Start Smart Law-Project Olympus - Carnegie Mellon University

Start Smart Law

START SMART is an initiative of Project Olympus at Carnegie Mellon University and the Innovation Practice Institute at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law to provide educational seminars and workshops to teach entrepreneurs and start-ups, and future lawyers in the Pittsburgh region the basics of entrepreneurial business law.

Fall 2015 Start Smart Law Seminars

Smart Start: Contract Basics

Thursday, September 24, 2015
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm 
University of Pittsburgh, Barco Law Building, 107
Presenter: David Lehman & Susan Altman, K&L Gates

This seminar will address what startup business owners should know about contracts and the contracting processes, including pre-agreements (e.g., binding and non-binding letters of intent, term sheets and memoranda of understanding), common terms in contracts and typical types of contracts (e.g., licenses, leases, corporate agreements, commercial and customer contracts and employment agreements).

Smart Start: Raising Capital

Thursday, October 15, 2015
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm 
Gates 6115
Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates

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

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

Smart Start: Protecting Your IP Seminar

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
University of Pittsburgh, Barco Law Building, Room 107
Presenters: George Dickos & Lauren Murray, K&L Gates

This seminar will cover legal issues related to intellectual property, including:

  • How to protect your company's IP
  • How not to infringe on another's IP
  • How to handle IP created by your employees, including non-compete clauses
  • Which IP protection to use: copyright, patents, trademarks and/or trade secrets
  • First to file vs. First to invent: changes in US patent law

Start Smart: Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Startup

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Gates 6115
Presenters: Kit Needham, CMU/CIE Project Olympus, & Stephanie Dangel, Univeristy of Pittsburgh Law School

Finding the right lawyer is a key strategic business decision for a startup. Your lawyer can be one of your best business advisers OR a poor choice that costs you time and money. Learn the right questions to ask, how to avoid common mistakes and how to manage your relationship.

Start Smart: Structuring 3rd Party Relationships

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Gates 6115
Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates

Third party relationships can come in a variety of forms, e.g. joint ventures, partnerships and licensing. Creating strategic partnerships can add tremendous value, if the partnership is structured properly. Since every partnership is different, startups must understand the differences between the forms and how to negotiate the best terms to ensure the partnership success.

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Kit Needham

kit needham
Entrepreneur in Residence Project Olympus

Stephanie Dangel

stephanie dangel
Executive Director Innovation Practice Institute (IPI) at Pitt Law

Spring 2015 Start Smart Law Seminars

Fall 2014 Start Smart Law Seminars

sponsored by

K&L Gates