Providing legal assistance to seed and early stage ventures that haven’t raised significant amounts of capital.
The Startup Clinic is offered by The Marcel A. Desautels Centre for Private Enterprise and the Law at the University of Manitoba, in partnership with Pitblado LLP and Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP, whose lawyers volunteer their time to supervise the third year law students working in the Clinic. The Clinic also is offered with the collaborative support of The Eureka Project, Startup Winnipeg, and Innovate Manitoba, all of which will promote the existence of the Startup Clinic among their constituents. Startups and early stage ventures wishing to use Startup Clinic services need not be active clients of any of those entities.
Clinic students, working under the supervision of practicing lawyers, provide advice and assistance on a range of legal issues faced by startup entrepreneurs, including dealing with prior obligations, company formation, transferring intellectual property (IP) to the company, issuing founder shares, vesting agreements, employment, non-disclosure and other startup legal agreements, IP protection, and the basics of capital formation and exit strategies.
The Startup Clinic operates primarily on a by-appointment basis, with a weekly half-day of “office hours” at both The Eureka Project, a startup business incubator located in SmartPark at the University of Manitoba, and Startup Winnipeg, a co-location space for startups located in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. Practicing lawyers from Pitblado LLP and Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP supervise the third year law students working in the Clinic.