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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.

CONNECTS Through the Years


Attend Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, our kick-off to our CONNECTS events!


The Spring 2019 Schedule has been announced!

Come experience our new Spring 2019 CONNECTS series and see speakers like Cindy Padnos with Illuminate Ventures, Ilana Diamond with AlphaLab Gear, Marion Lewis with BoardBookit, Inc., Suzy Teele with ARM, Kelley Lynch with Careform, Ginny Pribanic with MedRespond, LLC, Frank Demmler and many more.


Financial Modeling*

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Phil Compton, SingleSource Property Solutions
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation
Cap Table Example
Financial Model Template

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 how to incorporate assumptions and flexibility into a model. Understand and be able to discuss key terms such as burn rate, cash runway and EBITDA which will allow you to more confidently support your projections to investors, Board and fellow team members.


Splitting the Founder’s Pie & Other Aspects of Equity Compensation*

Thursday, January 24, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Frank Demmler, Startup Whisperer, 2 X Frank Entrepreneurial Yoda-for-Hire
Register
*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.


Overcoming Fear, Finding Success and Building a More Women-Friendly Startup Community *

Tuesday, January 29, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Dr. Lynn C. Yanyo, De Novo Ground
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Entrepreneurism is a hot topic today but was not visible in the late 1900's.  Invention or innovation were prized back then.  Invention or innovations are only small, small components of entrepreneurism.  Getting from idea to market to profit requires a big picture view and many different talents.  Entrepreneurism also requires an ability to be accepting of ambiguity, unquantifiable risk or simply being luckily uninformed.

Learn how entrepreneurism has changed over the last 50 years, what is needed to be successful today and focus on how anyone can be a successful entrepreneur, if they choose.


START SMART LAW: How to Start a Business on an F-1 Student Visa

Tuesday, January 29, 2019
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Gates Hillman Center 6115
Presenter: David Kalson, Larry Lebowitz and Linda Gentile
Register

Students with an F-1 Visa can legally start businesses as well as work on a startup team. Come learn the details of how to do this without violating your student status.

Panelists:       

  • David Kalson, Cohen & Grigsby, Director of the Emerging Business Group
  • Larry Lebowitz, Cohen & Grigsby, Director of the Immigration Group
  • Linda Gentile, CMU, Director, Office of International Education

Finding Follow-on Capital: Identifying and Engaging Your Next Investors*

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Ben Garber, MedExpress
Register
*Bring your own lunch

"We've very excited about your company, but it's just not a fit for us right now."  Sound familiar?  In this workshop you'll learn how to use tools currently available to all CMU students to run the same process used by investment bankers and venture capitalists to target next round investors.  We will cover profiling your company and potential investors, available resources and how to use them, getting prepared and what to expect when raising capital.  Fundraising is an arduous process.  Engaging the right audience can make it easier.  


Making Things Here*

Thursday, January 31, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Ilana Diamond, AlphaLab Gear
Register
*Bring your own lunch

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.


Lean Startups*

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Dave Mawhinney, CMU Swartz Center
Register
*Bring your own lunch

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.


START SMART LAW: How to Structure Your Capital Raise – Part 1

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Pitt Law School, 3900 Forbes Avenue, Room 111
Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates
Register

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

  • Structuring investments to maximize growth
  • Funding from incubators/accelerators, government, and foundations
  • Opportunities available through the JOBS Act (does this still apply?)
  • Crowd sourcing and SEC regulations

Business Model Canvas*

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Will Kaigler, CMU Swartz Center
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Many aspiring entrepreneurs have heard of the business model canvas, but few actually use it correctly.  This workshop will focus on the proper techniques to leverage the full value of this important tool for business planning and validation.


How to Find and Evaluate Your Startup Ideas: A Serial Entrepreneur Describes What He Has learned Building 4 Companies and Investing in Many More*

Thursday, February 7, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Alan Chung, Perka Inc.
Register
*Bring your own lunch

It is a common belief that coming up with a good startup idea is hard. Many think having a great idea is a once in a lifetime opportunity. This misconception causes many first time entrepreneurs to behave in ways that are irrational and often detrimental to their companies. Learn how serial entrepreneurs can systematically come up with and evaluate ideas to find the one with the best chance to succeed.


Tax, Business and Accounting Issues for Startups*

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: William Richardson & Carissa Habsburg, Sisterson & Co. LLP
Register
*Bring your own lunch

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


Fundamentals of Board Governance*

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Marion Lewis, BoardBookit, Inc.
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Learn the components of good governance, and how it impacts risk management, compliance and reputation for organizations of all size.


