Lawyers as Founders of Tech-Startups

Lawyers as Founders of Tech-Startups

This panel discussion will highlight the role of lawyers as founders of tech startups.  This free flowing discussion will focus on topics such as the shortcomings and benefits of a legal background in tech;  how a legal background is received by investors, clients, team members; and how we can provide lawyers with more diverse skill sets in their pursuits of their own entrepreneurial ventures.Panel:Jesse Dallal and Bryan Friedman: Jesse and Bryan are Co-Founders of MavenSay, a fun online community for trusted recommendations.  MavenSay launched its private beta in March 2012, and has attracted a passionate group of early adopters and has managed to generate great buzz, especially in the downtown NYC creative/influencer community.

Bryan worked as a corporate attorney with Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York, where he practiced mergers & acquisitions and securities law.   He earned his J.D. with honours from UofT’s Faculty of Law in 2009.  Bryan is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker, holds a BFA from NYU’s film school and was once a serviceable hockey player.

Jesse worked as a corporate attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York, where he gained exposure to the tech industry through work on Google’s acquisition of Zagat.  He earned a J.D./M.B.A. from UofT Rotman in 2010.  He has since moved back to Toronto, but continues to spend a good amount of time “mavening” in NYC.

Adam Epstein: Adam is the founder of HUDDLERS a social network for the everyday athlete to discover where to play sports, manage who they play with, and find out what products are right for them.  HUDDLERS is taking the word of mouth phenomenon of recreational athletics into an interactive platform and will be launching its private beta on May 15, 2012 where it will be demoing at the OCE Discovery Conference.

Adam articled at Torkin Manes LLP, primarily focusing on mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance, he gained exposure to tech throughout his work on IBM’s acquisition of Clarity Systems.  Adam earned his J.D. at Queen’s University Faculty of Law in 2010.  In December 2011, he won the Silver Medal for the Men’s Canadian Basketball Team at the Pan American Maccabi Games in Sao Paulo, Brasil.  He has played pickup basketball in fifteen different countries.

Jonathan Kleiman: Jonathan is a Toronto corporate lawyer who helps entrepreneurs get started from his legal practice in Yorkville while running an active startup incubator. Jonathan’s YorkvilleStartups.com is presently focused on developing a groundbreaking mobile application and has helped to build and support a number of startup ventures including FeeFixer.com. Jonathan runs TopBlogs.ca and is the curator of the Canadian Blog Awards which is an annual competition that brings attention to the many talented Canadian bloggers and their works. Jonathan studied Philosophy and Political Science at McGill and earned a J.D. at Queen’s University.

Moderator: Natasha Baker
Natasha Baker is an engineer, technology writer and product strategist. She started her first company while studying electrical engineering at the University of Toronto providing services to semiconductor companies. She has also held R&D and product marketing positions for National Instruments’ circuit design software. Natasha’s writing on mobile apps appears appears weekly in publications internationally syndicated through Reuters, including The Huffington Post, MSNBC, The Globe and Mail, Yahoo News,  and the Chicago Tribune. Her technical writing has appeared in Electronics World and Electronic Design. She is working on launching a technology startup aimed at engineers.

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