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Is Your Business at Risk? 10 Tips to Manage Risk and Maximize Value

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A common misconception about entrepreneurs is that they are wild risk takers.

In actuality, the most successful entrepreneurs are experts at calculating and minimizing risk wherever possible.

Minimizing risk isn't just about protecting your company -- it's about increasing your value and improving your attractiveness to investors.

In this presentation, Mary Juetten, from Traklight (www.traklight.com) and EGFS (www.earlygrowthfinancialservices.com) provide an in-depth look at the greatest risks threatening your company, and how to best manage these risks.

Topics covered include:

- Choosing the best business entity for your company
- What patents really are -- and aren't
- Best practices for co-founder agreements
- Employees v. Contractors - what you need to know
- Risks of crowdfunding
- Avoiding litigation
- And more!

Published in: Business
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Is Your Business at Risk? 10 Tips to Manage Risk and Maximize Value

  1. 1. Disclaimer: This presentation is intended to be general information. Nothing in the presentation constitutes legal advice. Please consult with an attorney before making any intellectual property protection decisions. Is Your Business at Risk? TEN TIPS TO MANAGE RISK AND MAXIMIZE VALUE
  2. 2. Mary Juetten Founder & CEO Traklight @traklight @maryjuetten mejuetten@traklight.com • CEI Incubator Graduate • Forbes, ABA LegalTech Contributor • 30 years business experience • J.D., CPA, CA • MSNBC, AZ PBS, SXSW V2V, LAUNCH Speaker • SUCCESS Magazine Start Small, Win Big 2013 winner
  3. 3. Business World
  4. 4. Competing Daily Tasks
  5. 5. IS YOUR BIZ AT RISK? 1. Entity 2. Co-Inventors 3. Co-Founders 4. Employee v. Contractor 5. Disclosure 6. Fundraising 7. Records 8. IP Strategy 9. Financial Projections 10. Pending Litigation
  6. 6. QUESTIONS WELCOME HROUGHOUT
  7. 7. #1 - Don’t go it alone – get an entity!
  8. 8. • C Corp • S Corp • LLC Limit personal liability
  9. 9. Patents (Utility & Design) #2 – Co-Inventors
  10. 10. Copyright © A patent is not:
  11. 11. Trademark A patent is not: Image courtesy: Shelby Asistio ™ ℠ ®
  12. 12. Who: IP Ownership Challenges Multiple Inventors
  13. 13. When: Key Dates to Remember • Date of Idea/Inventions (First to Invent → First INVENTOR to file) • Date of Use • Date of Filing • Date of Conversion • Renewals
  14. 14. #3 - Co-Founder
  15. 15. Handshakes = Headaches
  16. 16. #4: Employee v. Contractor
  17. 17. Who: IP Ownership Challenges • Who are you? Employee of another company • Proper assignment of IP rights — personal vs company • Assume that ownership extends outside the US
  18. 18. Software Work for Hire
  19. 19. Fines, Penalties (don’t forget interns)
  20. 20. #5 - Disclosure
  21. 21. Enabling Public Disclosure
  22. 22. Homepage INTERNET IS PUBLIC DISCLOSURE
  23. 23. #6 - Fundraising Careful re new rules Solicitation
  24. 24. Start on the right Trak Do NOT start with creating a campaign, pitch, or business plan. THIS APPLIES TO ALL FINANCING!
  25. 25. 80% of a business’ value is in their IP.
  26. 26. Identify IP Protect IP Pick a Platform Build Social Capital Create a Pitch Practice Safe Crowfunding
  27. 27. Fundraising options
  28. 28. Crowdfunding Federal Securities Equity is not yet legal instead: states, - Reg A+ (June 2015)S
  29. 29. #7 - Records
  30. 30. #7 - Records Filing for business is imperative – investors, banks and IRS (Don’t forget to keep records too)!
  31. 31. #8 - Got intellectual property? Why care… 100% of all companies have IP.
  32. 32. Avoid IP loss, infringement, or business failure. When do you need an IP strategy?
  33. 33. Exclude competition: Attract investment (including crowdfunding); Leverage and license. When do you need an IP strategy?
  34. 34. IP theft costs US companies $300 billion annually
  35. 35. Trade Secrets— unsung heroes Not always patents: Image courtesy: Beverley Goodwin
  36. 36. Five IP Mis-steps
  37. 37. IP is just for tech startups or tech companies, and patents are the only IP for inventors. IP Mis-steps
  38. 38. You can copy anything without a copyright © IP Mis-steps
  39. 39. Domain = TM IP Mis-steps
  40. 40. If I pay for it, I own it. IP Mis-steps
  41. 41. Patents mean right to make or sell. IP Mis-steps
  42. 42. Strategies to Protect IP Secrets: - Notary - IP Vault - Copyright software Hire a Professional: - Attorney, Consultant, - LegalZoom, Rocketlawyer Do It Yourself: - USPTO.gov - copyright.gov
  43. 43. #9 FINANCIALS • Realistic • Detailed • Know your numbers
  44. 44. #10 PENDING LITIGATION Disclose it!
  45. 45. Ignorance Is NOT A Defense
  46. 46. Read, Read, Read Read contracts, licenses, and permission to use
  47. 47. Read, Read, Read Check out CreativeCommons.org
  48. 48. Traklight’s Software Platform
  49. 49. Traklight’s Software Platform
  50. 50. Questions? www.traklight.com Free Business Risk Assessment Mary Juetten mejuetten@traklight.com @traklight Slides available on slideshare.net/Traklight @maryjuetten

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