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Herbert Smith Freehills is on the lookout for Australian entrepreneurs and founders to take part in its 2019 Startup School, which kicks-off in Melbourne next month.

The Startup School - designed for established startups preparing for scale or fundraising - gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to network with industry-leading mentors and participate in a free education program focused on key commercial and legal issues.

Running throughout May and June, the Startup School consists of a series of practical workshops, led by experienced lawyers from Herbert Smith Freehills along with some of the firm’s pre-eminent startup clients and partners, including ANZ Ventures, MediPass, Ignition Lane, The Plato Project and Cannings.

The workshops will cover key issues faced by startups in the process of building a business, including:

  • Company and tax structuring & employee share option plans (ESOPs) – structuring a business, mechanisms for making the most of tax incentives available, and ESOPs.
  • Employment practices and recruitment – employment mechanisms, employee and/or contractor arrangements, recruitment tips and best practice employment practices.
  • Commercialising a product – key commercialisation considerations, including intellectual property regimes, key privacy and data considerations, and strategies for commercialisation.
  • Contracting – key contractual terms, contract negotiation, and strategies for managing liability.
  • Communications and branding – best practices for brand development and management, skills for developing clear and consistent messaging ready for market, and reaching key stakeholders.
  • Enabling investment – various funding models and the legal risks involved with each, bootstrapping, debt and equity funding and the process leading up to an IPO.
  • Effective leadership – how to articulate organisational purpose, vision and values and development of a self-leadership framework.

Herbert Smith Freehills partner Peter Dunne said: “We’re pleased to be running our Startup School in Melbourne again this year, after an incredibly successful round in 2018.

“We’ve had the privilege of advising many of Australia’s most successful startups over the years, and it’s really rewarding to be able to share the knowledge and expertise that we have acquired with the next round of Aussie entrepreneurs to help them navigate key legal and regulatory challenges.

“The Startup School gives founders the chance to share their experiences and learn from the best in the business, all while developing lasting relationships with mentors, advisors and experienced professionals within the sector and the wider business community. I’d strongly encourage entrepreneurs to apply for a place in our 2019 School.”

This will be the third year that Herbert Smith Freehills has run its Startup School in Melbourne. Roughly 40 startups have previously participated, including Sports Performance Tracking, Atticus, Last Mile Solutions, Megaphone Marketing, TopTile, ANIKA, Our Walls, Amplify Intelligence and Zinc Energy. Herbert Smith Freehills also ran a similar program in Sydney last year.

Applications to the 2019 Herbert Smith Freehills Startup School close on Thursday 18 April 2019. To apply, please visit or for any enquiries, contact us at [email protected].

Herbert Smith Freehills has a long history of advising Australian startups on significant matters including acting for:

  • SafetyCulture on its A$30 million Series B capital raising
  • CultureAmp on its USD$35 million Series D capital raise
  • Zeetings on its sale to tech unicorn Canva