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Fish Forum Fish at the Podium

Boot Camp: Mechanics of Starting a Successful Technology Company

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Fish Forum Fish at the Podium

Boot Camp: Mechanics of Starting a Successful Technology Company

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

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Join us May 24th from 8am-1pm (lunch included) for this first of its kind, information-packed seminar. Fish & Richardson Principals Dorothy Whelan, John Dragseth, Stephen Schaefer, and President of Business Development Advisors, John Alexander represent the world’s leading technology companies and will lead this critical discussion addressing the legal, business, and financing issues that early stage technology companies face.

7:30 – 8:00


8:00 – 8:45



  • Why is planning important?
  • What are common mistakes that start-ups make and what are the consequences?

8:45 – 9:45

Protecting Your Intellectual Property Part I—What, When, and How to Protect It


  • Choosing the right vehicle (patent, trade secret, trademark, copyright)
  • Prioritizing your budget
  • Developing effective protection strategies
  • Developing effective defensive strategies
  • Maximizing the value of your IP portfolio

9:45 – 10:45

Protecting Your Intellectual Property Part II—The Agreements


  • Ownership issues
  • Employment issues
  • Licenses
  • Consultants
  • Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs)
  • Non-competes

10:45 – 11:00


11:00 – Noon

Organizing the Company


  • Choosing the right corporate form
  • Avoiding dilution
  • Tax planning
  • Selecting the Board of Directors

Noon – 1:00


  • Meet the faculty, ask questions, network with other attendees

To secure your spot please register today by filling out your application.

We are offering a limited number of scholarships to qualified candidates.

Please contact for more information.

Fish & Richardson is the world’s leading technology-focused, intellectual property law firm.
For over 100 years, Fish has represented innovators, starting from Alexander Graham Bell at the firm’s founding, to today’s cutting edge technology companies, large and small, including Google, Boston Scientific, and a wide range of early stage companies. We provide counseling and strategic guidance to start-up companies, creating IP portfolio growth that will have value beyond the life of your product. Whether your goal is to enforce your IP against the top producers in your industry or to establish an offensive portfolio that will help drive your company’s growth over many years, we have the bench and expertise to ensure your product is protected. With over 375 attorneys and technology specialists spread across 10 offices in the US and one in Munich, we are recognized by investors and competitors as a leading global firm.

Dorothy Whelan|A Principal in the Twin Cities office and co-chair of its Reexamination Group, her practice emphasizes patent reexamination, client counseling, strategic patent portfolio design and management, due diligence investigations, and freedom-to-operate studies, particularly in the chemical and materials science areas. Her clients range from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. She regularly is recognized as a Super Lawyer and one of the Best IP Lawyers in America, and in 2010 received the Women in Business/Industry Leader award from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

John Dragseth|A principal in the Twin Cities office, he has been named a Minnesota SuperLawyer for multiple years, and was named one of the top 50 intellectual property attorneys in the U.S. under 45. He concentrates his practice on patent law, and has prosecuted or supervised the preparation of hundreds of patent applications relating to software (including mobile devices and cloud computing) and medical devices (including cardiac, ultrasonic, and surgical devices). The other part of his practice involves patent appeals, and he has led the briefing in over 40 appeals to the Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He represents clients from small start-ups to Fortune 100 technology companies. John is an adjunct professor teaching IP Litigation at the University of St. Thomas Law School, and has authored a textbook on IP litigation and co-authored a textbook on patent law, which was used at Harvard Law School, Penn. Law School, Suffolk Law School, and Peking University.

Stephen Schaefer|A principal in the Twin Cities office, his practice is focused in medical device and electronics industries, where he puts his electrical engineering, wireless communications, software and physiology background to work for a variety of large and small technology clients and the venture funding community.

John Alexander|With over 25 years of experience starting & building technology businesses, he currently serves as President of Business Development Advisors, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in advising emerging technology companies. His team of seven has supported 48 start-up companies through coaching first time CEOs and Boards, strategic consulting, project and acting management roles, mergers, acquisitions, and alliances, and assisting clients raise over $101 million. He is founder and Chairman of Twin Cities Angels, and has led the business efforts and supported legislative leaders from both parties resulting in the successful enactment of an Angel Investor Tax Credit in Minnesota in April 2010.


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