We at, ESG, have covered many aspects on our How to Build and Grow a Tech Startup programme to help you succeed. With a stronger emphasis on individual mentoring, we have invited mentors with a range of background to come along and meet you.
No matter what service or product your startup will provide, there are many common legal issues. All too often, we see startups who have missed opportunities or who run into problems because they have skipped over important but tedious steps needed to build a solid foundation. These can often be avoided pre-emptively but if ignored can be problematic and expensive to fix.
Following on from our popular presentations on Intellectual Property and GDPR, we are pleased to have two specialists covering further practical areas that are key to startups (and also relevant to companies that have been around a while longer!). The event will open with a welcome and introduction from Jonathan Exell, followed by two short presentations:
Structuring a Startup
Robert Postlethwaite, Postlethwaite & Co
Few successful startups are one-person operations. Having others to support you and share the load is incredibly valuable. You need to have co-founders and, eventually, employees. However, due to the way startups often handle funding and ownership, formal agreements often take a backseat. This can backfire dramatically when the startup becomes successful or if a founder leaves. Robert will touch on issues like:
- Should you form a company?
- What should you agree with co-founders?
- Should you offer employees shares, if so how?
Common mistakes in Commercial Contracts
Richard Stephens, The Law Office of Richard Stephens
We all look forward to the day when we sign up a major client. Unfortunately, while your customer may well have a standard contract, you might be surprised at the nasties lurking within. As against which, if you offer up your standard contract, you might be lucky enough that a client will accept whatever terms you set out without question, however, unless you are dealing with single end-users, it is likely you will have to negotiate terms. That means starting from one or other party's version of a contract. While you might be so relieved to have made the deal that you will accept whatever terms are offered, there are many pitfalls that you could end up dealing with for many years, possibly even after the end of the contract. Richard will share his experiences on basic mistakes that happen in commercial contracts and give some insight into what to watch for.
Presentations will be followed by a short discussion period about the ideas you wish to develop or challenges you may be experiencing. This will then lead into the mentoring engagement where we will, where possible, match mentors to mentees.
After the mentoring there’ll be opportunity to continue networking over refreshments.
18:00 Registration & Refreshments
18:15 Welcome/Introduction from Shakeeb Niazi
18:15 Our two speakers will make short presentations on the event subject matter
19:15/19:30 Break, Food & Refreshments
19:30/19:45 Speed Mentoring activities – we aim to provide an opportunity for speed mentoring or group sessions, for all those attending, with a variety of subject matter experts and mentors.
Robert Postlethwaite (https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertpostlethwaite/)
Robert is a practicing solicitor. He is founder of his firm, Postlethwaite Solicitors Limited, and a regular speaker on employee ownership, Robert is an employee share plan and employee ownership specialist. Robert was a partner in a national firm of corporate lawyers before founding Postlethwaite in 2003. He is a Ranked Lawyer in his field in the 2018 Edition of Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession.
Richard Stephens (https://www.linkedin.com/in/richardjohnstephens/)
Richard is a practicing solicitor and arbitrator and is a Fellow of the BCS and Society for Computers and Law. He has his own practice focusing on Technology Law, legal training and mediation and arbitration. Prior to that, he has been a partner at two substantial City of London practices specialising in Technology Law.
He has extensive experience of commercial litigation, especially focused on the technology industry, including arbitration and expert determination, as well as extensive experience of many different types of commercial transactions while acting for suppliers or users.
The BCS Entrepreneurs Group