Cornell University, WilmerHale Collaborate to Publish Startup Launch Booklet for Entrepreneurs and Founders of Emerging Companies

  • 11.28.2023

Together, WilmerHale and Cornell University have collaborated in a joint effort to publish Startup Launch – Liftoff with Legal 101 for Entrepreneurs, a booklet for founders to think early about key items that will set them off on the right legal track.

This booklet was created by a team of corporate and intellectual property lawyers at WilmerHale, including Partners Jenna Ventorino and Gary Schall, and Zach Shulman, the Director of Entrepreneurship at Cornell, who is also a trained corporate lawyer and has significant professional experience advising companies.

“We were collectively surprised that a booklet comprehensively covering basics from a legal perspective did not exist and we immediately wanted to fill that knowledge gap,” Shulman said. “It is exciting to assist founders navigate these issues and assist them in handling the legal basics correctly.”

The book addresses the early, pre-fundraising basics for entrepreneurs, including entity formation basics, founders agreements (including pre-incorporation agreements), equity incentive plans, tax issues basics, bank account setup, and financial statement basics, tables, hiring and terminating employees, policy basics, licensing, intellectual property and business insurance.

“Collaborating with my colleagues and Cornell’s entrepreneurship experts has resulted in a relationship which greater serves the community,” said Ventorino, who provides ongoing counsel to public and private life sciences and technology companies throughout their lifecycle.

Schall, who has 22 years of experience helping entrepreneurs and emerging companies navigate the many legal issues they face, used his background in and financial modeling to assist in developing business solutions essential to founders.

“My hope is this booklet will serve as a guide to founders looking to learn the basics,” Schall noted.

Cornell University traces its origins to the vision of an entrepreneur and an educational innovator, Ezra Cornell and Andrew D. White, who saw the opportunity to create a new kind of university for America. Today, Cornell continues this legacy by integrating entrepreneurial teaching and learning into all aspects of the university experience. Entrepreneurship at Cornell is a diverse, university-wide program that finds and fosters the entrepreneurial spirit in participants from every college, every field, and in every stage of life. To reach out with questions, contact our experts.

WilmerHale’s nationally recognized Emerging Company and Venture Capital Practice has helped thousands of entrepreneurs successfully launch their businesses; raise billions in financing; and lead their companies to sale, IPO and market leadership. The firm’s team-oriented approach to service gives clients the flexibility to call on numerous experienced lawyers at any time, including our more than 100 dedicated corporate lawyers located in the most active markets across the United States. For more information and resources for entrepreneurs and founders, please visit the firm’s website or contact our lawyers at [email protected].

Read the full booklet.