Startup Law Initiative: Funding



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Credit Details
Credit Hours:
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Original Air Date:
May 14, 2024
Accredited In:

You may be able to self apply for credits in states not listed. BHBA provides CLE accreditation as described above. 

About the Program

This session will offer an overview of the funding landscape for startups, from initial equity considerations to advanced financing rounds. It will explore various funding mechanisms, including different forms of equity, bank loans, crowdfunding, and SAFE agreements, as well as preparation for seed, Series A, and Series B financings. The program will also address cap table management, investor agreements, the impact of ownership dilution on capital costs, and strategies for navigating investor relationships and legal requirements throughout a startup’s growth phases and address the following questions.

What are the different forms of equity?
What is ownership dilution and its relationship to the cost of capital?
When if ever are bank loans available to startups?
How should a startup prepare for pre-seed financing?
Are there any disadvantages to a friends and family round?
How should a startup prepare for seed financing?
Is crowdfunding a practical alternative?
What are “SAFEs” and how are they used?
When should a startup consider the use of convertible bridge notes?
When are convertible preferred typically used?
What is a Series A Financing?
What is a Series B Financing?
How are overseas founders and investors best handled?
What is a down round and how should the down round be handled?
What is the purpose of cap table and how is it used?
What does a sample cap table look like?
How is the cap table effectively used?
What is the role of an incubator?
What is the role of an accelerator?
What are the typical terms of an investors’ rights agreement?
Why are rights of first refusal and co-sale agreements often required by investors?
What is a management rights letter?
How should a startup handle VC financing opportunities?
What are the pre-money and post-money valuations?
What are the provisions of a typical VC term sheet?
What are the terms of the latest NVCA forms?
What are the securities law requirements for early and late stage financing transactions?

Meet the Speakers
3 (12)
Mark T. Hiraide


Partner Advisor to Entrepreneurs, Startups, and Publicly Traded Companies Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

Mark T. Hiraide works in the highly specialized and complex area of the law having to do with business finance and raising capital. He represents entrepreneurs, startups, publicly traded companies, directors and officers, broker-dealers, investment bankers, investment advisers and accountants in civil litigation relating to securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and investment management. He counsels public exchange-listed and private companies and their boards of directors, including special committees and senior management, on issues including corporate governance, discharge of fiduciary duties, internal investigations and Securities and Exchange Commission compliance. He represents companies in transactions including securities private placements and public offerings. And he defends parties in civil litigation, government regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings, and represents defrauded investors.

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Thomas M. Gaffney


Olsen and Brueggemann, APC

At Olsen & Brueggemann, Thomas is the transactional team lead and specializes in Start-up Financing, Corporate Structuring, Private Equity Fund Formation, and Blockchain Technologies Regulations

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LaVonne Lawson


Counsel Leech, Tishman, Fuscaldo & Lampl

LaVonne D. Lawson is Counsel with Leech Tishman and a member of the firm’s Tax Group as well as the Estates & Trusts Practice Group. LaVonne counsels small businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups, as well as large businesses and established companies, in state, federal, and international tax matters. She focuses her practice on tax reporting and compliance, tax controversy and litigation, and estate planning.

LaVonne previously served as a Senior Attorney with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Office of Chief Counsel, where she counseled revenue agents and revenue officers, represented the IRS in the U.S. Tax Court, and advised Department of Justice Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys in tax cases outside of the Tax Court.

LaVonne regularly counsels clients on numerous statutes and regulations regarding substantive and procedural tax issues. She has significant experience representing clients in a variety of federal and California state tax controversy and litigation matters.

LaVonne also has experience advising clients on international tax reporting and compliance, and assists businesses and individuals in compliance matters involving offshore assets and account reporting.

Prior to joining Leech Tishman, LaVonne was owner of the Law Office of LaVonne Lawson, where she represented businesses and individuals in federal and California state tax matters.

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