APR 17th 2013: Crowd Funding – Magic or Tragic?

presented by SVII and Sheppard Mullin

Sheppard Mullin

Everyone who ever started a company eventually spends a considerable amount of time thinking about funding. The oldest form of funding is still the dominant one, savings, friends and family. In other words, fund it yourself along with the people you know.

In the past fifty years, two more fund-raising mechanisms have emerged: professional investors (venture capitalists) and amateur investors (angels). But now the internet is introducing a new way of funding a business (or project): crowd-funding.

As one might expect, no funding method is without pitfalls as well as advantages. In this event, people with backgrounds ranging from entrepreneurial to venture capitalist will give their perspective on the pros and cons of using crowd-funding and where they think it is heading in the future.



Larry Udell, Executive Director at California Invention Center, Center for New Venture Alliance, and Intellectual Property International, Ltc.

Lawrence J. Udell serves as Executive Director of both the California Invention Center and Intellectual Property International, Ltd. He has created and taught “New Ventures and Entrepreneurship” courses for over 25 years, plus a special course on, “Technology Marketing” at the Cal-State Hayward, School of Business and Economics. He has served as a Lecturing Professor at U.C. Berkeley teaching course on Technology Transfer & Commercialization, plus other universities in the U. S. and Canada. He is an active member of the Licensing Executives Society, and is co-founder and Managing Director of the Silicon Valley Chapter of LES. He also serves as Senior Consultant to General Patent Corporation of Suffern, NY. Founder of over 30 corporations, he provides consulting to both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. He lectures frequently at inventor, corporate and government functions throughout America and for the USPTO. Also in other countries for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO division of the United Nations).


Justin Bailey, Vice President of Business Development at Double Fine Studios

Justin Bailey spent a dozen years in business development and strategic planning in the entertainment industry. During this career, Bailey has lead M&A initiatives, closed venture deals, setup crowd funding campaigns, and helped publishers make the transition from retail to digital distribution at Accenture, NAMCO BANDAI Games America, Perfect World Entertainment, and Double Fine Studios – where he currently presides over all business operations and is exploring how to effectively leverage crowd funding and crowd sourcing as a repeatable business practice.



Riaz Karamali, Partner at Sheppard Mullin

Riaz Karamali is a partner in the Corporate Practice Group in the firm’s Palo Alto office.Riaz has extensive experience in corporate law, venture finance, mergers and acquisitions and technology transactions.  Riaz has worked with hundreds of start-up and emerging companies, guiding them from their pre-founding stages through their angel and venture capital financing rounds, significant commercial contracts and strategic alliances to their ultimate exit transactions. He has acted as outside general counsel to many such privately held companies in a wide range of industries including Internet, social gaming, biotechnology, semiconductor technology, medical devices and consulting.


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