You’re an entrepreneur and founder of a new startup, with a great idea and the beginnings of a great team. You have a vision for your future – maybe it includes a big exit by going public with an IPO or being purchased by a tech giant. Your plans definitely include securing angel and venture-capital financing to help realize your dream.
But in order to make those dreams a reality, you’ll need something more: the knowledge and plans to build your startup’s legal and economic engine. You may know your tech, product and customers inside and out; but having the same depth of understanding of the economics and legal structure of your startup is just as critical to its success.
That’s why we created StartupProgram.com Academy, a comprehensive, interactive online video lecture series that teaches you how to launch your startup properly, as well as truly understand your equity position so that you’re ready to win when negotiating with venture capitalists.
Venture Economics and Law for Entrepreneurs
The curriculum, presented as a series of video lectures with accompanying quizzes and reference materials, is composed of three courses:
- Venture Economics 101: Tightly integrated with the StartupProgram.com cap table, this series gives startups the knowledge and tools they need to raise money successfully, get the best deal possible with VCs, understand financings, break down key decisions related to issuing company stock, and much more.
- Venture Law 101: This series explores the legal side of launching a startup, with a focus on important considerations when forming a company and raising money.
- The Startup User’s Guide: Coupled with a downloadable questionnaire, this course guides you through gathering the information required to complete the legal documentation necessary to form a venture-backed company. (*If you sign up for professional services, using the Startup User’s Guide, we will prepare all your startup documentation to be venture ready and make sure it’s done right at the beginning.)
Enrollment in any of the StartupProgram.com Academy courses includes all three versions of the StartupProgram.com cap table, which are referenced throughout the lectures.
Written by a Venture Lawyer for Entrepreneurs
All three courses were written by startup attorney and investor Dan Offner, who has helped form and support dozens of venture-backed companies, including Oculus/Facebook, Ubisoft, and Exploding Kittens. Unlike trying to learn from random startup content you might find in blogs across the internet, Offner’s StartupProgram.com Academy curriculum is a complete, cohesive education for startup entrepreneurs seeking venture capital.
What’s more, StartupProgram.com Academy saves you money. Before the academy launched, you had two choices when forming a company: Paying a law firm to walk you through the process (at an expensive hourly rate), or trying to do it yourself on DIY legal-forms and websites (and then wondering if you did it right, which inevitably leads to calling an expensive law firm to check your work). In both cases, you’re not going to end up with the depth of knowledge you need to negotiate with venture capitalists. That’s where StartupProgram.com Academy comes in. It helps arm you with the knowledge developed by years of experience from a lawyer who practices only venture law.
Critical Legal and Economic Lessons for Startup Entrepreneurs
To help entrepreneurs win with VCs, StartupProgram.com Academy empowers founders with knowledge on topics such as:
- What are venture capitalists looking for – and what turns them off
- Why you should form a Delaware corporation over any other entity
- What are the benefits setting up a stock incentive plan right away
- How to get intellectual property into the company (and not leave it in control of someone who may quit)
- Why all founder’s stock should be subject to vesting
- What is the right way to put your own money into the company
- Why you want angel investors and VCs to invest with a convertible notes or SAFEs
- How angel and Series A investments dilute the founders’ ownership of the company
- How to pick board members and officers
- How to avoid a potentially huge tax liability by making a simple IRS filing
- What are best practices for NDAs
- Why building your cap table from the start can is the difference between a future big pay day or losing out on all of your sweat equity
Level Up: Professional Services for Entrepreneurs
Similar to how our cap table products are integrated with the academy, StartupProgram.com Professional Services helps founders execute on what they’ve learned in the StartupProgram.com Academy. From reviewing a completed cap table, filing incorporation documents, to creating stock-purchase agreements, StartupProgram.com Professional Services delivers the final step in the formation journey: launching your venture-ready corporation with the right legal foundation to succeed.
We’ll have more information on StartupProgram.com Professional Services in a future post, or you can read more about it on the Professional Services page.