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Summary: As a current venture capitalist and lawyer, Jason Mendelson understands how the two industries are closely related, using this knowledge to educate others through his blog.
Starting out as a software engineer then turning to a lawyer and then venture capitalist, Jason Mendelson has dabbled in a little bit of everything. He received a degree from the University of Michigan in economics and then another degree from the law school at the University of Michigan. He worked for Accenture as an engineer and then for Cooley Godward Kronish LLP as a lawyer. There he specialized in startups and venture capital. He now is an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado Law School and sits on the board of the National Venture Capital Association.
Mendelson is also a “musician, home remodeler and burgeoning beer and wine aficionado.” He no longer keeps the blog up-to-date but he still has great ideas and insights into topics popular today. A post from two years ago talks about startups and the legal challenges they face. He suggests a book written by his business partner Brad titled, “Startup Boards – Getting the Most out of your Board of Directors.” The book details what types of lawsuits are most common in startup companies and how the board can be personally liable for the company’s actions.
Mendelson also spends a great deal posting about venture capital and entrepreneurship. He is passionate about his role as a venture capitalist. He has developed a code of conduct to follow: do no harm, respect clients time, only ask client for material needed, not string potential clients along, inform clients about competitors in their portfolio, be transparent, will not sign NDA’s, will not share slide deck without permission, educate before negotiate, explain standard terms, will only issue term sheet after deciding to invest, reflect on term sheet in final legals, will not seek unreasonable equity stake in client’s business, avoid surprises, act in the best interest of client’s company, will be focused during meetings, will respond promptly, will not collude with other VC’s to damage client’s company, and will answer all professional emails.
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