October 2015 - The Investment Landscape - How to break into the US market

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Dear Bootlawyers

The Investment Landscape - How to break into the US market

The United States is often regarded as the land of investment opportunity, and accessing the US capital markets can be a goal for growing companies.  US laws have changed significantly in the last few years, since enactment of the JOBS Act in 2012, with a dramatic impact on the ability of businesses, including non-US businesses, to access capital.  However, there are some tricky rules to navigate and pitfalls to avoid.

For our next Bootlaw session, we welcome Noreen Weiss, Partner, MacDonald Weiss PLLC, a boutique New York City –based law firm that specializes in private and public capital-raising transactions, M&A and other business development matters, with a particular expertise working with non-US clients.  Noreen is an entrepreneur herself, having launched a law firm, and prior to doing so was a corporate and securities lawyer in the New York, London and Tokyo offices of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, as well as the Senior Counsel for international corporate development at Home Box Office (Time Warner).

Noreen will present on the current trends dominating the US capital markets, including in the angel, VC and online “equity crowdfunding” space.  She will also pass on practical advice about steps a company can take to make itself more attractive to US investors.

When:  Wednesday, 21 October 2015, 6:30pm for a 7pm start.

Where: Pinsent Masons LLP, 30 Crown Place, Earl Street, London EC2A 4ES

September 2015 - Launching an App - The Legal Pitfalls

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Dear Bootlawyers

We are back after the summer break with another event in our series of talks for start-ups and emerging tech companies.

Launching an app is an exciting business but brings with its own legal pitfalls. Cue our own Gill Spencer, solicitor at Pinsent Masons, who will be on hand on Wednesday 23 September to discuss all things app related. Gill will walk us through the contractual provisions in developer agreements and consumer considerations in developing apps - knowing how to navigate these potential pitfalls will help get your app off to a very (h)appy start!

PS: Our next event on 21 October will focus on fundraising in the US – watch this space!

When:  Wednesday, 23 September 2015, 6:30pm for a 7pm start.

Where: Pinsent Masons LLP, 30 Crown Place, Earl Street, London EC2A 4ES

June 2015 - Venture Capital for Technology Companies: An Update for Q1 2015

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Bootlaw Logo

Dear Bootlawyers

Venture Capital for Technology Companies – An Update for Q1 2015

Venture Capital can be a tricky business. Not only do you need to have a business / idea with potential, but then you are in the position of deciding which VC to approach, when to approach that VC, how much money to raise, is the market for investment favourable in your sector........the list goes on and on. Luckily, we have an expert to hand!

For our next Bootlaw session, we welcome back Andrew Hutt, Associate Director, Ascendant Corporate Finance. Having been both a software entrepreneur and accountant, Andy has experience raising finance on “both sides” of the investment divide.  Prior to joining Ascendant in 2012, Andy has held senior roles in PWC, BOC and Deloitte.

Andy will present on the trends in the UK/Irish VC investment in technology businesses with an update for Q1 2015. This will, amongst others, provide you with topical and current information on the number of companies receiving investment and the value of money being invested, what sectors are attracting investors, the most active investors, the biggest deals, London vs Rest of UK/Ireland and practical steps for raising VC. This is – yet another - Bootlaw session that you cannot afford to miss!

When:  Monday, 22 June 2015, 6:30pm for a 7pm start.

Where: Pinsent Masons LLP, 30 Crown Place, Earl Street, London EC2A 4ES

May 2015 - 3Cs Pitching Event

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Bootlaw Logo

Dear Bootlawyers

In partnership with 3Cs, Bootlaw will be hosting a mini-pitching session for a group of promising start-ups / entrepreneurs on Wednesday, 20 May 2015.

The mission of the 3Cs Community is to create an environment for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to become successful and to grow. 3Cs is an active community, where advice and critique comes free-of-charge for the budding entrepreneur.

The guest speaker for the evening will be Darshana Ubl: Darshana runs a successful 7-figure business and her mantra is to 'lead by example' and to live an inspired life through goal setting, strategy, a high performance team and collaboration. She was recently invited on BBC News and Radio as the female ambassador for the Local Business Week, along with other regular magazine and TV appearances. Darshana is committed on helping small businesses not just grow but thrive. Darshana has a Masters Degree in Economics along with a Post Graduate Diploma in Advertising & PR. She's worked extensively with large media houses and in the marketing and events industry bringing a decade of experience in these fields to help small businesses.

