Thinking IPO? Timing is Everything

Notwithstanding the fact that the last several weeks did not go as planned for a few of the companies pricing or looking to price IPOs, and the associated speculation that the IPO window may be narrowing (if not closing) for tech and biotech companies, the IPO climate has recently been strong and sustained. While market conditions are crucial to the timing of any public offering, entrepreneurs and executives should also consider internal company factors when thinking about the right time to take their companies public. Continue reading this entry

Outrageous Scams in Financing: Not So Unusual After All

When fundraising, remember—everyone is trying to cheat you.

Well, that’s not really true, but it’s obvious that we’d all be skeptical if a foreign “prince” is offering a start-up company several million dollars with almost no conditions. It might be easy to see through the prince’s scam offer, but it isn’t always that clear. Continue reading this entry

Crossing Your T's and Dotting Your I's: Start Preparing for Diligence From Day 1

Young companies deal with a million moving parts, and typically without enough personnel bandwidth or financial resources to handle it all. Every bit of progress is thrilling, but founders are stretched thin, pushing as hard as possible for that next product milestone, that next investment, and paying bills for that next month of operating costs. While young companies focus a lot on the networking and pitching required to harness more funds, many founders don’t think about the practical process of what’s next: yes, the money will come in, but what stands in the way of that happening? Diligence can slow things down, whether in a simple investment round or full-blown M&A transaction. Founders who focus on prospective diligence from Day 1 have an easier time when that deal comes around, hard stop. Here are a few diligence items to focus on from Day 1. Continue reading this entry

Defensive Publication: An Alternate Way of Maintaining Your Turf in a Competitive Marketplace

It is common knowledge that the bread-and-butter of emerging startups lies in securing exclusive rights to key aspects of their implicated technology. Staking claims to valuable IP assets via direct ownership or exclusive licensing remains a huge priority, especially in light of the America Invents Act’s First Inventor to File regime. The flipside to maintaining your edge in a hypercompetitive market, however, is to prevent competitors from encroaching into your commercial space with their non-infringing substitute technologies. An effective way to accomplish this is by stifling competitor attempts to expand their own IP portfolio via defensive publications. Continue reading this entry

Don’t Buy an Armani If You Only Need a Cheap Suit

You have a job interview, or a wedding, and the best that you can scrounge up from your closet is a pair of chinos. You need a suit on a tight budget. Would you go to Armani and purchase a custom suit?  Sure, you would like to – but do you need it?  Chances are that you would walk into a nearby Walmart or Target and buy an off-the-rack suit. The only adjustment that the tailor might make is to shorten the pants. It wouldn’t fit quite like an Armani, but it would work fine for the occasion. You would have an awesome time at the wedding, or conduct a killer interview. As an entrepreneur starting a new company, you also need to keep in mind the suit analogy. Continue reading this entry