Experienced Startup Mentor, Commercial lawyer, Lecturer & public speaker. I've helped over 300 entrepreneurs & 100+ startups. Taught tens of courses and given hundreds of talks. Founder of the Legal Clinic for Startups.
startup mentor, university lecturer and public speaker.
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and over 100 startups. I've taught tens of courses and given hundreds of talks. Being an excellent public speaker (whether for investors or a TedX talk) is a skill that you can acquire, not something that you're born with. I can help you improve this skill, help you with your presentation and focus your message.
I spend time before each call preparing and only schedule the call if I feel that I can be of value. If you feel that I didn't provide value during our call, I will give you a full refund!
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs & over 100 startups. Avoid the common legal / business mistakes in advance(!) - mistakes that will cost you a lot of money or will cause you to lose potential investors. For example, most common mistake: not owning your Intellectual Property (the code, your website or mobile app). You may think that you own it (because you paid for it) but in most cases it is still lawfully owned by the person who created it (the programmer, service provider or other founder, or perhaps your current employer).
I prepare before each call and only take the call if I believe that I can add value. If you feel that I didn't provide value during our call, I will give you a full refund!
startup mentor and experienced commercial lawyer - with expertise in a wide variety of startups and international negotiations.
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs. I've taught tens of courses and given hundreds of talks. I established and directed the Legal Clinic for Startups in the 'Startup Nation'. I prepare (on my own expense) before each call and only schedule the call if I feel that I can be of value. If you feel that I didn't provide value during our call, I will give you a full refund! Take a look at my reviews.
My answer might seem a bit too simple, but anyway: why not put both - your direct number for people who prefer to first 'get to know you' before scheduling a consult, and the Clarity widget for people who already know what they want, and just need some quick advice.
Just take into account that if you add the clarity widget, and you don't have any reviews yet (or have reviews but they're negative), then maybe it would be less wise to add the widget.
If you are new to clarity and want to get some reviews, you could use your VIP code to offer free calls - this way you get happy clients, and you build your reputation on clarity by getting more reviews.
I hope this helped.
Clarity's terms of service state that:
"You (as a Seeker) may cancel an Appointment without penalty; provided, however, that you have not already initiated the call with the Expert via the Services. You (as an Expert) may cancel a scheduled Appointment without penalty at any time."
I personally think that if the cancellation is done up to about 3-4 hours before, then it's reasonable not to charge, but anything less than that should come with a partial cancellation fee. I personally spend anywhere from 10-30 minutes preparing for a call in order to promise the most value for the caller. I don't expect to be paid for this time, but if the caller doesn't cancel and just doesn't show, there should be a cancellation fee. Alternatively, each user (including experts) should have 2 'no-shows' after which they get blocked.
If it gives you any comfort, I know that the caller's 'Clarity Score' is negatively effected.
First, I must give some credit to your expert as I agree with most of what he said.
What you are describing is a common dilemma, and indeed your chances are much higher if you have one of the three elements the expert mentioned. Companies are reluctant to pay / purchase / invest only in an idea. Additionally, even if they do show interest, you will have to expose the idea to them, at which stage they may decide to make use of it without your involvement (an NDA/confidentiality agreement can only protect you so much, and most companies won't agree to sign one).
1. if you only want to sell the idea, your pitch email needs to be really good, and your NDA needs to be airtight.
2. I would consider offering that they develop it, and you get a commission in return.
3. You have a better chance if you validate the idea and collect some data. You don't have to develop the actual product in order to do this.
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, and I'd be happy to help you with the email or in validating the product/service.
I know someone who owns a fairly large medical tourism company. If you have a steady flow of paying clients, he might be interested in investing or some sort of partnership.
If you meant that you're interested in increasing the amount of clients that you have, then I'm happy to give you some pointers, but I would need a lot more information. I'm happy to give you a free 15 min call to get the info, and then we can schedule a second call during which I will give you my advice.
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, and I'd be happy to try and assist.
Your description is not very clear, so it is a bit difficult to answer. You are welcome to contact me for further - specific - advice.
License agreements have various options/versions to them. The most common form is this: company A (owns some form of technology) licenses their tech to Company B. company B pays company A royalties (this is the fee for using the technology). Royalties have numerous options: sometimes it's a one time fee, sometimes an annual fee, sometimes a fee for each unit / amount of users/stations, and sometimes it's a combination: set fee + payment for each usage of the license.
Not sure if your question is still relevant, but here goes:
My interpretation to "Pre-existing obligations" would be, for example: licenses that you've given to others, licenses that you've received, claims against you/your IP (for example, someone who has filed a claim/complaint/court case saying that they are in fact the owners).
Regarding section 5: they mean what do you plan to do with you IP, and/or if you don't already have a patent, are you planning on filing for one? If so, in which jurisdictions...etc...
Regarding section 3, and even though you didn't ask: I find it unlikely that you really do own 100% of your IP. I am not sure what your business is, but if it includes code/programming, then there is a 99% chance that you used open source code, in which you case you probably don't own ALL the IP.
I hope that you got the grant. good luck
New answer: yes, you should have one.
From a legal standpoint: an NDA is an agreement - something contractual, and therefore is not limited (by law) to any specific jurisdiction. So, you can select Delaware or California, or India for that matter.
