And Who Says Entrepreneurs Don’t Care About IP?

Last night I had the pleasure of presenting a  “Crash Course” on Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs at the University of Colorado here in Boulder.  The presentation was well attended (especially given that it was the night of our first real snow storm for the season here in Boulder) and the Q&A following the presentation really brought out some interesting concerns – not just about the interplay between IP and technology but involving content and new media IP issues as well.  Special thanks to Brad Bernthal from the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship at CU for inviting me to give the presentation and organizing the event.

The presentation was part of a larger series of “Crash Course” events geared toward entrepreneurs sponsored by Silicon Flatirons.  You can access a list of current and future “Crash Courses” on the Silicon Flatirons web site.  Past topics have included angel and VC fund raising, marketing for early stage tech companies, and growing a business in the current uncertain economy.  I understand the folks at Silicon Flatirons are lining up more interesting topics in the near future.

The materials from my presentation are now available online. I encourage you to check them out and to visit the Silicon Flatirons site for more information on the ongoing “Crash Course” series.

IP “Crash Course” Online

Thanks to the sponsorship of Silicon Flatirons, TechStars, the Longmont Entrepreneurial Network (or “LEN” for short), and Colorado Capital Group we were able to put on a great Intellectual Property “Crash Course” for Entrepreneurs presentation at the end of last month before a standing-room-only crowd at the University of Colorado School of Law. Thanks to all of you who attended the event (especially those who had to sit in the aisles or stand during the presentation)!

As I mentioned during the event, the presentation was recorded. While I had hoped to have had the audio portion of the presentation online by now, we are still working to have the audio synchronized with the slides before posting. Since many of you have been (patiently) waiting for the presentation to be posted online, I have gone ahead and posted a copy of the slides to this site. I am hoping that this will suffice until we can get the audio synchronized and uploaded. Please stay tuned for the audio — and thank you for your patience. ;-)

Back to IP Basics

I was fortunate enough last year to sit through a number of extremely interesting investor pitch presentations given by entrepreneurs involved with various technology start-ups. While (not surprisingly) no presentation was completely focused on intellectual property, each took the time to address the role played by IP in their overall business strategy. Some, of course, did this more competently than others — and it was definitely the case that those presenters who did not competently handle the issue of IP strategy lost some credibility with me.

Admittedly, my antennae were tuned a bit more closely to IP issues than many of the other attendees at these presentations. However, while even I would agree that IP strategy is not the only issue for a technology start-up, IP has become far too important of an issue to ignore. In fact, I think it is safe to say that most of the other investors and advisors at the presentations I attended shared an expectation that the entrepreneurs giving the presentations would have a basic understanding of the primary forms of IP protection and an appreciation of how those protections can be put to work to help add value to their businesses.

In part as a result of these experiences (and in part as a result of the continued importance of IP strategy to any technology start-up), I thought it would be worthwhile to start the year off by getting back to basics with an Intellectual Property “Crash Course” for Entrepreneurs presentation. Details on the presentation are included in the announcement below (click on image to view a full-sized copy).

Thanks to the sponsorship of Silicon Flatirons, TechStars, and the Boulder and Longmont Entrepreneurial Networks (or “BEN” and “LEN” for short) there is no admission fee for the event (as in, it’s free to attend). Space is, however, limited, so send an email to patty.shawcastilian@hro.com if you are interested in attending.

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