We’re entrepreneurs. We grew something from scratch.
Andrew: Tell me about your group – the Venture Technology Group.
Victor: Within the firm, we’re a special business unit and that gives us massive flexibility to almost be like a small, one-office shop that crosses all geographies. We’re seen by the outside world as a boutique and we think that by being a boutique, with young partners, not a lot of leverage, we’re able to deliver aggressively on pricing and we’re giving the clients what they want.
They don’t want to have a lot of people on their accounts that just churn the bills. They want people who know market trends, people who know what’s going on in London, the far east, the valley, New York, in terms of how deals are done and how they’re structured.
The other thing they want is deep IP. They want deep IP and in our group we have 100 IP lawyers.” Not only will the Venture Technology Group help clients protect their IP, but they’ll also sit down with them and help develop an intellectual property strategy.
Andrew: What can you do for a young entrepreneur with a good idea?
Victor: We’re not just lawyers; we’re about strategic advice, financial advice, policy advice. Oh and by the way, we’re very good lawyers. We help get deals done. We’re a trusted advisor. And we’re not killing them on fees.
Andrew: So let’s talk about fees for a second. What do you do when you’ve got a young entrepreneur with a small team, a great idea, and no money?
Victor: It works a few different ways. We have a Sprout incubator program done in concert with 75 global VC firms. Not only are young entrepreneurs paired with VCs but they’re paired with other successful CEOs who have already done this kind of thing. We don’t charge for any of that.
Similarly, we have an IP assessment and strategy offering that we’ve created with the venture community here where the first 5-10 hours are free. We work hard to prepare a report for them that identifies what the holes and gaps are in their IP plan.
When we do financings, we typically roll our fees and we will explore equity arrangements as well. We’re very creative.
Andrew: Any parting thoughts?
Victor: This is all about going global. Following trends and following our clients. The market place has been very excited as we’ve been getting feedback on this.
We’re entrepreneurs. We grew something from scratch. We figured out the marketplace. It’s no different from what our clients do. We intuitively understand this. It’s not just lawyers to entrepreneurs. We’re entrepreneurs working with entrepreneurs. And now we’re on a global platform.
AO Take: In the start-up world, alignment is key. I could tell as soon as I started talking to Victor that SNR Denton’s business strategy is to align themselves with their clients so that when a start-up wins, SNR Denton wins too. That’s why they’re willing to go the extra mile to help their clients succeed. I wonder if it’s possible for investors to be as well aligned with start-ups…
[Originally published By Andrew Bellay on aonetwork.com]