Gardere launches legal incubator for startups

Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, launched what they are calling the Gardere Catalyst, a legal incubator initiative that provides early-stage, high-growth potential startups with strategic guidance and legal counsel in both Austin and the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

The Catalyst will include lawyers who practice in multiple specialty areas, including intellectual property, labor and employment, tax and corporate, and provides startups access to seasoned legal counsel at a price that is scaled based on growth.

With that range of experience in their incubator, they will be able to offer critical services to startup companies in the region, such as:

  • Formation of the company: serving as the foundation to raise capital, protect IP, build a staff and employ innovative long-term equity incentive programs
  • Intellectual property consultation: filing trademarks/provisional patents and drafting licensing agreements, privacy policies and terms of use
  • Employment / Executive Compensation: such as offer letters, non-competition agreements and confidentiality protections, proprietary information and invention assignment agreement (PIIA) and equity plans
  • Tax Guidance, and
  • Financing: convertible notes, simple agreements for equity (SAFEs), and other seed-stage investments

“We believe that offering qualified emerging companies an opportunity to hire a premier, full-service law firm with experienced counsel is critical to help entrepreneurs attract the right investors, strategic partners and employees,” said Holland N. O’Neil, chair of the board of directors at Gardere. “We have purposefully tied our success to our clients’ success. We see ourselves as an extension of the client’s team, and we want everyone to be focused on the same goal. Having a program specifically built for emerging businesses was a strategic decision for the firm to grow trusted partnerships that drive innovation.”

The program was founded by the co-chairs of the venture capital and emerging business practice group:  Adam Hull, Rick Jordan, Glenn Singleton, and Marjorie Winters.

The incubator’s launch was in coordination with Dallas’ Startup Week, in order to provide innovators and startups with the resources critical to help them attract the right investors, partners, and employees.

Tim Young