Darshana will be joining us on the evening to talk about "Growing your business through Partnerships" and how you too can build a 7-figure business by building your collaborative currency and becoming a key person of influence in your industry.

Entrepreneur pitches by:

  • Ekaterina Lengefeld - com
  • Anna Magee - Healthista
  • Mark Neild - Grow Movement Update

If you have any specific questions you would like to discuss at the event, please do let us know by sending them ahead to teambootlaw@pinsentmasons.com.

When:  Wednesday, 20 May 2015, 6:00pm.

Where: Pinsent Masons LLP, 30 Crown Place, Earl Street, London EC2A 4ES

April 2015 - Piecing the Finance Puzzle Together

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Dear Bootlawyers

Bootlaw together with Nyson Libson Paul  and Goldfinch invite you to the following event aimed at tech entrepreneurs and investors.

Piecing the Finance Puzzle Together

The world of finance, budgets, tax credits and accounting can be a confusing and over whelming place for seasoned businesses let alone new start-ups!

Get it right and you could open up a world of finance sources to ensure your business or project not only launches but is a success.  Get it wrong and your launch may be stalled or worse could face the wrath ofthe numerous regulatory bodies.

Accountants, Finance and Business advisors to the Entertainment and Media industry, Nyman Libson Paul, and their Goldfinch range of EIS & SEIS investment vehicles have over 80 years of experience advising projects and start-up businesses to ensure they not only launch successfully but achieve their potential over the medium to long term period investors want to see.

The talk will cover:

  • Structuring your project
  • Maximising investor appeal
  • Tax Credits
  • Piece together your Media finance puzzle
  • Explore all possible sources of funding
  • Ensure you retain your position
  • Finance Raising
  • Network, Introduce & Elevate
  • Compliance

The talk will last 30 minutes with 15 minutes after for Q&A. If you have any specific questions you would like to discuss at the event, please do let us know by sending them ahead to teambootlaw@pinsentmasons.com.

When:  Wednesday, 22 April 2015 2015, 6:30pm for a 7pm start.

Where: Pinsent Masons LLP, 30 Crown Place, Earl Street, London EC2A 4ES

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November 2014 - Venture Capital for Technology Companies

Dear Bootlawyers Venture Capital for Technology Companies – An Update for Q3 2014

Venture Capital can be a tricky business. Not only do you need to have a business / idea with potential, but then you are in the position of deciding which VC to approach, when to approach that VC, how much money to raise, is the market for investment favourable in your sector........the list goes on and on. Luckily, we have an expert to hand!

For our next Bootlaw session, we welcome back Stuart McKnight, Managing Director, Ascendant Corporate Finance. A graduate engineer, Stuart has worked in corporate finance and exclusively for technology businesses for more than 20 years.  His career has included time at Hill Samuel, Nomura, Regent, before founding Ascendant in 2003. He has deep experience in corporate fund raising, M&A, licensing and valuation.

Stuart will present on the trends in the UK/Irish VC investment in technology businesses with an update for Q3 2014. This will, amongst others, provide you with topical and current information on the number of companies receiving investment and the value of money being invested, what sectors are attracting investors, the most active investors, the biggest deals, London vs Rest of UK/Ireland and practical steps for raising VC. This is – yet another - Bootlaw session that you cannot afford to miss!

You can RSVP here for the event.

When:  Wednesday, 26 November 2014, starting at 6:30pm.

Where: Pinsent Masons LLP, 30 Crown Place, Earl Street, London EC2A 4ES

October 2014 - FashTechLDN meets Bootlaw

Dear Bootlawyers For our October event Bootlaw has teamed up with FashTechLDN (www.fashtech.org) to bring you an event all about fashion and technology.

Our first speaker will be Alex Semenzato. Having hosted FashTech events in collaboration with Google and Net-A-Porter, meeting with the latest and emerging fashion/tech start-ups around the world - Alex will explain why Fashion and Technology is such a hot emerging industry right now and share his insights on the developing trends and types of innovation we are seeing within the fashion and technology industries from both a b2c and b2b perspective.

