CONNECTS-Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Carnegie Mellon University

CONNECTS

Our CONNECTS series enhances the experiential education of any individual interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. Tailored mainly for students to help take their ideas from conception to commercialization, the workshops run throughout the academic year. Teams looking for talent and talent looking for teams can CONNECT at these events.


Fall 2016 CONNECTS

Stay tuned for more information.


Spring 2016 CONNECTS

Start Smart: Starting a Business on an F-1 Student Visa

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
5:30-7 pm
CIC 1201
Presenter: Panel Discussion

Join us for a panel discussion that will address how students with an F-1 visa can start a business or work on a startup team without violating their student status.

The panel includes:
David Kalson, Director of the Emerging Business Group, Cohen & Grigsby
John Brendel, Director, Cohen & Grigsby
Linda Gentile, Director of the Office of International Education, CMU


Customer and Competitor Discovery via Database Research

Friday, January 22, 2016
3-4:30 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: Roye Werner, CMU Libraries
Presentation

Good market research informs the planning of any entrepreneurial venture and underlies its success. This workshop that will incorporate demonstrations and hands-on activities that will show how to maximize the information resources available from CMU ‘s libraries. Bring your laptop.


Making Things Here

Friday, February 5, 2016
3-4:30 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: Ilana Diamond, AlphaLab Gear
Presentation

For the last decade, investors, media and those who follow technology have been focused almost entirely on software. More recently, the buzz has shifted to hardware and manufactured products. Learn why CMU entrepreneurs are positioned to take advantage of the renewed interest in physical products and the resources available to help get their products from idea to market.


The Lean Startup

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
3-4:30 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: Dave Mawhinney, CMU CIE
Presentation

Associated videos for Customer Discovery

The Lean Startup is a technical approach to generating and managing startups, helping to get an anticipated product or service into the hands of customers faster. Learn how to make your startup lean and efficient using entrepreneurial best practices in this seminar.
*NSF I-Corps Site Teams required to attend*


Financial Modeling*

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
12:30-2 pm
CIC 1201
Presenter: Phil Compton
Presentation
Cap Table Example
Financial Model Template
Watch the video
*Bring your own lunch

If you’re going to start a company, mapping out your financial projections will be an important part of that process. Learn the basics and gain insight on understanding how to incorporate assumptions and discussing key terms such as burn rate, cash runway and EBITDA will allow you to support more confidently your projections to investors and fellow team members.
*NSF I-Corps Site Teams required to attend*


Start Smart: Raising Capital Part 1*

Thursday, February 18, 2016
5:30-7 pm
University of Pittsburgh, Barco Law Building, Room 107
Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates
Presentation

Learn about the legal issues associated with raising capital through friends and family, seed, series A, B, C and more:

  • Structuring investments to maximize growth
  • Opportunities available because of the new JOBS Act
  • Crowdsourcing and proposed SEC regulation
  • Funding from incubators/accelerators, government and foundations

*NSF I-Corps Site Teams required to attend*


Agile Product Development*

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
12:30-2 pm
CIC 1201
Presenter: Sean Ammirati, Birchmere Ventures & Labs
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

Learn an iterative and interactive framework to manage the process of building your startup's technology solution. Master specific tips for implementing this framework in your venture and hear case studies from local Pittsburgh companies who have taken advantage of these techniques. 
*NSF I-Corps Site Teams required to attend*


Start Smart: Raising Capital Part 2 –Negotiating a Term Sheet Case Study*

Monday, February 29, 2016
5:30-7 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: David Lehman & Henry Snyder, K&L Gates

Attend this interactive workshop to learn how to address the business and legal issues associated with making investments in startups, including negotiation strategies, valuation, founder and investor rights, vesting, management and exits. Participants will divide into two groups—one to represent the investor and the other to represent the company.  Both will decide independently on the terms they want and then brought back together for the negotiation led by the lawyers.
*Optional for NSF I-Corps Site Teams to attend*


Splitting the Equity Pie & Other Aspects of Equity Compensation*

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
12:30-2 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305 
Presenter: Frank Demmler, Innovation Works
Presentation
*Bring your own lunch

