Greg Raiten, General Counsel, FirstMark Capital; Co-Chair, TechGC
Being a General Counsel at a venture-backed startup can be a very challenging, and sometimes isolating, role. Often you may the first and only lawyer at your company. You are expected to know everything about everything, and you need to strike an appropriate balance between your legal paranoia and your company's acceptable level of risk.
Kiran Lingam, Co-Chair, TechGC
TechGC and the Fullstack GC Conference grew out of an organic need for peer support and collaboration among its members, who now support each other through educational events, jobs, sharing data and informal advice on legal and business issues.
Neil Pai, General Counsel, Founders Fund; Steering Committee, TechGC
When engineers cross disciplines they are referred to as "fullstack." At the Fullstack GC Conference, members share practical peer-to-peer guidance for those GCs aspiring to be the "Fullstack GC."
Fireside Chat: Road to an IPO
Robin Schulman, General Counsel, New Relic and Paul Sieminski, General Counsel, Automattic
Panel: Laying the Groundwork for a Successful Acquisition
Moderated by Joshua Cook, Partner, Gunderson Dettmer
Kevin Sheehan, Corporate Development, Google
In preparing, consider what might be most important to a potential acquirer in your space (e.g., talent acquisition, founder retention, IP issues). Open source licenses and privacy have been trending issues for acquirers like Google.
Su-Jin Lee, General Counsel, POPSUGAR
You can use an M&A context to help frame why issues are important to key team members. One tactic is to ask for a general ledger for the last two years and look for gaps. For example, you may discover that your engineers are entering into click-wrap agreements without your knowledge.
Scott Darling, General Counsel, Stitch-Fix
A special skill of great GCs is to build internal consensus and make the case to get the deal done.
Andrew Luh, Partner and Head of M&A, Gunderson Dettmer
The GC is usually involved from the very beginning at the NDA or LOI stage, whereas outside counsel may come in later in the process. The GC has the secret sauce of institutional knowledge while outside counsel typically has more experience with the transaction process. It’s important for the GC to socialize any issues with external counsel and key stakeholders early in the process.
Seth Weissman, Former General Counsel, Solar City
IQ without EQ is a Ferrari on Ice. You have all this power but you can’t go anywhere because you are spinning your wheels. There are diminishing marginal returns on IQ.
Joshua Stein, General Counsel, Zenefits
All startups are Greek dramas, some ending in tragedy and others in triumph.
Lindsey Haswell, Director of Litigation, Uber
Processes and Procedures = Machines. Machines make you a better lawyer, make your teams more efficient, improve your career and standing in the company and will help your company deliver long-term value to its shareholders.
Panel: General Counsel as Policy Advocate
Moderated by Evan Engstrom, Executive Director, Engine
Charlie Hale, Head of Public Policy, Pinterest
Engaging early can have benefits. The first time you are on a policy maker's radar, ideally it should be for something good.
Melissa Tidwell, General Counsel, Reddit
Build key policy relationships and engage with trade associations. Otherwise, it's hard when you don’t know what you don’t know.
Ted Ullyot, Partner and Head of Public Policy, Andreessen Horowitz
When talking to regulators, look for opportunities to tell the pro-innovation case and reframe the conversation. Why is your company good for society, jobs, the economy or otherwise?