8th Annual Entrepreneurship Law Center Conference
Saturday, March 9, 2013
From the initial idea to launching a new venture, an entrepreneur encounters legal questions every step of the way.
Northwestern University School of Law is proud to present its Eighth Annual Entrepreneurship Law Conference. The Conference is designed as a forum to explore various legal issues that entrepreneurs face when considering new ventures. Panel discussions include such topics as entity selection, founder agreements, venture and angel financing, intellectual property, and employment issues. The focus of each of these discussions is to provide practical, relevant information on these and other issues.
J.B. Pritzker, the 2013 Distinguished Entrepreneur award recipient, is the keynote speaker for the conference. He will be joined by an impressive list of panelists, all of whom will participate in the discussion forum. J.B., an alumnus of Northwestern Law, is a true leader in the Chicago entrepreneurship community and has been the key driver in growing and strengthening the entrepreneurship and technology sectors in the Midwest. He helped launch the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, the Illinois Venture Capital Association, the Illinois Innovation Accelerator Fund, Excelerate Labs (now TechStars Chicago), Built in Chicago, and 1871 (the preeminent shared working space in Chicago and a model both nationally and internationally). These programs and organizations have changed the landscape of entrepreneurship, provided important opportunities to start ups, created new jobs and enriched the experiences of our own students who have become active members of this community. He also chairs ChicagoNEXT, the mayor’s council on technology and innovation. We are excited to have J.B. with us to share his wisdom, experiences and perspective and to thank him for his vision.
The Conference is being hosted by Northwestern University School of Law's Entrepreneurship Law Center (the “ELC”) and organized by the Center's student group. The ELC is a non-profit, student-based clinical program affiliated with the Bluhm Legal Clinic. The ELC was one of the first transactional clinics of its kind at any major law school in the country. Founded in 1997, the ELC has given law students, working under the supervision of attorneys with many years of corporate and transactional experience, the opportunity to provide legal counsel to hundreds of entrepreneurs and businesses, on topics ranging from entity formation to intellectual property protection to contract drafting and licensing.
Space is limited. Based on past experience as well as the exciting roster of panelists and participants, we expect the conference will be fully subscribed. Attendees come from various backgrounds, including start-up executives, aspiring entrepreneurs, financiers, service providers, thought leaders, and students from business and law schools as well as high school students enrolled in entrepreneurship classes. Due to this overwhelming interest, please register early to reserve your spot.
Getting Started: The Legal Basics. You have an idea for the next latest and greatest product or service, you’re ready to get going - - now what? This panel will offer practical legal advice for entrepreneurs in the beginning stages of business. What is the best structure for you? What do you need to know now to set yourself up for success? With a variety of legal experts and people who have been through this process, this panel will be full of practical information for anyone in the process of launching a new business.
Securing Funding: VC and Angel Investing. At the early stages of an idea, financing could be the difference between success and failure. Our panelists will include prominent Venture Capitalists and Angels to give insight into what they look for in the companies they choose to fund, entrepreneurs who have gone through the funding process, and attorneys who have negotiated the terms of the deals.
Building a Team: Employment Law and Compensation. We have all heard the expression: “I would rather have a B idea and an A team to execute it than the reverse.” However, there are many legal issues implicated in hiring the desired team members and structuring their relationships with the new venture. This panel will have attorneys to explain some of the legal ramifications of hiring and structuring compensation packages and how to best classify workers.
This conference is made possible through the generosity of:
- Kirkland & Ellis LLP
- Sidley Austin LLP
- Goldberg Kohn Ltd
- Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP
- Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
- Practical Law Company
The nearest paid parking structure is located at 222 E. Huron (C-Lot, Huron-St. Clair Self Park), but there is also street parking. You must enter the main law school entrance at 375 E. Chicago Ave., between Levy Mayer Hall and the Rubloff Building. Other doors may be locked, so please use the main law school entrance.
Parking Information | Driving Directions
Past ELC Conferences
Past Conference Guest Speakers have included:
- Tom Churchwell, Midwest Venture Partners
- Sean Harper, FeeFighters - instantly compare credit card processors
- Stuart Frankel, Former President of Double Click Performics and current entrepreneur
- Scott Mandell, CEO, Enjoy Life Natural Brands, LLC
- Barry Moltz, Entrepreneur and Author
- Michael Soenen, Former CEO of FTD Global and current entrepreneur
- Paul Schaafsma, Patent Attorney
- Chuck Templeton, Founder OpenTable.com
- Frank Petito, President Orbitz for Business
- Alice Green, In-house counsel for Orbitz
- Michael Alter, President, SurePayroll, Inc.
- Brian Taylor, Founder, Kernel Seasons
- Richard Stokes, CEO, Founder, AdGooroo, LLC
- Thomas L. Churchwell, Managing Partner, Midwest Venture Partners
- Chris Krause, CEO, National Collegiate Scouting Association
- Gregg Kaplan, CEO, CoinStar