As a Valentine’s Day gift to the community, Silicon Valley Bank issued its eighth annual Startup Outlook Report, resulting from a survey of nearly 950 technology and healthcare executives in startups, most based in the US, with additional input from businesses with primary operations in the UK and China. SVB’s survey asked entrepreneurs for their views on access to capital, hiring, general business conditions, public policy issues and other factors relevant to their businesses.  Nearly all of the survey respondents were privately held companies, with the majority in the
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For some time now, corporate venture capital (CVC) has been a significant part of the funding ecosystem. According to Pitchbook, in 2016 alone over $20 billion was invested in 745 US venture deals in which CVC participated.  CVC is not a new phenomenon. In a post in April 2016, Pitchbook, noted that since the beginning of 2010, $125.57 billion has been invested in rounds involving CVCs. Over the past few years, much attention has been paid to the large investment amounts coming from CVCs and the growing
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Below are three charts compliments of J.Thelander Consulting and PitchBook that illustrate the dilutive impact over time of venture funding on founder ownership levels. These charts are the result of J.Thelander Consulting’s venture-backed private company ownership survey – and divided by industry (biotechnology, medical device and technology). Read the full article here.

While these charts are directionally helpful, each company will of course have its own set of facts. In my experience, the main drivers of founder dilution are often:

  • the size of the founder team;
  • how long the


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From our colleagues Paolo Morante, Steven E. Levitsky, Laura Kam and Adam Steene:

The Federal Trade Commission has announced its annual revision to the jurisdictional thresholds under the Act. The new thresholds will go into effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is expected in the next few days.

Under the new thresholds, no transaction will be reportable unless, as a result of it, the acquiring person will hold voting securities, assets, or noncorporate interests of the acquired person valued above $80.8 million (increased
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In this recent post to our fellow DLA blog – Technology’s Legal Edge – our colleague Giulio Coraggio identifies some of the legal issues that are being sorted out with respect to the Internet of Things, including the following:

  • Is “industrial” data personal data?
  • How do you protect data and IoT technologies?
  • Who is the owner of the data?
  • Is data kept secure?
  • What liability if things go wrong?

He also notes some EU-specific questions.  His full post can be found here.
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Article prepared by and republished courtesy of our colleagues Evan Migdail and Steven Phillips; originally published here: https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/insights/publications/2016/11/the-trump-tax-reform-plan/

As a result of the elections, the chances for the enactment of comprehensive tax reform are perhaps greater than at any time over the past decade. A great deal of work has already been done on tax reform in the Congress. What has been lacking is the political dynamic needed to make reform a reality.

President-elect Donald Trump and Congress may also consider a scenario whereby part of the tax reform could be used to pay for an infrastructure program to create greater domestic economic growth.

What follows are brief summaries of President-elect Trump’s tax proposals and the House Republican Tax Blueprint that is expected to be a possible starting point for the consideration of reform early in 2017. 
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Yesterday the SEC adopted rules intended to facilitate intrastate and regional securities offerings.  The SEC made general updates and modernized old Rule 147, the safe harbor exemption for intrastate securities offerings under Section 3(a)(11) of the Securities Act. The SEC also adopted a new exemption in Rule 147A, which differs from Rule 147 primarily in that it expressly permits general solicitation and does not require the issuer to be formed in the same state as its principal place of business and investors.  This should allow Rule 147A to work more effectively with state-level crowdfunding exemptions.  (We have previously blogged about the challenges of crowdfunding under Rule 147.)

The SEC also revised Rule 504 to increase the aggregate offering amount limitation from $1m to $5m and to add “bad actor” disqualifications (aligning it with recent updates to Rule 506). In addition, the SEC repealed the little used and now largely redundant to Rule 505.

These rules have various effective dates tied to publication of the rules in the Federal Register, which will likely occur next week:

  • Revised Rule 147 – 150 days after publication in the Federal Register
  • New Rule 147A – 150 days after publication in the Federal Register
  • Revised Rule 504 – 60 days after publication in the Federal Register
  • Repeal of Rule 505 – 180 days after publication in the Federal Register


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By Tyler Hollenbeck and Cisco Palao-Ricketts

Although there a number of web resources regarding the distinctions between “incentive stock options” (ISOs), which can only be granted to employees, and “non-statutory options” (NSOs)[1], which can be granted to employees, directors and consultants, these resources are often heavy with tax jargon that is difficult to understand.  To help entrepreneurs focus on what should be most important to them, we have put together the below quick reference guide[2].

I.  TAX CONSEQUENCES – TO THE INDIVIDUAL

A.  NSOs

  • At date


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The Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that “Tandy” representations are no longer needed in filing review correspondence.

If you have been involved in filing a registration statement any time after 2004, you have probably seen Tandy language.  Named after Tandy Corporation, the first company to receive a letter requesting this language, Tandy representations required, in the event that a company requested acceleration of the effective date of a registration statement, to acknowledge in writing that:

  • should the SEC or the staff,


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One of the more important tax decisions founders of early-stage companies will face is whether or not to make an election under Section 83(b) of the Internal Revenue Code for stock awards or other acquisitions of shares subject to vesting. By making this decision promptly upon acquiring the shares, founders can avoid missing the 83(b) filing deadline and protect themselves from significant tax consequences down the line. Below, we have set out six of the most commonly asked questions by our clients:

1) What is a Section 83(b) election?

Section 83(b) of the Internal Revenue Code allows founders, employees and other service providers to accelerate the time for determining taxable income on restricted stock awards or purchases subject to vesting. A Section 83(b) election is made by sending a letter (a sample form can be found here) to the Internal Revenue Service requesting to be taxed on the date the restricted stock was granted or purchased rather than on the scheduled vesting dates.

Founders that decide to make an 83(b) election need to do so promptly to ensure that they do not miss the 83(b) filing deadline. An 83(b) election must be filed with the IRS within 30 days after the grant or purchase date of the restricted stock. The last possible day for filing is calculated by counting every day (including weekends and holidays) starting with the day after the grant date.
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