Term Sheet Battles™

A PRODUCT OF EVOLUTION

Term Sheet Battle — Malmo 2012

People sometimes ask about the origins of Aery Advisors and the Venture Finance Academy. It’s a good question. These sorts of firms and programs rarely emerge spontaneously. They germinate, sprout and then grow. They’re the product of long processes, accrued knowledge and strata of experience. So here’s the story.

Picture me as a younger man in the mid-to late 1990s. I’m a little thinner, perhaps. Maybe I have more hair. But still just as handsome, obviously. I’m a practicing corporate and securities lawyer in Seattle, Washington giving back to the profession by teaching other lawyers how to negotiate and structure startup and emerging growth company financings through the continuing legal education (CLE) programs sponsored by the local law school (University of Washington).

As part of the full one day program, we organized a case study of a mock negotiation of a Series A financing for a fictional tech startup, with a cast and crew featuring local experts and heroes, including a leading Venture Capitalist represented by a seasoned securities lawyer on one side of the table, and a successful startup CEO represented by a seasoned securities lawyer on the other side of the table. I was the creator/moderator. This is the origin of what later became known as the Term Sheet Battle (™).

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