Communitech announced today that it is offering two new programs to help early stage startups get the legal advice that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
One of the programs, in partnership with law firms Bereskin & Parr, Miller Thomson, and Gowlings, will provide one-on-one guidance from lawyers at no cost. The lawyers will offer specific IP advice and guidance on the importance of early and fair shareholder agreements. They will also provide general legal advice on incorporation and equity-based incentives.
The second will be a continuation of an international intellectual property law clinic launched last year by the Centre for International Governance Innovation and Communitech. This year, the clinic will be hosted in partnership with the University of Windsor, and match professionally supervised law students with startups to provide basic legal knowledge and guidance on IP protections.
“Startups face a lot of legal hurdles, from intellectual property law to corporate legal issues,” said Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech. “Sound legal advice early on can make all the difference in building a company that can scale to take on the world.”
Both programs are available to Communitech Startup Services Group clients who have less than $1 million in revenue or $2 million in private investment, and are headquartered in Ontario.
“Canadians are very good at generating ideas, however, we struggle to bring these ideas to market on a globally competitive basis,” said Jim Hinton, a lawyer and patent agent at Bereskin & Parr. “One of the reasons is that sophisticated legal advice around IP rights is not available at the right time in the innovation cycle.”