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Seed Deals: How to Grow from Startup to Venture Capital

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Willbrand David
Thompson Hine, Early Stage & Emerging Company Practice Chairperson

At Thompson Hine, I am the Chairperson of the firm's Early Stage & Emerging Company Practice. I primarily work with tech and biotech:

• Entrepreneurs and emerging companies,

• Accelerators and incubators,

• Early-stage investors and venture capital funds, and

• Research institutions and corporate innovation teams.

Prior to joining Thompson Hine, I worked in the software industry, holding the dual role of CFO and General Counsel at a series of venture-backed companies. Prior to that, I practiced law in Boulder, Colorado.

I combine broad and deep legal knowledge with real-world business and transactional experience. I drive, facilitate and close deals.

I graduated from Harvard University (BA) in 1992 and the University of Cincinnati College of Law (JD) in 1996, where I was Valedictorian and also the Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.

I teach “Mergers & Acquisitions” at the University of Michigan Law School.

I also teach “Startups & Venture Capital” at the Syracuse University College of Law and the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Prior to that, I taught “Agency & Partnership” at UC.

I am a lecturer at the nationally-ranked Miami University Institute for Entrepreneurship, where I also serve as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

Last but not least, I am very active on LinkedIn, posting frequently on matters of entrepreneurship, technology, economics, culture, self-improvement and, on Fridays, music!


In this “ChalkTalk” session, David Willbrand will demystify the jargon while unpacking and sharing everything that you need to know about fundraising for your early-stage startup.

He explains in accessible language what a cap table is, how it comes together, how it evolves and – most importantly – how startups raise money! If you are a founder or entrepreneur (or thinking about making that leap), chances are you are a world-class expert in certain areas of your startup (e.g., intellectual property, product development), and have a passing familiarity with other areas (e.g., marketing, human resources). Where you likely have little-to-no experience is all the legal stuff – particularly all the factors involved in organizing, capitalizing and financing a startup.

Basic highlights:

* Balance Sheets and M&A

* Cap Tables

* Founders Stock

* Preferred Stock

* Convertible Notes

* SAFEs