Summer Catalyst: Week 7
When starting or launching a venture, understanding basic legal concepts and knowing when to work with lawyers is essential. Throughout their journeys, entrepreneurs may face various legal questions when it comes to creating contracts, establishing intellectual property, incorporating the venture, or financing the venture. During Week 7, Summer Catalyst teams engaged in Lunch & Learn sessions and office hours with attorneys to help broaden their awareness of legal topics.
Here are some of the highlights:
On Monday, the teams participated in Team Updates where they shared a quick update on their progress and discussed obstacles. Some of the asks included feedback on their websites, recommendations for marketing agencies, and connections with accountants. Their peers and advisors provided instant feedback and brainstormed possible solutions.
Afterwards, the entrepreneurs explored the financial implications of their businesses during office hours with Stuart Goldstein, a Babson alum (class of 1976), CPA, and Managing Partner of Samuel Goldstein & Co.
Padriag Duna MBA ‘21 was in the Hot Seat pitching MATR, a venture that is on a mission to end food waste by turning scraps into mushrooms. Padraig received valuable feedback from his peers during Hot Seat and in the subsequent rebuild session.
Later in the day, the teams entered a series of legal office hours with two attorneys from Mintz Edge, Will Perkins and Dinsh Melwani. They learned more about various legal topics including entity formation, mergers and acquisitions, venture financing, technology licensing, and strategic alliances.
As the Creative in Residence at Summer Catalyst, I led another series of Creative Consultations. During these unique sessions, I advise entrepreneurs on a variety of creative topics including website design, content creation, photographs, videos, social media, and more. Over the summer, I’ve helped teams transform their designs, visuals, and content, while creatively solving problems.
On Wednesday, the teams attended a legal Lunch & Learn with Jeremy Halpern, Partner at Nutter McClennen & Fish, LLP. Jeremy specializes in startups, venture capital, angel capital, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, food and beverage, and technology sectors.
Afterwards, the entrepreneurs participated in office hours with Ben Howe, Partner at Holland and Knight. Ben represents startup companies through various aspects of their life cycle. During office hours, he answered questions about venture capital financing, early seed investments, and initial equity rounds.
Sree Dasari ’23 was in the Hot Seat pitching Vadati, a company that reinvents the way you present by using a virtual reality technology and an advanced heart rate analysis algorithm to provide accurate feedback.
Summer Catalyst entrepreneur Padraig Duna MBA‘21 hosted a special meetup with Jeff Walker and Rajat Bhakhri about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to hiring tech talent. Here are some of their tips:
- Be careful not to give the CTO title away too quickly.
- Don’t rush into building a product the day you have your idea.
- A small piece of the product that is well built can be more valuable than a full-fledged product with a lot of bugs.
- If you need help, don’t forget to talk to your mentors and advisors to evaluate the technologist’s skills before bringing them on to your team.
Afterwards, participants joined Bob Stringer and Bob Jones for a Coffee Meetup to learn about why a startup failed. The entrepreneurs gained some actionable tips. One: Don’t overlook cost structure. Two: Take time to identify your specific customer segment and understand the customer needs. Three: Don’t rush to add people to the team. Four: Generate more money than you think you may need. Five: Collect substantial evidence to prove that others are willing to pay for your idea or product.