Global Entrepreneurship Week helps startups collaborate, thrive, avoid pitfalls

Global Entrepreneurship Week kicks off on Monday, Nov. 16 in Greater Cincinnati as well as in 160 countries worldwide. Local events include happy hours, competitions and the return of Startup Weekend.

Nationally, an effort is underway to have the third Tuesday in November declared National Entrepreneur Day by Congress. Nov. 19 has already been declared Women’s Entrepreneurship Day by the United Nations.
As The Brandery, InnovateHER, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Skyward, Northern Kentucky University and others join to celebrate Entrepreneurship Week, the local office of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease has launched an effort to help startups and entrepreneurs avoid legal pitfalls.
Kimberly Schaefer, Vorys 
“We have talked to many young companies that avoid legal counsel because they don’t think the fees are reasonable or necessary,” says Kimberly Schaefer, Partner at Vorys’ Cincinnati office who specializes in corporate law. “Unfortunately, our litigation group often encounters these same companies again after they’ve been sued or are in legal trouble.”

MyCounsel offers new and growing businesses a customized legal plan for a fixed fee that is spread out over a full year.
“The fee is all encompassing in the areas we identify so that the client is able to pick up the phone and call us without being concerned about the fees they are incurring every minute,” Schaefer says. “We get to know the company, they get to know us, and we show them what we can do and the value that we can provide.”
Vorys attorneys focus each MyCounsel package around the client’s needs.
“We will set up a meeting, usually one to two hours, to find out more about the company and its needs, and then determine if it’s a fit for MyCounsel,” Schaefer says. “If it is, we create a customized proposal for the company to become a part of the program.”
Services provided by Vorys may address labor, employment, contract review or intellectual property issues, with the idea of diffusing any potential legal situations before they arise.
“We often see companies fail to consider what happens if one or more of the shareholders or partners leave,” Schaefer says. “It is critical to consider Buy/Sell Agreements to cover these scenarios on the front end.
“Another common problem we see is that companies all too frequently forget to protect their intellectual property, which is created long before there is a tangible product in place. If you wait to protect your IP too long, someone may beat you to the punch.”
Eventually, Vorys hopes to offer quarterly workshops for MyCounsel participants and trainings geared to growing businesses.
As the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cincinnati expands, the professional resources available to these startups and their founders also continue to grow. During Global Entrepreneurship Week, Skyward will launch a new online tool to direct entrepreneurs to resources that address startup needs.
“A thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem is important for our entire region’s growth,” says Trey Grayson, President of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “Our goal with Global Entrepreneurship Week is really to shine a light on the wide variety of opportunities we have in our region for entrepreneurs of all levels to connect, grow and develop all types of companies.”
Most of the local Global Entrepreneurship Week events are open to the public, but registration for some programs is required. The week concludes with Startup Weekend Nov. 20-22, a “frenzy” of business model creation, coding, designing and market validation hosted at 84.51 downtown.
A full events schedule is available on the NKYStartups website.

Read more articles by Julie Carpenter.

Julie Carpenter has a background in cultural heritage tourism, museums, and nonprofit organizations. She's the Executive Director of AIA Cincinnati.  
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