U.S. Senate Confirms Michelle Lee as New PTO Head


At Founders Workbench, our entrepreneur clients have a business interest in patent reform, trolling, and other key patent-related developments, so we try to provide regular updates on related areas that may impact this area. That’s why we paid particular attention to the March 9 announcement that the U.S. Senate confirmed former Google Inc executive Michelle Lee to head the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).


This is significant for startup companies. The office of PTO head has been vacant for more than two years, a concerning absence for an office tasked with determining which inventions warrant the grant of a patent.

Founders Flash: Silicon Valley startups still searching for leadership diversity, Y Combinator says


The Flash this week looks at statistics released last week by Y Combinator during its semiannual Demo Day, and sees that its startup founders are overwhelmingly white and male. Though the lack of diversity in tech has been well covered, these numbers serve as a reminder of the need for diverse leadership among startup companies. The Flash also updates on an ongoing topic of focus for FWB: the JOBS Act. Recently finalized SEC rules should help startups raise capital through small public offerings – but we shall see if that is the effect. We also pull out some video footage of Box CEO and Co-Founder Aaron Levie explaining marketplace perceptions of the company, which went public in February (with Goodwin Procter representing the underwriter in the IPO). Check out these and others in our weekly roundup for Founders Flash!

Startups Take Note: Pinterest Will Allow Ex-Employees to Keep Vested Stock Options for Seven Years


Digital pegboard company Pinterest made big waves in the startup community by announcing that it would allow employees with at least two years of tenure to keep their vested stock options for up to seven years after they leave the company. By removing the standard 90-day post-employment option exercise period on most departing employees, Pinterest has made it far easier for its employees to keep their stock options if they leave for a new job.


What does this mean?


That’s the question we’re getting here at Founders Workbench, so we wanted to take a look at this from our perspective as advisors to startup company founders that often aspire to the kind of rapid business growth Pinterest is experiencing.We hope the following analysis of the background and legal implications of this decision provides helpful guidance in determining the merit of a program like the one Pinterest’s recently announced.

New Digital Currency Blog Keep Startups Current on Blockchain Technology


One of the primary objectives of this blog is to keep you apprised of what’s happening within the startup community, including new emerging opportunities in related industry sectors and Goodwin Procter activity that may be of interest to company founders and emerging entrepreneurs.


Last week Goodwin Procter announced the launch of the new Digital Currency Perspectives blog. Driven by Goodwin Procter attorneys, the Digital Currency Perspectives blog chronicles and analyzes news, legal issues, and technological innovations affecting clients and the digital currency industry.

Founders Flash: 2+2 =….18?!? It’s Not ‘Fuzzy Math’ – It’s How Investors Manage Valley Startup Valuations


Leading this week’s Flash is a look at the record valuations enjoyed by Silicon Valley startups as they approach their scheduled (or hoped-for) IPOs. How do Valley investors calculate valuations for these hot startups? Get some insight into how VCs, founders, and attorneys manage the financial provisions used in today’s private-market tech deals. Also, Y Combinator startups shrewdly leverage FOMO to enhance fundraising leverage, and AngelPad tops Fortune’s list of top U.S. seed accelerator programs. Check out these and others in our weekly roundup for Founders Flash!

Founders Series: Tax Considerations for Startups


In our initial “Founders Series” post, we examined one of the very first steps to creating a successful company: choosing the legal structure that will best suit the needs of the business and its owners. We now focus on what tax considerations founders should take into account when launching their startups – whether they have opted to form as a corporation or as an LLC.


In assessing the considerations below, it’s worth keeping in mind that this outline provides a general overview of issues and considerations most relevant to typical startups; it’s not intended as a comprehensive discussion of all possible issues, considerations or concerns that would apply to any entity. Each entrepreneur should seek advice from their own tax advisor regarding their particular circumstances and the tax issues that might be most applicable to those circumstances.

Founders Flash: ‘Shark Tank’ for foodies? Feast on that and other coverage of cool startup trends


The startup world saw a few notable developments this week. Topping the list of news-worthy events was the long-awaited appointment of a leader for the U.S. Patent and Trade Office – this after nearly two years with the seat vacant. Also, foodies are rejoicing as artisanal culinary providers are getting the tech-startup treatment. We also noted an examination of how patents may be impacting entrepreneurs and innovation at large. Check out a few of our favorite articles over the past week in the latest edition of Founders Flash.

Join Us: FinTech Sandbox Launch Party!


Our work at Founders Workbench positions us to see up-close how technology has ushered in a new wave of innovation that promises to expand market reach and open the door for new business opportunities. Recognizing that the financial services industry is profoundly impacted by innovation and disruptive technology, Goodwin Procter last year expanded our FinTech Practice, formally appointing a leadership team to this cross-disciplinary group and consolidating a range of regulatory, transactional and litigation expertise under a single platform.


Our commitment to providing comprehensive legal solutions to this dynamic industry is why Goodwin Procter has joined forces with FinTech Sandbox – a Boston-based nonprofit that helps FinTech startups around the world build great products and applications.

Founders Flash


Sales Strategy


Our favorite articles discuss modern sales techniques. Read more about:


-how startups help retailers blend physical and digital to increase sales

-a startup that relies entirely on referrals  and word-of-mouth

-ways to target a niche market

Founders Series: Forming Your Startup? Choose the Right Structure


At Founders Workbench, our primary focus is helping entrepreneurs develop, start, and grow their startup businesses. Through our new “Founders Series” of posts, we use this blog to delve into various topics selected to broaden your perspective as a startup company founder. For our inaugural Founders Series post, we will examine one of the very first steps to creating a successful company: choosing the legal structure that will best suit the needs of the business and its owners.