Turning Big Data into Knowledge*

Thursday, February 14, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Alison Alvarez, BlastPoint
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Check back for more details.


START SMART LAW: How to Negotiate a Term Sheet for Your Capital Raise

Thursday, February 14, 2019
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: David Lehman and Henry Snyder, K&L Gates
Register

Learn how to address the legal and business issues associated with investing in startup companies, including strategies in negotiating valuation, founder and investor rights, vesting, management and exits.

In this interactive workshop, participants will divide into two groups, investor startup, each working with an experienced lawyer.   Both groups will decide independently on the terms they want and then come together for the negotiation led by the lawyers.


Agile Product Development*

Tuesday, February 19, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Sean Ammirati, Birchmire Ventures
Register
*Bring your own lunch

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.


B2B Product Marketing*

Wednesday, February 20, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Suzy Teele, ARM
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Marketing to companies is different than selling to consumers...or is it?  Learn the best practices for awareness, attraction and engagement in B3B Product Marketing...and what often doesn't work.


Online Marketing for Startups in 2019*

Thursday, February 21, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Joey Rahimi
Register
*Bring your own lunch

In this workshop, run through the different marketing tactics used that have helped companies grow and how these tactics have evolved over time because of technology and adoption.


The Importance of Cash Flow*

Tuesday, February 26, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Kelley Lynch, Careform
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Profits and EBITDA are crucial to any company; however it turns out Cash flow might actually be more critical, especially for small and fast growing companies.  Learn how to make a 13-week rolling cash flow model that will give you better insights to your company’s operations.  And learn how the discipline of cash flow modeling can also help with your relationships with bankers and investors, current or potential. The best part – this modeling is not intimidating to the non-financial oriented entrepreneurs!


Creating an Experience Around a Product*

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Meredith Grelli, Wigle Whiskey
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Check back for more details.


Advance Your Selling Power*

Thursday, February 28, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Laurie Barkman TPR MBA '99, Burns White LLC
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Regardless of what you are selling, your business should be working to attract and convert customers.  In this workshop, learn how to use sales funnel and customer journey frameworks to map an epic customer journey online.


START SMART LAW: Social Enterprise - Profit with a Purpose

Thursday, February 28, 2019
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: Stephanie Dangel, IPI, Pitt Law School
Register

Learn about for-profit verses non-profit companies, social enterprise, hybrid and alternative legal models, including the Benefit Corporation, L3C's and Flexible Purpose Corporations. This is a MUST-ATTEND event for anyone interested in starting and running a company that blends profit with purpose.


Digital Marketing: It's All About the Numbers*

Tuesday, March 5, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Erich Boduch, Pendo
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Learn how marketing has changed in the last 10 years while discussing the marketing stack of today, how to experiment and scale a digital marketing organization and look at how a high growth startup grew its revenues.


The Nuts and Bolts of Angel Investing*

Wednesday, March 6, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Catherine Mott, BlueTree Venture Fund
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Since the late 90’s, Angel Investing has grown from a cottage industry to a subsector of venture capital, investing $28 Billion annually in the US.  However, the industry is multi-faceted.  Angels can act alone or in groups, be sophisticated or unsophisticated, act as guardian angels or nuisance angels, form professional funds or use a crowd funding platform, but ultimately they are typically the capital that follows friends and family and bridges growing companies to the larger venture capital firms.  This session will describe the various subsets of the industry and focus on how to approach the more “professionally managed” angel groups/funds that will typically lead to successful co-investing and follow-on investing to help companies grow.


Making the Customer Connection, Guidelines for Confidently Creating Winning Products and Service Experiences*

Thursday, March 7, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Jacquelyn Cuccaro, Mongoose Ventures, Inc.
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Learn how to best critique your product/service concept for maximum time and cost efficiency during your testing/development phase. Take away suggestions for knowing when your product/service is ready, so you can begin focusing your time and attention on securing funding or manufacturing/distribution alliances.


