Start Smart Series

learn from K&L Gates’ startup lawyers and gain valuable insight on how to legally start and run your startup.

Please register below.

Fall 2022 - TBD

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.

 

Stay tuned as we reveal our Fall 2022 lineup of Start Smart sessions!

 

 


Previous Sessions 

 

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
 
 

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
 
 
 

START SMART LAW: HOW TO START A BUSINESS ON AN F-1 STUDENT VISA

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.Other types of visas may be discussed during this seminar as well.

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.

 

Date: Thursday, January 27, 2022 @ 5:00 p.m. EST

 

Download the "How to Start a Business on an F-1 Visa" Slideshow.

Access the "Starting a Business with an F-1 Visa" FAQ Document.


START SMART LAW: Building and Leveraging Your Professional Team

Thursday, February 10, 2022

5:00 p.m. EST, Zoom

In addition to your cofounders and team members, startups need a knowledgeable team of professionals from a variety of fields who are experienced working with startups.  This includes your lawyer, accountant, insurer, and banker. This session starts with how to find the lawyer that is the best fit for your startup and then gives some advice on rounding out your team and maximizing the value of the relationship.

Panelists:

Stephanie Dangel, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

David Lehman, K&L Gates

 

Download the "Building and Leveraging Your Professional Team" Slideshow.

Watch the recording of the "Building and Leveraging Your Professional Team" session.


 START SMART LAW: How to Handle Your (and Others') Intellectual Property

Thursday, March 3, 2022

5:00 p.m. EST, Zoom

Intellectual Property is an asset to be protected.  This session will cover how to deal with IP issues including:

- Do you really need a patent?
- Difference between a provisional patent and a formal patent filing
- Developing a patent strategy
- Different ways to protect your company’s IP (patents, trademarks, etc)
- How to handle IP created by class projects when one or more of the student team members want to pursue commercialization
- Tips on searching the US Patent Office Database (for prior ‘art’ e.g. existing patents)
- What to expect after filing a patent (Time and expenses)

Panelists:

David Lehman, K&L Gates

Lauren Murray, K&L Gates

George Dickos, K&L Gates

Reed McManigle, CMU

 

Watch the recording of the "How to Handle Your (and Others') Intellectual Property" session.


START SMART LAW: Hiring and Firing

Thursday, March 17, 2022

5:00 p.m. EST, Zoom

You have a cofounder.  Now what? 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

 

Download the "Hiring and Firing" Slideshow.

Watch the recording of the "Hiring and Firing" session.


START SMART LAW:  The Legal Complexities of Social Enterprises

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

5:00 p.m. EST, Zoom

This is a must-attend event for anyone interested in starting and running a company that blends profit with purpose. Learn about for-profit, non-profit and hybrid social enterprise entities and the legal issues related to each entity choice, including financing and employment issues.

Presenter:

Stephanie Dangel, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Oded Green, K&L Gates

Cordelia Glenn Grabiak, K&L Gates

 

Download the "Legal Complexities of Social Enterprises" Slideshow.

Watch the recording of the "Legal Complexities of Social Enterprises" session.


START SMART LAW: Worst Mistakes Made by Startups

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

5:00 p.m. EST, 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

F.J. Lucchino, Lucchino Law

 

Watch the recording of the "Worst Mistakes Made by Startups" session.