For most entrepreneurs, the first time they really look at a term sheet is during high stakes negotiations with an investor. In an effort to help prepare our entrepreneurs, Boston InSITE Fellows were treated to a night of insightful discussions covering the ins and outs of term sheets. Our conversation was guided by Andrew Meyerson, an InSITE NY Alumnus and current Associate at Gunderson Dettmer. Gunderson Dettmer is the nation’s leading law firm for entrepreneurs, growth capital and venture capitalists. With over 2000 company clients and 100+ Venture Capital and Private Equity fund clients, Gunderson Dettmer provides legal services to support emerging growth companies, Venture Capital fund formation, and Venture Capital investments. Andrew began his conversation with a discussion of the many roles that Gunderson Dettmer plays in the Venture Capital ecosystem, ranging from the provision of legal services to connecting its startup clients connect with relevant Venture Capital funds. We then worked through a term sheet, examining key issues from both the entrepreneur’s and investor’s perspectives. This allowed our group to build an understanding of the contrasting motivations of each negotiating party, and see how these incentives play out through the term sheet. The evening ended with Fellows participating in a mock term sheet negotiation as either the investor or founder of a startup seeking a Series A investment. This last exercise helped Fellows see how investors and founders can find common ground while negotiating term sheets for the long term benefit of both parties.
This post was written by Gerry Pambo-Awich, Harvard MBA 2014