START SMART LAW: How to Handle Your (and Others) Intellectual Property

Thursday, March 7, 2019
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenter: George Dickos and Lauren Murray, K&L Gates
Register

Learn how to deal with intellectual property issues, including:     

  • Developing an IP strategy (Do you always need that patent? Are you patenting new IP?)
  • What are copyright, patents, trademarks and trade secrets 
  • How to protect your company's IP
  • How not to infringe on another's IP
  • How to handle IP created by class projects when one or more students want to pursue commercialization
  • How to handle IP created by your employees, including non-compete clauses
  • What to expect after filing a patent (time and expenses)
  • Tips on searching the US Patent Office database

The Art & Science of Negotiation*

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Taya R. Cohen, PhD
Register
*Bring your own lunch

We negotiate daily in a variety of contexts: business, family and social.  Negotiations serve several purposes: (1) establishing new or renewing old relationships; (2) changing behaviors and expectations; and (3) resolving conflict and disputes. How effectively we negotiate exerts important effects on the quality of life we live and how successful we are at work. Why do we sometimes get our way, while other times we walk away feeling frustrated by our inability to achieve the agreement we desire?

This seminar covers several key principals for successful negotiation and conflict management, and is designed to address a broad spectrum of negotiation challenges that are faced by managers and professionals.

Learn strategies for claiming and creating value in negotiations, how to effectively prepare for a negotiation, how to avoid common negotiation traps and helpful phrases and questions to use in negotiations.


The Challenge of Innovation in Healthcare – A Complex, Evolving Market with Misaligned Incentives*

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Ginny Pribanic, MedRespond, LLC
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Check back for more details.


Women Focused Venture Funds*

Thursday, March 21, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Christine Ferguson, Ferguson Financial Consulting, Inc.
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Check back for more details.


START SMART LAW: How to Structure Your Business Entity

Thursday, March 21, 2019
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Pitt Law School, 3900 Forbes Avenue, Room 111
Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates
Register

Learn about different legal entity structures and other startup formation basics, including:

  • LLC v. C and S Corps
  • Founder Arrangements
    • Splitting the Founder's Equity Pie
    • Founder Agreements
    • Employee Equity

The seminar will be followed by a workshop during which experienced startup counsel will oversee law students and startups, who will work together to develop a legal 'roadmap' on recommended entity structuring, operating agreement and other formation issues. To participate, startups must not yet have formed a company, and they must submit a current Business Concept Template to kit@cs.cmu.edu by March 17.  Law students interested in working with the startups should contact Stephanie Dangel, SAD111@pitt.edu.  A limited number of startups and law students will be selected to participate in the roadmap process.  We will confirm your participation by 3/20.

Note: startups are under no obligation to incorporate – this is just to help prepare for when the time is right to do so.


The Hustlenomics Way*

Thursday, March 28, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Damola Idowu EIC and Founder of Owners Illustrated Magazine
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Check back for more details.


Leveraging Partnerships with FDA: Advice for Startups*

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Dr. Elora Gupta, Drug and Device Advisory Group, and Courtney Williamson, AbiliLife
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Engaging with FDA as a startup?

Learn strategies and tools for streamlined product development with differentiated label.


START SMART LAW: How to Prepare for an Exit

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Pitt Law School, 3900 Forbes Avenue, Room 111
Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates
Register

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. Avoid the delays and complications by preparing for the sale at the beginning of the company formation.


Who Knew? The Mismatch Between How VCs and Entrepreneurs Think About What It Takes to Succeed*

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Cindy Padnos, Illuminate Ventures
Register
*Bring your own lunch

Are you considering entrepreneurship in the future or already seeking investment capital and wondering how to improve your odds? Join us to hear the surprising insights we gained from hundreds of enterprise tech founders and investors about the attributes of success they seek and the barriers they face. You’ll also learn about the differences between how male and female entrepreneurs need to prepare for their next VC pitch.


START SMART LAW: Employees, Contractors, Interns, Volunteers (Third Party Relationships)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Newell Simon Hall 3305
Presenters: Mike Pavlick and David Lehman, K&L Gates
Register

Learn the in’s and out’s of staffing a company, including hiring of employees and/or retaining independent contractors, interns and volunteers, important terms of employment or retention, restrictive covenants and the use of employee equity to attract and retain personnel. 

Design Thinking Through New Metaphors*

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Dan Lockton, CMU School of Design and Director of Imaginaries Lab
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

In this workshop we'll explore design techniques for reframing the way we imagine and think about concepts, using an innovation technique of generating novel metaphors. We'll examine how you can use these methods strategically to enable new approaches to problems, and develop new products and services.


START SMART LAW: Overview of Startup Legal Issues

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
CMU Gates Hillman Center 4405
Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates
Presentation

Learn about the different legal challenges a startup and its lawyer(s) must resolve to launch a business.


Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition*

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Eric Close, Flash Surgical Inc and Forest Lane Capital
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

Interviewing for a job envisioned by someone else? Instead create a job by hiring yourself, finding a company to acquire and transforming the company into a disruption machine. Become a business artist! Express yourself by mastering the nexus of Entrepreneurship and M&A. Opportunities for disruption and innovation are everywhere, get into the game.


Lean Startups*

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Dave Mawhinney, CMU Swartz Center
*Bring your own lunch

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.


Connecting the Best Startup with the Best Talent*

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Brandon Beckhardt, Nav Talent; Baris Akis, Nav Talent
*Lunch will be provided.

Learn how to approach career planning, how to assess various career opportunities, and how to navigate the recruiting space.


Agile Product Development*

Monday, September 24, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Sean Ammirati, Birchmire Ventures
*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.


Business Model Canvas*

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Will Kaigler, CMU Swartz Center
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

The goals of this workshop are to identify and explain innovative business models. Find out what will work and what won’t for developing your business.


START SMART LAW: How to Shop for (and Work with) a Lawyer

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
University of Pittsburgh
Presenter: Kit Needham, CMU Swartz Center; Stephanie Dangel, Pitt Law School

Learn why 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.


Customer Discovery*

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Kit Needham, CMU Swartz Center
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

Have an idea or a technology that you think solves a big problem? Before you start building your product, learn how to correctly do “customer discovery” so you create a solution that customers will want and pay for.


Splitting the Founder’s Pie & Other Aspects of Equity Compensation*

Thursday, September 27, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Frank Demmler, Startup Whisperer, 2 X Frank Entrepreneurial Yoda-for-Hire
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

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.


Digital Marketing: It's all about the numbers*

Thursday, October 4, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Erich Boduch, Pendo
*Bring your own lunch

Learn how marketing has changed in the last 10 years while discussing the marketing stack of today, how to experiment and scale a digital marketing organization and look at how a high growth startup grew its revenues.


Setting Up Your Series A Financing*

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Chris Olsen, Drive Capital
*Bring your own lunch

Ever wonder what a venture capitalist is thinking when you approach them about investing in your company?  Are there common pitfalls founders should avoid when starting a company?  If you’ve ever wondered about these questions this talk is for you.  Come hear from a venture capitalist about how you can set up your first meeting to turn into a Series A check.


Financial Modeling*

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Phil Compton, SingleSource Property Solutions
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation
Cap Table Example
Financial Model Template

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 how to incorporate assumptions and flexibility into a model. Understand and be able to discuss key terms such as burn rate, cash runway and EBITDA which will allow you to more confidently support your projections to investors, Board and fellow team members.


What Entrepreneurs Need to Know for their Banking Relationship*

Thursday, October 11, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Justin Krauss, Chase
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

Why is this banker asking me all these questions!? Working with banks is a necessary, yet often a head scratching experience. Whether it’s a credit card, checking account, or investing proceeds from a funding round, we’ll discuss how banks look at entrepreneurs


START SMART LAW: How to Structure Your Business Entity

Monday, October 15, 2018
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
University of Pittsburgh
Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates
Presentation

Learn about different legal entity structures and other startup formation basics, including:

  • LLC v. C and S Corps
    • Founder Arrangements
  • Splitting the Founder's Equity Pie
  • Founder Agreements
    • Employee Equity

The seminar will be followed by a workshop during which experienced startup counsel will oversee law students and startups, who will work together to develop a legal 'roadmap' on recommended entity structuring, operating agreement and other formation issues. To participate, startups must not yet have formed a company, and they must submit a current Business Concept Template to kit@cs.cmu.edu. Law students interested in working with the startups should contact Stephanie Dangel, SAD111@pitt.edu. A limited number of startups and law students will be selected to participate in the roadmap process.


Design for Manufacturability*

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Elijah Wiegmann, Founder of Base Design Studio
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

Today's entrepreneurs understand the importance of design in creating the best products and services. Unfortunately, most try to "save up" for design, sometime in the future. If design is at the forefront of the process, it can actually save a ton of money, time and energy. Elijah will be discussing how, and his experience in bringing hundreds of products to market.


Intellectual Property Management from the Entrepreneur Perspective*

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Will Kaigler, CMU Swartz Center
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

Learn tips on how to manage your IP assets for the entrepreneur rather than the lawyer.


