“Incubators, Super Angels and An Overheated Market” Revisited

Incubators, Super Angels and An Overheated Market, the title of a December, 2010 post at Nodal Partners, is a California based network of senior level CEOs, investors, founders, directors and specialists. The post contains these words of caution:

“The cycle times of tech startups are getting faster. Early exits are creating young, wealthy angels who are re-investing in next-gen products. It’s terribly frothy and dangerous. Flashback: the opening scene of every episode of Hill Street Blues, when Sergeant Esterhaus closed every briefing with “Hey, … let’s be careful out there!“

A review of Business Insider’s October “35 Up-And-Coming Entrepreneurs You Need To Meet” triggered my revidew of the Nodal and Hill Street Blue warnings.

Here, with no sarcasm intended, are excerpts from several of these funded must meet projects:

1. $3 million…..parenting site.

2. $4 million…crowd sourced translation service

3. $4.3 million…. financial advice and management tools for women

4. $2.5 million….. offers an ad-free, sharper-looking alternative to Evite

5. (undisclosed) crowd-sourced fashion advice

6. (undisclosed) post photos of your outfits to get feedback from the community

7. Series A Funding…ow About We’s novel twist on online dating — focusing on the actual dates and minimizing the online interaction

8. (undisclosed) The use-one-number-to-text-a-group service

Ten Legal Documents for Startups

cfm_lit1_phixr (1)Tip of the hat to the NYC law firm of Wahab & Medenica LLC (a New York business law firm) for compiling this list. Their discussion of these documents is in two parts, HERE and HERE.

1. ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION (LLC’s Only)

2. CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION (Corporations Only)

3. OPERATING AGREEMENT (LLC’s Only)

4. BYLAWS (Corporations Only)

5. SHAREHOLDERS AGREEMENT (Corporations Only)

6. STOCK PURCHASE AGREEMENT (Corporations Only)

7. MEMBERSHIP INTEREST ASSIGNMENT AND TRANSFER AGREEMENT (LLC’s Only)

8. Technology Assignment Agreement (Corporations and LLC’s)

9. Intellectual Property and Invention Assignment Agreement (Corporations and LLC’s)

10. Employment Agreement (Corporations and LLC’s)

N.Y. Congresswoman Maloney Introduces Startup Visa Legislation

cm_photoA copy of the House legislation is accessible here. (PDF)

Highlight: “Option One: Immigrant entrepreneurs living outside the U.S. would be eligible to apply for a StartUp Visa if a qualified U.S. investor agrees to financially sponsor their entrepreneurial venture with a minimum investment of $100,000. After two years, their business must have created 5 new jobs and raised not less than $500,000 in additional capital investment or generate not less than $500,000 in revenue.”

Full Text of Release
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Venture Capital Attorney Urges Startups to use Delaware Incorporation

My experienced IP law colleagues at IP Law for Startups (Jill Bowman and David Bowman) give a nice presentation on the compelling reasons to incorporate in Delaware.

Although we never like to think of litigation ever for a startup, the article’s point is well taken on the preference of all litigators (epsecially ones with a meritorious case) to be in a Delaware court. I actually give a discount on my fees for the joy in zipping down to Delaware on Amtrak.

Original Means Not Aggregated or so Says The Daily Ipad Publication

From my Harvard colleagues at the Nieman Journalism Lab, whose mission is “a collaborative attempt to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age:”

“Much of what was “revealed” about The Daily today wasn’t much of a revelation: Even before the details were leaked this morning, pre-launch, on Gizmodo, we knew the publication’s subscription pricing, its general layout, its general advertising strategy, who its staffers are, whom those staffers were poached from, etc. One new element, though (or, at least, new to me), was the fact that The Daily is partnering with the Associated Press for its content.”

The issue here is not the use of an “aggregated by other” feed that is not aggregated by the website in question. Rather, it is a misplaced emphasis on the concept of original. News, by its very definition, is not original, but derivative. Hopefully we will not return to the days when sports leagues claimed they owned the results to their athletic events.

TechStars Comes to New York City

From Forbes: “In a boost to New York’s burgeoning startup scene, TechStars will launch its fourth and final startup accelerator program in the Big Apple in January 2011 and will begin taking applications for one of 10 spots today through November 21st.”

TS will select 10 startups to receive $18,000 in funding from among the loosely defined categories: “Advertising technology; location-based services; general media companies; publishing; finance; fashion; sports marketing and some sort of community-driven startups.”

As always, I continue to offer my legal and marketing skill set to qualified NYC startups on a Freemium basis.

Legal advice to startups cannot be narrow and overly protective. It must have a vision and not be risk adverse. Intellectual property concerns must be balanced against business growth and development.