FashTech aims to drive creative partnerships between fashion and technology start-ups and provide a platform for the latest innovations to be showcased to leading brands and retailers.  Since February 2014, FashTech started revolutionizing the fashion technology world; one event at a time. First London, then spreading to San Francisco, and now the latest project - FashTech NYC which launched this September during New York Fashion Week. With over 3000 members in the FashTech community, with interests spanning from wearable technology, to e-commerce and even 3D body scanning: 2014 has fast become the year of fashion tech with even more to come in 2015.

Our second speaker will be Rebecca Mitton, a brands and IP specialist with Pinsent Masons who will consider the opportunities and pitfalls surrounding the ever expanding use of new technologies within the fashion industry.

When:  Wednesday, 22 October, 6:30pm for a 7pm start.

Where: Pinsent Masons LLP, 30 Crown Place, Earl Street, London EC2A 4ES

You can RSVP here for this event – due to the popularity of this event we may not be able to accommodate all your RSVPs, but will let you know nearer the time whether we have enough space. Please feel free to share this invitation with others who may be interested.

If you have any specific questions you would like to discuss at the event, please do let us know by sending them ahead to teambootlaw@pinsentmasons.com.

July 2014 - 3Cs Pitching

Dear Bootlawyers, We've decided to shake things up a little for our next Bootlaw session in July. In partnership with 3Cs, Bootlaw will be hosting a mini-pitching session for a group of promising start-ups / entrepreneurs on Wednesday, 9 July 2014.

The mission of the 3Cs Community is to create an environment for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to become successful and to grow. 3Cs is an active community, where advice and critique comes free-of-charge for the budding entrepreneur.

The guest speaker for the evening will be Neil Ben from Training-n-Promo Films, a BBC trained, BAFTA nominated producer / director, with over 20 years working in television and video production. Ben will be on hand to discuss how he is is helping entrepreneurs, sole traders and SMEs to use video to stand out from their competitors, in a time where over 70% of internet traffic last year was video.

Details on the entrepreneurs who will be pitching on the night can be found here.

You can RSVP here for this event.

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The format of the evening will be:

5.30pm – Doors open, beer and networking 6:00pm – Introductions, Guest Speaker and Business Pitches 8:30pm – Networking, refreshments and pizza 9:30pm – End

June 2014 - All About Share Options

Dear Bootlawyers, Share plans. Getting these right can motivate your partners / employees to take your business to new heights. Get them wrong and you’ll have a poorly incentivised team running for the door! When it comes to share plans, one size does not fit all. Did you know that share plans come in many different guises – long-term incentive plan, share-as-you-earn, company share option plan, deferred share bonus plan.......the list goes on. Need some help to navigate this maze?

Enter the Pinsent Masons share plan specialists. On Thursday, 26 June 2014, we're going to be talking about all things to do with issuing shares or share options to your employees, advisors, contractors or new business partner - basically anyone except an investor.

Our share plans and incentives team has advised many start-ups (and a few Bootlaw regulars) on setting up tax efficient share schemes. Specifically, we’ll be discussing:

  • using shares -v- share options as an incentive;
  • comparing shares -v- share options;
  • tax advantaged share options (EMI);
  • corporate law considerations of using either shares or share plans

You can RSVP here for this sure to be booked out event.

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The format of the evening will be, as usual:

6.30pm – Doors open, beer and networking

7:00pm – Legal bit starts.

8:00pm – Legal bit ends; more beer, pizza and networking.

9:00pm – End

May 2014 - The Fintech Revolution

Dear Bootlawyers, Crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and virtual currencies - fintech is big business and is changing the way banks and consumers do business. With fintech investment in UK ventures outpacing any other market in the world (a phenomenal 53% of total European investment in the sector), and an estimated investment total of £469 million since 2004, this is an exciting time for fintech start-ups.

On Wednesday 28 May 2014, we will welcome two speakers to Bootlaw - Monica Gogna, Partner at Pinsent Masons (and head of our team of fintech lawyers) and Adam Blair, Head of Borrower Sales at Funding Circle, the first transatlantic peer to peer finance company .