From the business aspect, the best jurisdiction to select would depend on:
1. Jurisdictions that are known to be 'friendly' to your type of business.
2. Jurisdictions in which your lawyer is licensed to practice / the cost of lawyers isn't too expensive.
3. Somewhere not to far from where you are physically located - in case you actually have to go to court.
Lastly, best to add a required arbitration or mediation clause if you don't have one.
I have helped hundreds of early stage startups and businesses, and would be happy to provide you with an informed answer. But, in order to do so, please provide additional information.
What is the field of the business?
Is it a new or an existing business?
Do you have a small/medium/large budget?
Do you have knowledge in online marketing/social media or would you need someone to do this for you?
I'm happy to have a short conversation to point you in the right direction. the first few minutes will be free of charge so that we can first better understand your needs.
Best of luck
Both a good and tough question. As someone who has heard this question hundreds of time before (from startups that I worked with), I think that I can help:
There are 2 options / solutions to calculate the value/equity: the financial solution (cold numbers) one, and the psychological one.
From a financial aspect, you can calculate the current value of the business (if need be, I'm happy to explain how this is commonly done). This is the value/worth of your hard work over the last 2 years. Once you've added a number to it, you can now know (more or less) how much equity/shares your new partner 'should' get in return for his/her investment.
The problem with this option, is that we are not robots - we have feelings, egos and independent thoughts. This means that no matter how accurate your calculations might be, your partner might still value the business differently (if higher - then no problem. If less = arguments arise). This leads me to the second option: the psychological calculation.
You are taking on board a partner. Assuming you're not only bringing this person into the business for his/her investment, this means that you have reached the conclusion that you want this person with you, and/or or that you need them for their skills. If so, this means that your future partner has value - in addition to the money he/she is bringing in. In which case, the best option is to decide with yourself how much you are willing to give for this 'value'. Then, invite the person for coffee, and ask them how much they would expect in return: if they say a lower number than you thought of - great (you'll both be happy). If they ask for more than you thought, explain and pursued why you are offering that specific amount. There are numerous methods to reaching 'middle ground' - usually through means of vesting. For example: your partner would get X% equity, and every Y months/years they would get Z% more (alternatively he/she could get more only if they achieve certain milestones or goals).
2 last tips:
1. It is better having 50% (for example) of a bigger cake, than having 100% of no cake (or 70% of a much smaller cake).
2. whatever you do, make sure that you have a decent founders agreement. Fall outs between founders/business partners is one of the top 3 reasons that startups/businesses fail.
I am happy to prepare you for the meeting, help you analyze the percentage you should offer, and/or draft the founders agreement should you need one.
Best of luck.
Before giving you the practical tips, it is important to first point out 3 things:
A) You should be 100% sure that you really need a co-founder (versus using a freelancer or employee which may be sufficient).
B) Investors usually take a deep look into the team and prefer founders that have worked together for some time and/or know each other for a minimum period (preferably those who’ve already experienced difficulties together before).
C) There is a reason that CBInsights found that the third most common reason cited for startup failure is “not the right team” and that the most common agreement that I draft as a startup lawyer/mentor is a ‘separation agreement’. The reason being that most co-founders eventually split – and not under nice terms.
In most cases, freelancers/employees can do what you need (perhaps the only exception is having a CTO when trying to raise capital from VC’s – and even this depends on the type of startup).
Regarding a limited budget, I am not sure why you feel that you need money to find a co-founder? If you have an idea/business that you truly believe in, and it has potential, you should be able to pursuad people to join you (in exchange for share/equity and/or future profits).
How to find a co-founder:
1. Go to networking events - some of which are dedicated to “co-founders dating/matching” - try www.meetup.com for this.
You can also try www.founderdating.com or www.cofounderslab.com or http://www.founders-nation.com or www.founder2be.com
2. Take part in chats in relevant forums (depending on the type of co-founder you’re looking for).
3. Consider joining accelerator/incubator programs for startups/entrepreneurs - some of them connect between founders.
4. Contact head of programs at universities and tell them what you’re looking for. Today, many universities and cities have startup programs with a lot of talented participants (or speakers) who might be the perfect co-founder for you.
5. Talk to friends and family and let them know that you’re looking. This helps expand your network. Post a message on www.LinkedIn.com .
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs. I'd be happy to help you. Good luck
Clear, Concise and exactly what I needed to move forward! I look forward to our next chat. Assaf is extremely knowledgeable and supportive. Highly Recommend a chat with him!
As one of the first employees in a startup company, I sought Assaf's advice regarding my option plan Assaf helped me understand the critical points regarding my contract, and on top of that understand the ones that are relevant to me. All with a great approach . I highly recommend him.
Assaf was extremely helpful. He gave me detailed and practical answers to my questions and also went beyond that by adding more important things I must take into account and useful tips, both in the legal domain and in the business domain. Importantly, to help him know my project better so he could give me the best advice, Assaf also asked me questions that were to the point. He was also very cordial and patient. If I decide to launch my startup I hope to hire his services.
Assaf is a very friendly and well connected professional. He clearly understood my industry, asked all the right questions about my business and advised accordingly. Surely will keep in touch and look forward for it.
Extremely helpful and productive call. Assaf came well prepared and made my time extremely useful. He raised some great points on aspects of my startup which I need to address and provided me with the right steps to do so in order to validate my idea. I highly recommend a chat with Assaf and will definitely be calling him again in the future. Thanks again!
Assaf was super knowledgeable about the subject I was seeking advice on, I had a great call with him, he was very prompt and thorough. He got right to the details of my situation to the specific concerns. I will definitely be happy to work with Assaf in the future.