DC Startup Week 2020 DC Startup Week 2020
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Crowdfunding and The Different Models (Alternative Models for Raising Capital)


Larry Bard
Shulman Rogers

Larry Bard is a highly regarded business attorney whose clients depend on his guidance in corporate finance and securities law matters, including public and private offerings, venture capital transactions and other financing transactions. He advises companies on issues of corporate governance, business planning, securities law compliance, executive compensation, commercial contracts and complex joint ventures. Larry has completed several initial public offerings for companies in the mid-Atlantic region and has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions.
Clients across a wide range of industries, including financial, pharmaceutical, technology, biotech and retail, appreciate Larry’s unique blend of experience and expertise, and count on him to thoughtfully work through complex projects. He also works closely with startup and emerging growth companies that are members of NEXT, powered by Shulman Rogers, leveraging the firm’s technology platforms and flexible fee schedules.

A frequent speaker and writer on corporate and securities law, Larry has been recognized as a leading M&A lawyer by Legal 500 and IFLR1000. He formerly clerked for the Delaware Court of the Chancery and the Delaware Supreme Court, and is a certified public accountant.

Katherine Mereand
DC Dept of Small and Local Business Development, Program Manager for Innovation & Equitable Development Office

Kate Mereand is a career professional working to build and support the small business ecosystem in the District of Columbia. She built and operates the Innovation & Equitable Development (Inno.ED) office within the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD). Entering into it’s 5th year, Inno.ED is a team that works to remove barriers to entrepreneurship through pilot programs, grants, training, ecosystem building, and initiatives. This includes programs to support returning citizen entrepreneurs, DC makers and creative, retail businesses and storefronts, food businesses, cooperatives, and those who are just starting at ideation with a dream.  

Paul Jossey
Jossey PLLC, Principal Attorney

Paul H. Jossey is an attorney and entrepreneur in the DC metro area. He runs the firm Jossey PLLC, which specializes in alternative business capitalization, securities, and business compliance. He is also the proprietor of thecrowdfundinglawyers.com, a website with commentary on crowdfunding, cryptocurrencies, digital assets, and securities compliance. It receives thousands of views per month.

Jossey PLLC has helped entrepreneurs raise over a half million dollars through Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF). Reg CF allows small businesses and startups to raise up to $1.07M from both accredited and unaccredited investors.

Paul is also the author of an upcoming law review article: Fixing the JOBS Act and Inviting Our Tokenized World, the Need for Congressional Action, scheduled to be published in the Arizona State Corporate and Business Law Journal in January 2021.

Sara Gibson
20 Degrees, CEO

Sara Gibson Co-Founder and CEO 20 Degrees Sara is a strategic, collaborative and high-energy problem

solver skilled in securing the necessary resources, relationships and systems to create change. Sara pioneers

innovative approaches to resource cultivation and believes in making alternative revenue accessible to

audiences. Sara’s 20-year career spans service in the corporate and nonprofit sectors, having worked at the

Advisory Board Company (later Corporate Executive Board) and award-winning service organizations,

including Miriam’s Kitchen, AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation, Sitar Arts Center, and Samaritan

Ministry of Greater Washington, as well as L’Ecole Koenig in Paris. She has led several efforts within

organizations to bring new forms of revenue to organizations from Pay for Success to earned revenue. A

recognized innovator in the Opportunity Zone space as well, Sara is considered a thought leader on this tax

incentive and its equitable application at the community level. Sara’s work has been highlighted as a best

practice in the book Engaging Your Board in Fundraising: A Staff Guide and in the Washington Business

Journal. She is an EnVest Foundation 40 Under 40 honoree and a member of the Leadership Greater

Washington class of 2015. Sara has mentored numerous startup founders. Sara has served on numerous

community boards and currently co-chairs Sitar Arts Center’s Leadership Council. Sara hails from Indiana and

graduated from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She maintains deep roots in the Hoosier State,

where she learned to skip rocks on Lake Michigan and shoot free throws. An avid Francophile, home cook, and

Polka fan, Sara lives in the District of Columbia with her husband and daughter. For more information:

Prayas Neupane
Washington DC Economic Partnership, Manager, Business Retention and Expansion