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The Legal Behind Early-Stage Fundraising

On Demand

Scott Smedresman
Partner at McCarter & English

Scott is a partner in the VC and startup group at McCarter & English. Scott and his colleagues are a top-ranked VC practice according to Pitchbook and do over 200 startups fundraise annually. Scott lectures in VC and startup programming with Columbia Business School and MIT is a mentor in a variety of accelerators, and has provided early and growth stage legal counsel to hundreds of startups.

Course Description:

Convertible Debt, SAFEs, Series Seed, Crowdfunding, and so on and so on. The legal terminology and methods of raising early-stage capital are endless and confusing. In this session, we will break them down into digestible concepts, explain early-stage fundraising methodologies and costs, and help you understand what those legal docs say and which are best to use for a particular circumstance.

Attendees will leave this session with a better understanding of how to:


  • Consider time, cost, and capital being raised when selecting the legal style of your fundraising. SAFEs or Convertible Debt are best for raises under $1MM.

  • Raise only from accredited investors, and have written agreements with everyone.

  • Raise a class of preferred equity, and convert your debt/SAFEs into that Series Seed or Series A.