IDEA and eMinutes Partner to Help Student Entrepreneurs Incorporate
No other law firm in history has voluntarily waived $500,000 in legal fees and absorbed $100,000 in expenses simply to help 500 first-time entrepreneurs incorporate; but that’s exactly how Jeff Unger, Los Angeles-based attorney and founder of eMinutes, a corporate law firm, spent most of the last 12 months.
Unger is ready to do it again, this time waiving nearly $725,000 to help 725 first-time entrepreneurs in California, New York, Texas and the District of Columbia form their businesses for free. Syracuse University student entrepreneurs are about to be part of this second phase. The IDEA office at Syracuse University and eMinutes are partnering to make sure that students are part of this initiative.
Students from Syracuse University, SUNY-ESF and LeMoyne College will compete in the RvD IDEA Awards competition for $150,000 in seed funding on April 13 at Emerging Talk. Winners will be offered the chance to work with Unger on the incorporation process for their venture.
“Today’s do-it-yourself-incorporation mentality and misinformation about business formation being provided by ‘experts’ who have no knowledge of the law is misleading inexperienced entrepreneurs,” says Unger. “As a result, they end up with a business entity that may leave them exposed. At eMinutes, we are determined to provide as many first-time entrepreneurs as possible with the right counsel and guidance so their businesses have an honest opportunity to succeed.”
As part of this initiative, eMinutes will waive 100 percent of its legal fees for RvD IDEA Award winners who demonstrate a sincere commitment to building their business, for example, a clearly-defined business plan or an active website. All eligible entrepreneurs must have a CPA on their mentor team and agree to pay filing fees.
“It can be difficult for students to find a lawyer that is willing to sit down and educate them on the incorporation process minus the fees,” says Tony Kershaw, master’s student in civil engineering and an IDEA Connector. “Having Jeff work with students one on one adds yet another dimension to the growing ecosystem we have here at SU. Sometimes the next best step is not taking one at all, and having Jeff on board to help students figure that out means a lot.”
Most RvD IDEA Award winners enter the IDEA Student Sandbox to be incubated for the summer, where they go through a 12-week course intended to launch their venture, are given five-member mentor teams, including a CPA, and they will be able to use their RvD funding for filing fees, should they decide to incorporate. Unger will help the students decide if they should incorporate, what type of entity to form and where they should incorporate.
“We are so excited to be part of the eMinutes initiative,” says Stacey Keefe, executive director of the RvD IDEA. “Jeff Unger has invaluable experience with startups and is not only able to help our students incorporate, but brings real-world practical education to our student entrepreneurs.”
For more information on Phase II of the entrepreneur’s program and eMinutes corporate legal services, visit http://eminutes.com/entrepreneurs or call 310-820-1000 in Los Angeles, 212-772-7770 in New York, or 512-942-1100 in Austin, Texas.