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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Verified Expert Lawyer: Leslee Cohen

Leslee Cohen has been practicing law for decades in her hometown of Chicago. She’s been working with more and more startups over the last ten years, after co-founding her own firm (Hershman Cohen) and expanding along with the city’s tech scene.


On her approach:

“I have one partner and we have now hired two other women to join us. We are extremely conscious of the fact that startups and small businesses have a lot of important uses for their dollars other than legal fees. We are all senior-level attorneys and we never double bill. What that means to our clients is that if one of us does the work and needs a second set of eyes in a particularly complex contract, those additional hours are not billed.

“Leslee’s ability to make even the most complicated issues simple and easy to understand has been invaluable to our company!” Larry Bellack, Chicago, President, Mobile Doorman

“The pressure at the big firms is: how many hours have you billed? If someone called me with a quick question in my prior days as a big firm attorney, my thought was ‘I get to put .2 on my billing sheet.’ And that’s just the complete opposite of what our practice is about; it’s about forming those relationships with startups and continuing to serve in that general counsel role for as far down the road as possible. Having our clients go tell everyone how great we are is so much more important to me than an extra .5 on a timesheet.”

On founder-investor relations:

“I feel that maintaining the founder’s relationship with its investors is of great importance, even through sometimes difficult negotiations, and make every effort to be the lawyer that fosters that relationship rather than hindering it in any way. I recently worked on a Series A offering and the founder-investor relationship was extraordinarily positive until one particular issue arose — the founder’s first gut reaction was fury and ‘how could she say that to me and how could she do that to me and I’m gonna call her and tell her what I think.’ My response was ‘write out an email with everything you want to say and send it to me and then we’re gonna delete it. Two weeks ago you loved each other and you’re going to again. She’s a strategic investor, she knows what she’s doing and she’s bringing so much credibility to your business — this is not the way you want the relationship to go.’

“So the founder wrote that email, and it was vicious, and then he called me back two hours later to thank me profusely. Sure enough they sat down, talked it out, and their relationship is strong again.”

Below, you’ll find the rest of the founder reviews, 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 (which we’re keeping open for more recommendations) and our own research. If you’re a founder 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.


The Interview:

Eric Eldon: How does your practice work, given that you’ve struck out from a big law firm to cofound a boutique firm? What are you focused on with early-stage companies?

Leslee Cohen: One is startup formation and I do work with those ‘I have an idea’ kind of companies. Usually I’ll talk for an hour for free to anybody who is at that point, but usually other than entity formation — which a paralegal can do — you probably should focus on developing your idea a little more before you spend money on a lawyer. Once someone is ready to actually start a company, I’ll do it all at that stage, even pre-funding, and help with entity selection and formation, organizational documents, bylaws and what-have-you.

And then co-founder agreements, a lot of co-founder agreements. I think that’s really important, I understand if someone comes to me and says I’m starting a company with my sister or with my best friend from kindergarten that’s not your first thing you want to spend money on in terms of legal fees. But, with those few exceptions, I’ve seen so many co-founder breakups that it’s really important to me.

The more common way that companies come to me is when they’re raising their seed round. I will work with them on SAFE and convertible note rounds. I will work with them on the disclosure part of the round, the SEC filings, any state filings necessary, structuring the round, what it’s going to look like. And then the companies have money and start hiring their first employees, so I draft employment agreements, handle HR issues and structure equity grants to advisors and restricted stock agreements. I also provide a privacy policy, terms of use, NDAs, and then once they start doing business, day-to-day contracts with customers and on the other side with vendors and suppliers. Determining employee versus independent contractors, cap tables, incentive stock plans — those are all right in my wheelhouse.

The furthest I’ll go into real estate is the first lease.

Eldon: How does this compare versus what you used to do in BigLaw?

Cohen: I was in that world, so I understand what goes on — the fees, and really the pressure to bill hours — and that’s my number one pet peeve that we really focus on here.

I have one partner and we have now hired two other women to join us. We are extremely conscious of the fact that startups and small businesses have a lot of important uses for their dollars other than legal fees. We are all senior-level attorneys and we never double bill. What that means to our clients is that if one of us does the work and needs a second set of eyes in a particularly complex contract, those additional hours are not billed.


Source: TechCrunch

ThisPersonDoesNotExist has spawned a host of amazing copycat sites

After the success of the face-generating website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com, the same A.I. is being used to create everything from imaginary Airbnb listings to creepy fake cats. Check them out.

The post ThisPersonDoesNotExist has spawned a host of amazing copycat sites appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

iOS developers will soon be able to offer discounts to their existing and lapsed subscribers

As subscriptions continue to grow into a sizable revenue stream for mobile app developers, Apple has had to make adjustments to its guidelines, rules and even its tools for subscription management in recent weeks. It issued stricter guidelines around how subscriptions are to be presented to consumers, and it made the setting for canceling existing subscriptions more accessible. Now, Apple is rolling out new tools for developers that will help them retain their current customers and win back lapsed subscribers.

