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Fall 2021

The Start Smart Legal Series hosts various seminars and workshops throughout the semester that cover a wide range of legal topics for startup businesses. During each event, you will be able to learn from K&L Gates' startup lawyers and gain valuable insight on how to legally start/run your startup.

All Start Smart sessions will be held from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. EST via Zoom. Dates, times, and presenters are subject to change.


 

 

HOW TO FORM YOUR STARTUP COMPANY, PART 2: WORKSHOP

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

5:00 - 6:30 p.m., Zoom

Your team will be matched with one or more law students to design a “legal roadmap” that will recommend the best entity option for your startup and the basics of a founders agreement – all under the supervision of experienced startup lawyers!  This workshop fills up quickly, so if you want to work with a law student, please send a description to sad111@pitt.edu by Friday, October 22.

Presenters/Participants:

David Lehman, K&L Gates
Stephanie Dangel, University of Pittsburgh Law School
University of Pittsburgh Law School Students

 

 

 


 

Previous Sessions 

 

 

START SMART LAW: How to Start a Business on an F-1 Student Visa

Thursday, February 25, 2021

5 p.m., Zoom

Students with an F-1 Visa can legally start businesses as well as work on a startup team. Come learn the details of how to do this without violating your student status. (In the past we have also talked about other visas, including H1B).

Panelists:

David Kalson, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby, Director of the Emerging Business Group

Larry Lebowitz, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby, Director of the Immigration Group

Linda Gentile, CMU, Director, Office of International Education.

 

Download the Q&A Document

Download the Slideshow

 

 

START SMART LAW: Accelerating Growth Through Third Party Relationships/Contracts

Thursday, March 4, 2021
5 p.m., Zoom
 
Topics covered in this seminar include:
- What are strategic relationships?
- Why enter into strategic relationships?
- General framework and common issues
- Closer look at certain strategic relationships

Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates

 

Watch the recording of this seminar.

Download the Slideshow

 

 

START SMART LAW: Hiring and Firing

Thursday, March 25, 2021

5 p.m., Zoom

 

Learn the ins and outs of staffing a company, including: hiring of employees and/or retaining independent contractors, interns and volunteers, important terms of employment or retention, restrictive covenants, and the use of employee equity to attract and retain personnel.

Presenter: Mike Pavlik, K&L Gates

Watch the recording of the Hiring & Firing seminar.

Download the Hiring & Firing slideshow.

 

 

START SMART LAW:  HOW TO HANDLE YOUR (AND OTHERS') INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Thursday, April 1, 2021

5 p.m., Zoom

 

Learn how to deal with intellectual property issues, including:               

- What are copyright, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets 

- Developing an IP strategy (e.g., which type of IP protection is best for your startup?)

- How to protect your company's IP

- How not to infringe on another's IP

- How to handle IP created by class projects when one or more students want to pursue commercialization

- How to handle IP created by your employees, including non-compete clauses

- What to expect after filing a patent (time and expenses)

- Tips on searching the US Patent Office database

Presenters: George Dickos and Lauren Murray, K&L Gates. 

 

Watch the recording of the Intellectual Property seminar.

Download the Intellectual Property Slideshow (Part 1).

Download the Intellectual Property Slideshow (Part 2).

 

 

 START SMART LAW: Worst Mistakes Made by Startups

Thursday, April 8, 2021

5 p.m., Zoom

 

A panel of lawyers will share the ‘horror stories’ of mistakes that startups have made and their consequences. Learn from the mistakes of others so you can avoid the pitfalls.

Panelists:

Deborah Walker – Innovation Works
David Kalson – Dentons, Cohen, & Grigsby
Tom Peltzinger - Knopp Biosciences

 

Watch the recording of the Worst Mistakes Made by Startups Panel seminar.

 

 

Start Smart (Special Session): Good News for F-1 Students Starting a Business!

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

4 p.m., Zoom

In 2017, the Obama Administration created a program called International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP) which made it significantly easier for foreign students to start a business in the US and also stay in the US to run it. The Trump administration proposed to eliminate the IEP program which caused applications to slow to a trickle.  However, this May, the Biden Administration withdrew the pending rulemaking to eliminate the IEP.

Every international student who is currently starting a business or is interested in starting a business needs to know how the IEP’s program can lower the barrier to starting a business for international students and alumni as well as stay in the US to run it.

 

Watch the recording of the "Good News for F-1 Students Starting a Business!" seminar.

Download the International Entrepreneur Parole Slideshow.

 

 

INTRODUCTION TO STARTUP LAW

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

5:00 - 6:30 p.m., Zoom

Join us for a lightning round of Q&A with top startup and intellectual property lawyers.  We will kick off the evening with a quick overview of the most common startup legal issues: contract law, IP protection, raising capital, entity formation and employment law and exit planning.   Then you’ll get to ask YOUR most pressing legal questions.

Presenters:

David Lehman, K&L Gates & CMU's Reed McManigle

 

Watch the recording of the "Introduction to Startup Law" seminar.

 

 

HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR CAPITAL RAISE, PART 1: THE FUNDAMENTALS

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

5:00 - 6:30 p.m., Zoom

Learn about the legal and economic/business issues associated with raising capital through Friends and Family, Seed Funding and Series A rounds. This session is a prerequisite to understanding and participating in Part 2 - Negotiating the Term Sheet.

- Structuring investments to maximize growth

- Funding from incubators/accelerators, angels, VCs, government, and foundations

Presenter:

David Lehman, K&L Gates

 

Watch the recording of the "How to Structure Your Capital Raise, Part 1" seminar.

Download the "How to Structure Your Capital Raise, Part 1" Slideshow.

 

 

HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR CAPITAL RAISE, PART 2: NEGOTIATING THE TERM SHEET (STARTUPS V. INVESTORS)

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

5:00 - 6:30 p.m., Zoom

Join us for a fun negotiation exercise in which you’ll play the role of startup or investor. We’ll begin the evening with a quick overview of the legal issues associated with investing in startups.  We’ll then divide into investor and startup groups, who will meet separately with lawyers to decide on the terms they want. We’ll end the evening with a negotiation led by workshop volunteers playing the part of founders and investors and two of Pittsburgh’s top startup lawyers.

Presenters:

David Lehman, K&L Gates & Adam Kelson, K&L Gates

 

Watch the recording of the "How to Structure Your Capital Raise, Part 2" seminar.

 

 

HOW TO FORM YOUR STARTUP COMPANY, PART 1: THE BASICS

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

5:00 - 6:30 p.m., Zoom

Learn the basic legal issues involved with new company formation, including choice of entity (LLC, C-corp, social enterprise options such as non-profit (501c), Benefit Corporation, B Corps certification, and other company structure alternatives), founders agreements, splitting equity and employee vesting. We’ll start the evening by hearing from lawyers and a startup who will share their experiences forming startup companies. This session is a prerequisite for participating in How to Form Your Startup Company, Part 2.

Presenters/Participants:

David Lehman, K&L Gates

Stephanie Dangel, University of Pittsburgh Law School

University of Pittsburgh Law School Students