Gardere Catalyst Aims to Help Startups Start Up

The program helps startups with legal assistance, priced with a startup's budget in mind.

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The Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP law firm announced Wednesday that it has launched its legal incubator designed to provide startups with access to experienced legal advice.

Called Gardere Catalyst, the incubator is accepting “an exclusive number” of early-stage companies that have high growth potential.

“We believe that offering qualified emerging companies an opportunity to hire a premier, full-service law firm with experienced counsel is critical to help entrepreneurs attract the right investors, strategic partners, and employees,” said Holland N. O’Neil, chair of the board of directors at Gardere, in a release.

“We have purposefully tied our success to our clients’ success.”
Holland N. O’Neil

“We have purposefully tied our success to our clients’ success,” O’Neil said. “We see ourselves as an extension of the client’s team, and we want everyone to be focused on the same goal. Having a program specifically built for emerging businesses was a strategic decision for the firm to grow trusted partnerships that drive innovation.”

According to Gardere, here are the services included in the program:

  • Formation of the company – serves as the foundation to raise capital, protect IP, build a staff and employ innovative long-term equity incentive programs
  • IP – filing trademarks/provisional patents and drafting licensing agreements, privacy policies and terms of use
  • Employment / Executive Compensation – offer letters, non-competition agreements and confidentiality protections, proprietary information and invention assignment agreement (PIIA) and equity plans
  • Tax guidance
  • Financing – convertible notes, simple agreements for equity (SAFEs), and other seed-stage investments

Gardere Catalyst includes lawyers across multiple specialty areas, including intellectual property, tax and corporate, and labor and employment. It gives particpating startups access to experienced legal counsel at a price that is “scaled based on growth,” according to the release. 

The Catalyst program was founded by co-chairs of the venture capital and emerging business practice group — Adam Hull, Rick Jordan, and Glenn Singleton — as well as senior counsel Majorie Winters.

Gardere Wynne Sewell was founded in 1909 and has offices in Dallas, Austin, Denver, Houston, and Mexico City.

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