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‘Startup Corner’ Category

Hybrid Structures: A Tale of Two Entities

Hybrid Structures: A Tale of Two Entities

In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion in the socially responsible world about “hybrid” structures.  “Hybrid structures” are organizations made up of a for-profit entity and a nonprofit entity that have complementary organizational missions and some overlap in the founding group.   Embrace, for example, is considered a classic example hybrid structure in […]

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First African company joins 500 Startup Accelerator Program

First African company joins 500 Startup Accelerator Program

Our client Dropifi has joined the 500 Startup Accelerator Program as the first African company ever selected. Dropifi is a smart customer service widget that allows companies to analyze, visualize and respond to incoming “contact us” messages and filter out spam.  Founded in 2011 by Kamil Nabong, David Osei and Effah Mensah, the Dropifi widget […]

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Mini Multinationals — Understanding the Key Legal Issues

Mini Multinationals — Understanding the Key Legal Issues

When we think of multinational companies we tend to think of large corporate conglomerates. We know, of course, that multinational companies also include small start up businesses that are seeking to sell products and services that benefit the communities in which they are operating. Unfortunately, the legal rules for Fortune 500 companies and the pre-revenue […]

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Crowdfunding Can’t Wait

Crowdfunding Can’t Wait

As the year ends and we continue to wait for SEC regulations concerning crowdfunding to be finalized, some crowdfunding sites, like crowdfunder, are applying fundraising techniques from creative project financing sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to raise funds for for-profit companies. In the absence of being able to offer equity stakes in exchange for funding, […]

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Social Businesses Come in Many Legal Forms

I asked an entrepreneur recently why she wanted to incorporate her business as a benefit corporation.  Her response:  “Because it’s awesome.”  After more prodding, she went on to explain that although she did not know any of the details about the benefit corporation, she knew that it reflected her values in terms of how businesses […]

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Staying Legal While Advertising Good Deeds

Staying Legal While Advertising Good Deeds

Navigating the Laws Around Cause Marketing Suppose that you wish to support a particular charitable cause with your business. You will probably want to identify your brand or a particular product line with the cause and let your customers know that you will donate some portion of revenue or profits to the cause. In addition […]

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Unreasonable TV: Season 2 Episode 6

Unreasonable TV: Season 2 Episode 6

After my mom attended her first Unreasonable Institute event, she said to me after with tears in her eyes:  “This gives me hope for the world.”  After the Unreasonable Climax earlier this summer, a friend who’s an accomplished businessman thinking about a career change said to me:  “This changes everything for me.”  Most people have no idea what […]

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Taxing Sweat

Taxing Sweat

Like most entrepreneurs, two of my clients were surprised this week to learn that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxes “sweat equity.” The IRS taxes income, and its definition of income includes both cash and non-cash compensation for services.  This actually makes some sense, as otherwise employers could circumvent the tax laws by giving […]

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