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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Gadget Lab Podcast: Flickr Cofounder Caterina Fake Weighs In On Big Tech

Caterina Fake says it’s time to ask whether tech should exist, rather than asking if it can exist or if funds are available for it.
Source: Wired

Kids and Teens Strike Against Adults’ Climate Screw-Ups

Across the planet, children skipped school to protest inaction on climate change: “Just ’cause we’re kids doesn’t mean we have childish opinions.”
Source: Wired

Verified Expert Lawyer: Mital Makadia

Mital Makadia’s legal career began on the East Coast, with Big Law firms, but she moved into early-stage startup work with long-time Silicon Valley boutique Grellas Shah nearly a decade ago. She’ll work with companies on a range of usual startup issues, but she and the firm also focus on individual founder representation (when it comes to that).

As part of the interview below, we got into a conversation about contentious terms in term sheets — and she ended up writing a guest post for us about the biggest gotchas that she sees in Series A docs. Read up on her here, then go check out What To Watch For In A VC Term Sheet.


On the founder focus:

“We approach the practice with a view to protecting the founders. So we’re not looking to please the VCs. And if that means reviewing the transaction a little bit differently then what the investors are used to, that’s fine by us. That’s pretty much our philosophy.”

“Mital has an amazing ability to analyze complex issues and, not only explain them clearly, but also give us spot-on recommendations on what to do next to keep the company moving.” Bryant Lee, San Francisco, cofounder and CEO, Cognition IP

On the different perspective:

“For me, I have been through enough financing rounds to know what VCs tend to push for and what’s ‘market’ at a given point in time. But just because a provision might be one my client will likely have to give on, depending on negotiating leverage, I make sure my client understands how it impacts the company and its founders. I don’t simply gloss it over as “market.” And sometimes in those conversations, I suss out legitimate concerns from clients that we can creatively address. But that requires you to have a founder hat — not a VC hat – on when you are reviewing a term sheet.”

On second looks:

“Now, we have a lot of clients who come to us, whether they’re going through an M&A or whether they’re incorporating or whether they are going through a financing round term sheet who may have a lawyer representing the company, but who wants our advice in protecting the founders.”

Below, you’ll find founder recommendations, the full interview, and more details like their pricing and fee structures.

This article is part of our ongoing series covering the early-stage startup lawyers who founders love to work with, based on this survey and our own research. The survey is open indefinitely so please fill it out if you haven’t already. If you’re trying to navigate the early-stage legal landmines, be sure to check out our growing set of in-depth articles, like this checklist of what you need to get done on the corporate side in your first years as a company.


Full Interview:

Eric Eldon: I would love to hear about how you got into working with startups, given your very different focus earlier in your career.

Mital Makadia: Actually, I didn’t start my legal career working with startups. After law school, I did general corporate work at large firms in New York and DC. That feels like a lifetime ago.

I eventually moved out to the West Coast when I got married and came across Grellas Shah when I started looking for a job here. I can’t say my goal was necessarily to work with startups at that point. But I loved this practice from day one.

Of course, I immediately loved working with entrepreneurs. The brilliant new ideas, enthusiasm, optimism, work ethic, and ambition is infectious.

But a huge part of what I have loved about this practice is working with and learning from our firm’s founder, George Grellas. George has been working in Silicon Valley since 1983 and has really seen the ups and downs in the tech industry. Largely due to his reputation as a sharp yet practical startup attorney, our firm has built an enviable client base, which has been an ideal platform for me to launch my own career in the startup world.


Source: TechCrunch

How Investigators Pull Data off a Boeing 737’s Black Boxes

Figuring out what happened to Ethiopian Flight 302 may involve baking the black box recorders in an oven, but the information investigators recover can be crucial to preventing future crashes.
Source: Wired

What to watch for in a VC term sheet

When startup founders review a VC term sheet, they are mostly only interested in the pre-money valuation and the board composition. They assume the rest of the language is “standard” and they don’t want to ruffle any feathers with their new VC partner by “nickel and diming the details.” But these details do matter.

VCs are savvy and experienced negotiators, and all of the language included in the term sheet is there because it is important to them. In the vast majority of cases, every benefit and protection a VC gets in a term sheet comes with some sort of loss or sacrifice on the part of the founders – either in transferring some control away from the founders to the VC, shifting risk from the VC to the founders, or providing economic benefits to the VC and away from the founders. And you probably have more leverage to get better terms than you may think. We are in an era of record levels of capital flowing into the venture industry and more and more firms targeting seed stage companies. This competition makes it harder for VCs to dictate terms the way they used to.

But like any negotiating partner, a VC will likely be evaluating how savvy you appear to be in approaching a proposed term sheet when deciding how hard they are going to push on terms. If the VC sees you as naïve or green, they can easily take advantage of that in negotiating beneficial terms for themselves. So what really matters when you are negotiating a term sheet? As a founder, you want to come out of the financing with as much overall control of the company and flexibility in shaping the future of the company as possible and as much of a share in the future economic prosperity of the company as possible. With these principles in mind, let’s take a look at four specific issues in a term sheet that are often overlooked by founders and company counsel:

  • What counts in pre-money capitalization
  • The CEO common director
  • Drag-along provisions
  • Liquidation preference.

What counts in pre-money capitalization


Source: TechCrunch

The Mosque Shooter Laid Bare the Post-Shooting Internet Cycle

The gunman who killed at least 49 people at mosques in New Zealand live-streamed the massacres, and left unusually detailed writings.
Source: Wired

Guardians of the Galaxy 3: James Gunn rehired to write, direct Marvel film – CNET

After his high-profile firing, Gunn is back on the film. “I am tremendously grateful to every person out there who has supported me over the past few months,” he says.
Source: CNET

Livestreaming has become a nightmare. It needs radical change – CNET

Commentary: If live video can’t die, then the Facebooks, Twitters and YouTubes of the world need to reform it.
Source: CNET

Western Digital’s $55 solid-state drive gives new life to your aging PC

Western Digital is hoping that you’ll pick up one of its affordable WD Blue SN500 solid-state drives to give your aging PC more storage and a speed boost. WD’s NVMe-based drives are up to three times faster than older SATA SSDs.

The post Western Digital’s $55 solid-state drive gives new life to your aging PC appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Build an automatic lawn sprinkler system on the cheap video – CNET

Don’t spend thousands on a professionally installed lawn irrigation system when this simple and affordable DIY solution will do the trick for a fraction of the price.
Source: CNET

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