who should attend:

  • Entrepreneurs, founders, CEOs, and managers who are involved with, or looking to start a company, and those seeking to develop and implement a funding strategy.

My background:

I am a partner with the law firm of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves and Savitch in San Diego, and leader of the Emerging Growth & Technology practice group within the firm. I have extensive experience counseling startup and emerging growth companies in the information technology, telecommunications, life sciences and cleantech industries. I also represent high net worth individuals, angel and venture capital investors who focus on investing in companies in these industries.

My practice includes corporate formation and entity selection, corporate governance, assisting clients with the development of a funding strategy (and the alternatives available to entrepreneurs); venture capital and other private equity financings, convertible note and other debt financing arrangements; mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations and restructurings, the implementation of equity incentive plans, licensing, OEM and VAR and distribution arrangements. I am a frequent speaker and panelist on these topics.

What people have said about this workshop:

“Roger has vast experience and a phenomenal ability to articulate the issues to enable anyone to understand the key points. He gives a huge amount of information in a very usable presentation format and style.”

“I attended Roger Rappoport’s workshop event last night. I must say it was the best money and 3 hours I’ve spent in a long time. I particularly found the hand-out material highly valuable. Great job and Thanks.”

“Phenomenal workshop-this is exactly what I was hoping for.”

“Thank you for the informative review of Startup and Term Sheet do’s and don’ts. The take away materials were exceptionally well prepared. I’d sure like to find a way to get you on my side!”

“You continue to deliver exceptional seminars, and for that, I just can’t thank you enough!”

Image: Colored Pencils by jDevaun via Flickr.

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.
About the guest blogger: Roger Rappoport is Founder of StartUp Info. He is a practicing corporate attorney at Procopio, serving clients in San Diego and Silicon Valley, focusing almost exclusively on representing emerging growth companies, and helping first time and serial entrepreneurs develop and implement strategies to build, finance and grow their startups. Follow him on Twitter at @start_uplawyer.