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Herbert Smith Freehills’ Melbourne office has launched a new education program for startups, known as the Herbert Smith Freehills Startup School. 

The program consists of six practical workshops run by experienced lawyers from Herbert Smith Freehills along with some of its pre-eminent partners from the startup sector including Edgelabs, rampersand, Lux Group, Cannings and Zeus Consulting.

The Startup School aims to educate entrepreneurs on areas of key legal risk that impact investment opportunities, and provide mechanisms for early intervention and prevention. It also provides founders with legal triage skills so that they can identify material legal issues as they arise.

Workshops cover a range of topics including e-commerce and Intellectual property; Tax structuring and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs); Employees and contractors; Contracting and commercialisation; Enabling investment; and Strategic communications.

In each session participants hear from founders and advisers about some of the pitfalls and challenges of running a startup, and are encouraged to share their own experiences and learn from the best in the business.

Herbert Smith Freehills has acted for a range of Australian startups including Atlassian, Campaign Monitor, Safety Culture, Buckitdream, Social Garden, Big Commerce, PageUp People, Elanation, Unlockd, 99 Designs, BlueStone, Culture Amp and Tyro Payments.

Herbert Smith Freehills Executive Counsel, Kate Carlile, said: “As a firm, we’ve had the privilege of advising many of Australia’s most successful startups throughout different stages of their journey – from acting on their initial capital raisings through to developing their employee share schemes and advising on their initial public offerings and other exits.

“Now we’ve partnered with some leading names in the sector to share our expertise and network with the next generation of Aussie entrepreneurs.

“Startup School participants will receive a host of relevant commercial and legal insights and will have the opportunity to connect with investors and build relationships within the startup sector and the wider Melbourne business community.

“Australia’s young and vibrant culture offers fertile ground for entrepreneurs to capitalise on their bold vision. We’re delighted to play a part in helping to foster the spirit of innovation in Australia.”

The first Startup School workshop was held on 30 October, with more scheduled over the coming weeks. The program is expected to run again in 2018. For more information, please contact [email protected]