How do you get investment with supply-chain management from Japan?*

Thursday, October 18, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Nobuhiro Seki, FabFoundry
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

Do you assume manufacturing in Japan is expensive? It's not only higher-quality but inexpensive as you thought. Learn alternative manufacturing supply-chain services.


Insurance for Startups*

Monday, October 22, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Paul Malone, USI Insurance Services, Tyler Smelko & Erin Terpack, Chubb Insurance
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

Insurance 101 for startup companies - presented by USI Insurance Services and Chubb Insurance


START SMART LAW: How to Structure Your Capital Raise (Part 1)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
CMU Gates Hillman Center 4405
Presenter: David Lehman, K&L Gates
Presentation

Learn about the legal issues associated with raising capital through Friends and Family, Seed Funding and Series A, B, and C rounds, including:

  • Structuring investments to maximize growth
  • Funding from incubators/accelerators, government and foundations
  • Opportunities available through the JOBS Act (does this still apply?)
  • Crowd sourcing and SEC regulations

Licensing Technology: Both Sides of the Coin*

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Will Kaigler, CMU Swartz Center, Craig Markovitz, CMU Swartz Center, Anita Jesionowski, CMU College of Engineering
*Bring your own lunch

Come watch Will Kaigler and Craig Markovitz role play a typical licensing merger through the eyes of a university entrepreneur and a larger corporate development office.


Franchising - Opportunities are Everywhere*

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Chris Cynkar, FranChoice
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

With nearly 3,000 franchise brands offering investment opportunities today, how can you determine a good one from a....not so good one? Join Chris Cynkar to explore the world of franchising and start to gain insight into the world of franchising. Chris is an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School and is also a Franchise Consultant with FranChoice where he helps investors to find franchises that are well suited to their individual investment goals.


START SMART LAW: How to Handle Your (and Others’) Intellectual Property

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
University of Pittsburgh
Presenter: George Dickos & Lauren Murray, K&L Gates
Intellectual Property
LSM Patent and Trademark Search

Learn how to deal with intellectual property issues, including:

  • What are copyright, patents, trademarks and trade secrets
  • 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

Building a Succesful Team*

Thursday, November 1, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Kit Needham, CMU Swartz Center / Project Olympus
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

Got an idea for a startup but need to find co-founders or teammates? Worked on a business startup as part of a class project and want to pursue it afterwards – with or without some of your classmates? Want to join a student startup team and know what to expect or ask for? Learn successful techniques to help your team create a solid foundation that can help your startup thrive, attract funding and avoid problems in the future.


Effective Investor Presentations*

Tuesday, November 6, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Jim Jen, Innovation Works/AlphaLab
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

Come learn about what makes an effective investor presentation, including an overview of the content that most investors expect to see, how it fits into their investment analysis and potential pitfalls. In addition, we will talk about other factors that are important to raising investment and building investor relationships.


START SMART LAW: How to Negotiate a Term Sheet for Your Capital Raise

Tuesday, November 6, 2018
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 pm
University of Pittsburgh
Presenter: David Lehman & Henry Snyder, K&L Gates

Learn how to address the legal and business issues associated with investing in startup companies, including strategies in negotiating valuation, founder and investor rights, vesting, management and exits. In this interactive workshop, participants will divide into two groups, investor startup, each working with an experienced lawyer. Both groups will decide independently on the terms they want and then come together for the negotiation led by the lawyers.


Converting Patents from Concrete Shoes to Lifelines*

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Sreekar Gadde, Dynamics, Inc. & Jason Somma, Aldsia, LLC
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

Too many times, patents are concrete shoes that weigh startups down by wasting precious time and money without providing any value.  But they can also be business lifelines opening access to funding and technology now and in the future.  We will discuss how you can develop a valuable patent portfolio strategy by addressing the 3 questions you need to answer before you talk with an attorney: Why do you need a patent; What should the patent cover; and when should you apply for coverage.  With this framework, you will be able to guide your attorneys to help develop a patent portfolio that drives real value.


Creating a Succesful Video Pitch*

Thursday, November 8, 2018
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad
Presenter: Brian Staszel, CMU
*Bring your own lunch
Presentation

Is your video pitch effective for competing in an online business competition for entrepreneurs? Learn how to create a successful video and capture the attention of venture capitalists. If you are planning to participate in the McGinnis Venture Competition, your first video pitch will determine if you advance to the second round!