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Video: Goodwin Partner Mitzi Chang Discusses Rules & Regulations with Startups on Cryptocurrency ICOs

Goodwin partner Mitzi Chang discusses how Goodwin works with startups to ensure lawful cryptocurrency transactions and why startups exploring ICOs should be aware of Anti-Money Laundering and know their customer compliance.

Is Your Data Safe? Learn Best Practices After A Security Incident

When it comes to privacy and cybersecurity, gone are the days when your biggest concerns involved having your credit card number stolen. Hackers are now steps ahead, targeting companies’ proprietary information and intellectual property and causing serious implications.

Founders Flash: Are Your (Legal) Affairs in Order?

Launching a startup requires extreme organization, attention to detail and dedication. It also requires founders to decode complicated legalese, mountains of paperwork. Even in the earliest stages, you want to protect your company, your product and your ideas.

Founders Flash: Silicon Valley named leading ecosystem for tech startups but other cities are close on its heels

The Flash certainly took interest when benchmarking firm Compass, last week, released its global ranking report on startup ecosystems. The ranking of global regions is based on how well areas nurture top tech talent, host profitable businesses and expand into foreign markets. Silicon Valley continues to be the leading region for tech startups, but other cities are quickly climbing the ranks. New York City jumped three spots to take second place and Tel Aviv, also jumping three spots, moved into the top five. The Flash is interested to see if other regions will be able to give Silicon Valley a run for its money in the near future.

The Flash also checks in with Buffer, the social media management company that is on a quest to create a self-managed workplace culture. A $7 million startup with zero managers? Talk about transparency…

These and more in this week’s edition of The Flash!

Founders Flash: Cybersecurity Startups Drawing Increased VC Attention

The Flash knows the importance of protecting important business and personal data from the ever-expanding reach of hackers – and now the market is paying attention, too. Andreessen Horowitz now sees cybersecurity startups as a lucrative tech niche, and Google Capital recently made its first cybersecurity investment. With data breaches taking place on a seemingly daily basis, VCs and other investors are starting to boost funding for all manners of cybersecurity startups.

The Flash also checks in on the Uber/”gig economy” labor fight. The most recent entrant to the ring this week hails from Washington, DC, and has the federal heft to make this a real heavyweight match. On July 15, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an “Administrator’s Interpretation” on the classification of independent contractors. More is sure to come in this slugfest…

Check out these and more in The Flash this week!

Founders Flash: Overdoing the “Party Rounds” Leaves a Lead Investor Gap

The Flash understands that entrepreneurs thrill on having multiple angel investors when fundraising. But too much of such “party rounds” can be a bad thing, as no one investor serves as lead and leaves startups wanting focused help if the company hits a rough patch. The Flash looks at compelling research suggesting that having many angels with no lead investor can be problematic for startups.

The Flash also remains fixated on Uber’s fight with the California labor commission, which seemingly sent a torpedo through the ride-share company’s hull recently when it determined that drivers are in fact employees – not contractors. The Flash has been expecting a forceful response by Uber, and this week we saw the first salvo when the company filed a motion seeking to deny class action status to plaintiffs in a major lawsuit relying on this determination. As we predicted, this one will go on for a while…

These and more in this week’s edition of The Flash!

Founders Flash: How Do I[PO] Love Thee? Let Match/Tinder/OkCupid Count the (Billions of) Ways

Though not overly partial to emojis, The Flash <hearts> a savvy IPO play – and that’s just what we’re seeing in the move to conjoin Tinder, Match.com and OkCupid for an upcoming IPO. Brought together by IAC/InteractiveCorp as The Match Group, this three-headed online dating hydra is led by Tinder, which may see its valuation top $1B this year. To The Flash, that seems like just the right foundation for wedded bliss.

We also checked in with the key labor issue faced by sharing economy startups and other companies: how and under what conditions an independent contractor must be considered an employee of the parent company. The Flash previously alerted readers to the California labor commissioner’s determination that an Uber driver is an employee of the company – not an independent contractor – and the related implications. Now we’re seeing other startups in the “1099 economy” space – including Instacart and Shyp – moving to reclassify contractors as part-time employees. This issue is surely one to watch.

Check out these and other posts in The Flash!

Founders Flash: Wait…Did California Just Attack Uber’s Entire Business Model?

The Flash naturally stood up and took note in May when Uber announced its plan to raise between $1.5B and $2B in new funding – replete with valuation of $50 billion – and its ascent to the position of world’s most highly capitalized startup. In addition to our focus on startups, we’re always tracking legal developments impacting businesses. That’s why The Flash looked with raised eyebrows when the California Labor Federation issued a decision on June 16 that could upend Uber’s (and Lyft’s, and that of other “sharing economy” startups) entire business model.

Essentially, California’s labor commissioner ruled that an Uber Technologies Inc. driver who connects with customers through the company’s app must be considered an employee (not an independent contractor, as Uber contends). This could mean many implications for Uber if the company must guarantee drivers a minimum wage, compensate for mileage, and pay into Social Security. Uber plans to fight this state agency ruling – and The Flash will be tracking this high-stakes legal tussle.

Additionally we’ve been keeping a close eye on Etsy since its April debut on Wall Street, (the largest B-Corp to file an IPO, by the way). Most recently, the online artisan-and-vintage marketplace company launched a program to help sellers raise money on its website to fund new products. Could this result in the company actually produce a profit?

These stories and more in this week’s edition of The Flash!

Founders Flash: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo Feels Heat, Exits Kitchen

Pretty much the entire business and tech community was watching Twitter this week, and The Flash was no exception. CEO Dick Costolo, who has run Twitter for the past five years, was replaced this week by the company’s board. Twitter cofounder and former CEO Jack Dorsey will step in as interim chief executive while the board looks for a permanent replacement to Costolo. The Flash notes community suggestions about who should replace Costolo as CEO, and what business steps that new leader should take to optimize Twitter’s market position.

The Flash also goes deep into the question: “Can you tell me what code is?” Instead of answering, The Flash references an excellent 38,000-word answer to this existential question.

These and more in this week’s edition of The Flash!

Founders Flash: Easy Seed $, Harder Series A for Founders in Current Funding Market

In The Flash this week, we flag interesting insight by First Round Capital about the unprecedented ease with which startups are currently getting seed capital amidst a static number of Series A deals. The effect? Many more early-stage companies are now competing for Series A money than there used to be – requiring early-stage startups to amass significantly more proof-points around their business than they previously had to. We also look at a new challenge encountered for the first time by many entrepreneurs: regulation. There’s also a peek at how Silicon Valley insiders are taking advantage of soaring values for tech startups by creating a potentially lucrative side business – through “direct stake” funds. And more!