Monica will provide an overview of the fintech world and help you to navigate your way through the ever changing regulatory framework that surrounds this sector to ensure your business stays on step ahead in this highly competitive and ground breaking financial sector of the market. Adam will then provide some invaluable insight into the experiences and challenges he and his team have faced in growing Funding Circle into the go to peer to peer finance company. He will also discuss the impact of VC backing and regulation, from the perspective of Funding Circle and what the future holds in this exciting area of business.

Bootlawyers can RSVP here.

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The format of the evening will be, as usual:

6.30pm – Doors open, beer and networking

7:00pm – Legal bit starts.

8:00pm – Legal bit ends; more beer, pizza and networking.

9:00pm – End

April 2014 - Venture Capital for Technology Companies – Elusive or Exclusive?

Dear Bootlawyers, Venture Capital can be a tricky business. Not only do you need to have a business / idea with potential, but then you are in the position of deciding which VC to approach, when to approach that VC, how much money to raise, is the market for investment favourable in your sector........the list goes on and on. Luckily, we have an expert to hand!

At our next Bootlaw session on 30 April 2014, we will welcome Stuart McKnight, Managing Director, Ascendant Corporate Finance to the stage. A graduate engineer, Stuart has worked in corporate finance and exclusively for technology businesses for more than 20 years.  His career has included time at Hill Samuel, Nomura, Regent, before founding Ascendant in 2003. He has deep experience in corporate fund raising, M&A, licensing and valuation.  Stuart recently raised £5m for London based IntentHQ

Stuart will present on the trends in the UK/Irish VC investment in technology businesses. This will, amongst others, provide you with topical and current information on the number of companies receiving investment and the value of money being invested, what sectors are attracting investors, the most active investors, the biggest deals, London vs Rest of UK/Ireland and practical steps for raising VC. This is a Bootlaw session that you cannot afford to miss!

Bootlawyers can RSVP here.

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The format of the evening will be, as usual:

6.30pm – Doors open, beer and networking

7:00pm – Legal bit starts.

8:00pm – Legal bit ends; more beer, pizza and networking.

9:00pm – End

March 2014 - Big Data at a Crossroads - the opportunities for start ups

Dear Bootlawyers, Big data is big business. With estimates that enterprises will be averaging a spend of £4.7m in big data related initiatives in 2014 alone, this industry is a key opportunity for many start-ups.

This month, on Wednesday 19 March 2014, we have the pleasure of welcoming Jeremy Silver to Bootlaw. Jeremy, author of Digital Medieval (the first 20 years of music on the web), is immensely experienced as to the big data world, and is the Executive Chairman of Musicmetric, a leading industry player providing a powerful analytics tool for the music industry.

Jeremy will talk about the current commercial status of big data. He'll look at the technology, commercial and consumer issues driving today's market and explore what kinds of opportunities that might present for the next generation of start-ups.

Bootlawyers can RSVP here.

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The format of the evening will be, as usual:

6.30pm – Doors open, beer and networking

7:00pm – Legal bit starts.

8:00pm – Legal bit ends; more beer, pizza and networking.

9:00pm – End

February 2014 - To patent or not to patent – that is the question...

Dear Bootlawyers, So far, in the 2014 series of Bootlaw, we have walked you through the inside track on fundraising and developing your first app. However, a crucial aspect, and one which is not often given enough attention, is that of protecting your IP, and specifically whether your product can and should be patented.

And so we welcome two legal experts on all things patent related, Indra Bhattacharya and Adrian Murray, solicitors at Pinsent Masons. Bootlaw, on Wednesday 19 February 2014, will see Adrian and Indra provide an overview of the patent system and issues that can arise in trying to patent computer related inventions. This will be followed by a quick overview of what can be protected by patent as opposed to copyright - an essential bit of know how for any budding entrepreneur.

Bootlawyers can RSVP here for this (in this Bootlawyer's opinion) essential Bootlaw masterclass in IP protection.

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The format of the evening will be, as usual:

6.30pm – Doors open, beer and networking

7:00pm – Legal bit starts.

8:00pm – Legal bit ends; more beer, pizza and networking.

9:00pm – End

UPDATE: Here are the slides for this session:

To patent or not to patent