Previous Sessions


START SMART LAW: Introduction to Startup Law: Get the Answers to YOUR Legal Questions!

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, employment law and exit planning. Then you’ll get to ask YOUR most pressing legal questions.

Presenters:

K&L Gates David Lehman and CMU’s Reed McManigle

Watch the recording of the Introduction to Startup Law seminar.

Tuesday, Sept. 22, 5-6:30 pm


START SMART LAW: How to Structure Your Capital Raise – Part I – The Fundamentals

Learn about the legal 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.

  • Structuring investments to maximize growth
  • Funding from incubators/accelerators, angels, venture capitalists and strategic investors.

Presenter:

David Lehman, K&L Gates

Watch the recording of the How to Structure Your Capital Raise (Part 1) seminar.

Thursday Oct 1, 5- 6:30 pm


START SMART LAW: How to Structure your Capital Raise – Part 2 – Negotiating the Term Sheet

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 building from Part I: “How to Structure Your Capital Raise.” 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 two of Pittsburgh’s top startup and investor lawyers.

Presenters:

David Lehman and Adam Kelson, K&L Gates

Watch the recording of the How to Structure Your Capital Raise (Part 2) seminar.

Thursday, Oct 22, 5-6:30 pm


START SMART LAW: How to Form Your Startup Company

Learn the basic legal issues involved with new company formation, including choice of entity (LLC, C-corp, Benefit Corporation and Company alternatives), founder 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. You’ll then have a chance to work with law students to design a “legal roadmap” that will recommend the best entity option for your startup – 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 30.

Presenters/Participants:

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

Watch the recording of the How to Form Your Startup Company seminar.

Thursday Nov 5, 5-7 pm


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. (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.

Date: Thursday, February 25 @ 5:00 p.m.

Download the Starting a Business with a Student Visa Q&A Document

Download the Starting a Business with a Student Visa Slideshow


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

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

Date: Thursday, March 4 @ 5:00 p.m

Watch the recording of the Accelerating Growth Through Third Party Relationships/Contracts seminar.

Download the Accelerating Growth Through Third Party Relationships/Contracts Slideshow


START SMART LAW: Hiring and Firing

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

Date: Thursday, March 25 @ 5:00 p.m.

Watch the recording of the Hiring and Firing seminar.

Download the Hiring and Firing slideshow.


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

Learn how to deal with intellectual property issues, including:

  • What are copyrights, 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

Date: Thursday, April 1 @ 5:00 p.m.

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

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

Date: Thursday, April 8 @ 5:00 p.m.

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