Equity compensation can be a very mysterious concept for first-time entrepreneurs. Learn how to make critical decisions from the division of the Founders' Pie through stock option grants.
*NSF I-Corps Site Teams required to attend*


Start Smart: Company Formation

Thursday, March 3, 2016
5:30-7 pm
University of Pittsburgh, Barco Law Building, Room 107
Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates

Learn the basic legal issues that can occur with entity formation, including founder arrangements, founder employment arrangements, splitting the founder's equity pie, founder agreements and employee equity. The seminar will be followed by a workshop that will assist startups in the pre-company formation stage with developing a roadmap that covers recommended structure, operating agreements and other formation issues.

If you have a startup and would like to participate in the workshop, contact kit@cs.cmu.edu. If you are a law student interested in participating, contact SAD111@pitt.edu.


Insurance for Startups: What Do I Need and When?*

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
12:30-2 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: Sean Ruppert, Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC.
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

For startups running on a lean budget, obtaining the right insurance is essential. Learn about the unique risks that can arise when running your business, when you should address those risks and how they can be addressed with insurance.


Start Smart: Protecting Your Company’s IP + Unraveling Student IP*

Thursday, March 17, 2016
5:30-7 pm
University of Pittsburgh, Barco Law Building, Room 107
Presenters: George Dickos, Lauren Shuttleworth Murray, David Lehman, K&L Gates

Learn about legal issues related to intellectual property, including:

  • Protecting your company's IP
  • Not infringing on another's IP
  • Handling IP created by your employees, including non-compete clauses
  • Determining which IP protection to use: copyright, patents, trademarks and/or trade secrets
  • First to file vs. First to invent: changes in US patent law
  • Handling IP created by CMU and Pitt students

*NSF I-Corps Site Teams required to attend*


Convertible Promissory Note – Understanding the Key Terms*

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
12:30-2 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: Peter Papagianakis, Business Law Firm LLC
Presentation
*Bring your own lunch

Learn the basic legal issues and pitfalls of issuing convertible promissory notes for your startup. The following topics will be discussed:

  • Pros and cons of issuing promissory notes vs. shares of preferred stock to angel investors
  • Discount and caps on valuation and their effects
   
  • Mandatory conversion vs. optional conversion; reasonable interest rates
  • Legal documents accompanying the promissory note

Getting Started with Sales*

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
12:30-2 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: Bruce Smith, Achieving Sales Results, LLC
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

How do you grow your company when you lack customers or references? How do you hire your first sales person and manage them? Learn about startup sales and techniques that help you get in the door, close the sale and how to set sales goals.


Start Smart: Social Enterprise – Profit with a Purpose

Thursday, April 7, 2016
5:30-7 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: Stephanie Dangel, IPI, University of Pittsburgh Law School
Presentation

This is a must-attend event for anyone interested in starting and running a company that blends profit with purpose. Learn about for-profit, non-profit and hybrid social enterprise entities and the legal issues related to each entity choice, including financing and employment issues.


Buy-Sell Agreements and NDAs

Friday, April 8, 2016
3-4:30 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: Daniel Lynch, The Lynch Law Group

Join Daniel Lynch as he gives an overview of the differences between agreements associated with corporations and LLCs. You will learn about Non-Disclosure Agreements (Confidentiality Agreements)—when to use one and how to determine if your agreement should be one-sided or reciprocal—and the six trigger events that form the basis of an Operating/Buy-Sell Agreement: death, disability, divorce, bankruptcy, retirement and voluntary quit.


Setting Up Your Back Office*

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
12:30-2 pm
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: William Richardson, Sisterson & Co. LLP
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

Learn practical tax, accounting and business considerations that startups face in their first year of operation.


Start Smart: Preparing for an Exit

Thursday, April 21, 2016
5:30-7 pm
Gates 4405
Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates
Presentation

Acquisitions are the most common form of exit. Learn how to prepare the company for sale, including the due diligence process, sale process and potential auctions, the role of investment bankers, tax implications, typical structures, including earn-outs, employment and non-competition obligations.


Fall 2015