How to start a start-up?: Law of start-up companies
In addition to specialized corporate lawyers, clients are seeking industry and tech-savvy proactive legal counsels who can provide them with not only start up life cycle legal service but also who are able to understand the specifics of whole sectors, the business as well as policy side. The course seeks to train the next generation of entrepreneurial lawyers who will work and shape this emerging field, bridging the gap between existing legal education and the needs of the market. This course will teach students how to think “outside a box”, understanding a broader and interdisciplinary framework with an entrepreneurial mindset.
The project is financially supported by the Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship (Fonden for Entreprenørskab) and led by Assistant Professor Alexandra Horváthová and Assistant Professor Marta Andrecka.
The course consists of six modules. The first five modules represent diverse areas of law that are crucial for any start-up. They include: corporate law; initial funding, tax law, IP&IT, and “Growth or Decay”. These five pillars shall offer numerous hours of content-based seminars, followed by workshops where students will apply their knowledge and, together with a practitioner and/or a researcher, create legal documents that are focusing around a specific area. Students will gain necessary legal knowledge for establishing and operating a start-up. At the end of the course, after passing all the content-driven modules, students will have three weeks of workshops, during which they will develop their final project: a start-up memorandum for the start-up that they have been working with during the semester.
In addition to the course work and work with the start-ups, students will work with real cases, advising existing projects, writing blogs and diary entries. Students will develop diverse legal documents and blueprints of contracts that will serve the start-up community. These activities will be conducted in continuous collaboration with researchers and entrepreneurs who will act as mentors and provide feedback in order to encourage students to get out of their comfort zones and stimulate innovative approaches. This creates greater prospects for students’ further development and wide-ranging dissemination of knowledge, good practices for the benefit of the start-up environment in general.
As a part of the course curriculum, students are required to work with start-ups and advise them on a set of legal questions. Throughout the semester, students will learn how the start-ups works, what are the aims of the start-up and will collaborate with the start-up on advising them regarding their legal concerns. At the end of the semester, the students will use this experience and as a final assignment, will write a legal memorandum that analyses the start-up’s legal questions and concerns and advises on them.
As active and fruitful engagement is essential to the project, this will be ensured through a variety of actions such as collaborative agreements with start-ups, guidelines, informative and coaching sessions, supervision and control of collaborators, student progress meetings etc. There is a focus on the students’ development from the start to the end of the course. Thus, mentoring relationships will be fostered with the purpose of ensuring the students’ ability of utilizing their potential and testing their innovative and entrepreneurial competencies.
In this way, the students will achieve an understanding of entrepreneurship and the start-up law by not solely theoretical knowledge, but also with practical application. Students will be able to train their entrepreneurial and problem-solving skillset.