START-UP PARTNER PRACTICE
Start-up Partner is the Tree of Life Associates’ (TLA in short) focused and domain specific legal practice that addresses the unique needs of Start-Ups. TLA supports Start-Ups from idea germination to commercialization, on a pre-emptive and proactive basis and as a business enabler.
In the sections that follow, we elaborate how TLA serves as a legal incubator for Start-Ups and thereafter, as a legal-business partner.
1.START-UP PARTNER PHILOSOPHY
TLA was founded in May 2009, with the avowed objective of meeting a significant gap in the legal market – top notch legal services at cost structures and efficiencies that Start-ups and SMEs can afford or at least, consider.
Our Start-Up Partner vertical works at two levels – one, at a legal incubating level and two, on an ongoing basis, at a legal partner level. Through this approach, we believe we walk side-by-side with the entrepreneur.
1.1 Legal Incubator
The legal incubation essentially comprises of:
- Idea validation from a legal and regulatory standpoint, including advising on founder legacy issues and legal landscaping of execution of the business idea. terms of legal-commercial feasibility.[Note: TLA has often found that the idea discussion stage goes a long way in helping the entrepreneur to validate the idea, or go back to the ‘drawing board’ and restructure the idea or sometimes, drop the idea altogether.]
- Business structure/entity identification, set-up, operationalization and related compliance support.
- Build-out of preliminary and iterative legal templates related to the business and commercial requirements of the Start Up. These could include employment documentation, IP creation and capture forms and iterative vendor and customer contracts.
1.2 Legal Partner
Once the Start-Up is operational, TLA will partner with the Start-Up, to provide ongoing legal advice that is pre-emptive and proactive and tied to the business inflection points and strategic needs of the Start-Up. In effect, TLA will operate as a Virtual In-house Legal Counsel. The scope of this partnership will include the following:
- TLA will work with the Start-Up to provide ongoing inputs on any changes in law that impact the Start-Up’s business. Further, TLA will also pre-emptively advise the Start-Up on any legal bottlenecks to any proposed business refinement or business enhancement.
- TLA will advise the Start-Up on any proposed investor relationships (including seed, angel, Series A, B and C investments), including negotiations, best practices, tax impact and investment documentation (such as term sheets, shareholder agreements, etc). TLA will also advise on debt financing.
- TLA will devise legal mechanisms to address strategic initiatives such as employee stock incentives, innovation/patent pipelines and protection strategy, product development and commercialization (such as licensing (in-licensing, out-licensing, cross licensing), contract manufacturing, co-development, etc.), mergers & acquisitions, business alliances, joint ventures and sale of business.
2.INDUSTRY VERTICAL PROFILE OF START-UP CLIENTS
2.1 Information and Digital Technology Start-Ups
- ERP, mobile and gaming space, specific to the MAC platform;
- Automated energy metering;
- Online recruitment portal and placement services;
- Identity and access governance;
- Machine learning solutions;
- Digital media interfacing;
- Online education;
- Cloud based accounting platform;
- Mobile infotainment;
- Business and retail analytics;
- Digital publishing;
- SAP customization;
- Micro-credit technology frameworks.
2.2 Biotechnology Start-Ups
- Bio-process engineering
- Bio-fuel technology.
2.3 Retail Start-Ups
- Distribution of high end beauty products including through an ecommerce engine.
2.4 Sports Industry
- Sports leagues and related franchising ecosystems