The company announced on Friday that apps with auto-renewable subscriptions will soon be able to offer their subscriptions at a discounted price for a specific period, as a means of growing and retaining their customer base. This will give the developers more control over their subscription pricing than was available before.

Until the change, developers could only make introductory offers to entice consumers to sign up for the first time. For example, developers could lure customers with a one-time introductory price, offer a free trial or offer a discounted rate for a specific period of time before the subscription converted to the full price.

But these offers could only be made to first-time customers. The new promotional offers will allow developers to cut similar deals for existing subscribers or to win back the business from those who used to pay for the subscription but had canceled.

While the new promotional offers allow for the same sort of discounts as introductory offers, they’re more flexible in terms of how they’re used.

With introductory offers, developers were allowed one offer per subscription, per territory. With promotional offers, developers can activate up to 10 offers per subscription. This allows them to test which ones work best for their customers, instead of having to pick just one.

And developers are in control of when an offer displays to a customer, in which territories and how many offers a customer can redeem.

In addition, while introductory offers may display in the App Store when promoted, the promotional offers will not. That means developers can use business logic that targets winning back their most valuable customers with offers that may be better from those shown to others — and no one would be the wiser. It also means developers can offer different deals to lapsed customers — like maybe a discounted subscription — compared with promos meant to retain current subscribers.

Developers will also be able to use receipt validation tools to find subscribers who turned off auto-renewal, which allows them to target those customers with new offers before their subscription lapses. They may also decide to target those who cancel during the free trial with different offers than those who cancel after using a paid subscription for a time.

As an end-user looking to save money, these changes mean it may be worth toggling off your subscriptions from time to time to see if you’re offered a better deal to resubscribe.

Developers were alerted to the new features last week, but the offers themselves aren’t yet publicly available.

To create the offers, developers have to download the latest Xcode 10.2 beta and will need to implement the new StoreKit APIs. They can then test their offers on the latest beta version of iOS 12.2, macOS 10.14.4 and tvOS 12.2. Apple said the offers will be made available to the public “soon.”


Source: TechCrunch

Grab Alienware’s massive 34-inch curved G-Sync gaming monitor for $450 off

If you want something to replace your multiple monitor setup, Alienware’s 34-inch gaming displays are a decent considering, especially since they can be had for $450 off their typical price.

The post Grab Alienware’s massive 34-inch curved G-Sync gaming monitor for $450 off appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Nvidia’s 1660 Ti could bring Turing power to laptops without ray tracing

Nvidia’s next Turing graphics chip might be a laptop variant of its recent 1660 Ti, offering midrange performance to gamers who don’t want to try out features like RTX ray tracing and deep learning supersampling.

The post Nvidia’s 1660 Ti could bring Turing power to laptops without ray tracing appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Lenovo’s new Yoga and ThinkPad ANC headphones are built for business

Watch out Bose, Lenovo is the latest company to take aim at your noise-canceling supremacy. The company launched a pair of hybrid ANC Bluetooth headphones under the ThinkPad and Yoga brands, with prices that demand attention.

The post Lenovo’s new Yoga and ThinkPad ANC headphones are built for business appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

HAX launches an accelerator program for senior tech

HAX today announced the launch of an initiative targeted at helping startups advance the state of tech for people over the age of 65. The program was developed in conjunction with Centrica, the energy company behind the newly launched Hive Link, a smart home service for people with elderly family members.

The program will invest $250,000 in the startups it selects, including mentoring, office space, education and the like, in exchange for equity in the companies — a pretty standard setup for the San Francisco/Shenzhen-based accelerator.

As HAX notes in a related press release, the US population aging. Studies put today’s 47.8 million population of people over 65 at 78 million in the year 2035.

“HAX has invested in over 200 high-tech startups over the past six years, and we were looking for the right partner to tackle this immense challenge,” partner Kate Whitcomb said in a release tied to the news. “We want to find the right sensors, service robots, or diagnostic devices that can help us age gracefully, and avoid $100 problems turning into $100,000 ones.”

Applications for the program are currently open through the HAX site. Interested parties need to provide a prototype of their project and be willing to relocate to either San Francisco or Shenzhen. It’s a great opportunity to grow a much needed hardware sector and help improve the availability of tech for good, through a focused accelerator program. 


Source: TechCrunch

Mummy smuggler busted with remains hidden inside speakers – CNET

Egypt foiled a weird attempt to sneak mummy parts out of the country.
Source: CNET

Ricoh Theta Z1 is a pocketable prosumer 360 camera for $999 – CNET

Dual, 1-inch image sensors should raise the bar for spherical image quality.
Source: CNET

Huawei sides with Trump on 5G: 'US is lagging behind' – CNET

Meanwhile, China and the US continue trade negotiations as they face a March 1 deadline.
Source: CNET

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