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Startups & Venture Capital

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Godfrey & Kahn helps startups and venture capital investors in Wisconsin with efficient, sophisticated and experienced legal services and access to critical professional resources. With more than 50 highly-skilled transactional lawyers, our collaborative team handles more than 100 deals each year.

Startups

Godfrey & Kahn provides strategic, practical legal and business advice to startups and emerging growth companies at every stage of their business. The dedicated team of startup and venture capital (SVC) lawyers utilize cutting edge knowledge, tools and insights to meet the realities of an ever changing startup landscape. Our attorneys use a collaborative approach to help grow our clients from formation to Fortune 500 or exit. We are proven ready to advise our clients in such vital areas as:

  • Entity selection and formation
  • Corporate governance
  • Debt and equity financing
  • Intellectual property filing, protection and licensing
  • Equity compensation, employee benefits and bonus arrangements
  • Employment issues and visas
  • Debt and equity financing
  • Data privacy and cybersecurity
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Securities law compliance
  • Tax reduction techniques and tax credits for new ventures
  • Commercial contracts with suppliers, customers and other business partners
  • Agreements with accelerators and advisors
  • Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), Qualified New Business Venture (QNBV) and similar certifications

Godfrey & Kahn provides far more than just legal services. We offer all entrepreneurs the opportunity to network and deepen their entrepreneurial knowledge at our Project Innovate events. These seminars cover a wide range of topics designed to help entrepreneurs grow their business and connect to other resources. Our clients also have access to a vast network of business resources as their business launch and grow, including angel and venture capital investors, investment bankers, accountants and consultants. We look forward to helping you form, fund and grow your business.


Venture Capital

Our SVC attorneys have significant experience in advising individual angel investors, angel groups, family offices, venture capital funds and corporate venture capital investors in a wide range of investment activities. Godfrey & Kahn advises investors in the following key areas:

  • Fund formation and maintenance
  • Equity, debt and convertible instruments
  • Leading transactions or making co-investments
  • Financing structures (angel, seed and later stage rounds, loans, mezzanine debt, PIPE transactions)
  • Securities law compliance
  • U.S. and international tax and regulatory compliance (foreign investors, pension funds, bank affiliates and other regulated investors)
  • Conducting due diligence on target companies
  • Reviewing hedge fund and venture capital investment documents and negotiating side letters
  • Incentive structures for fund advisors
  • Best practices for corporate governance and investment monitoring

Our clients benefit from our connections with entrepreneurs across the Midwest and our ability to draw on the experience of Godfrey & Kahn attorneys in various specialty areas across our offices. Through our membership in TerraLex, one of the largest and most selective global law firm networks, we are able to provide clients with access to the most active venture capital markets in the world.

Jessica Braeger

Braeger, Jessica L.

Special Counsel
Milwaukee
414.287.9444414.287.9444
Andrea Cataldo

Cataldo, Andrea F.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9623414.287.9623
Jay Creagh

Creagh, Jay K.

Associate
Milwaukee
414.287.9305414.287.9305
Shane Delsman

Delsman, Shane

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9653414.287.9653
Jennifer Gregor

Gregor, Jennifer L.

Shareholder
Madison
608.284.2629608.284.2629
Kristen Irgens

Irgens, Kristen A.

Associate
Milwaukee
414.287.9308414.287.9308
Nicholas Kees

Kees, Nicholas A.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9223414.287.9223
Matthew Kovacich

Kovacich, Matthew J.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9229414.287.9229
Rebeca López

López, Rebeca M.

Associate
Milwaukee
414.287.9634414.287.9634
John McDonald

McDonald, John R.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9442414.287.9442
Sarah Sargent

Sargent, Sarah A.

Associate
Milwaukee
414.287.9450414.287.9450
Ashley Smith

Smith, Ashley A.

Associate
Milwaukee
414.287.9423414.287.9423
Alex Stein

Stein, Alex J.

Associate
Appleton
920.831.6342920.831.6342
Nicholas Vlies

Vlies, Nicholas J.

Associate
Green Bay
920.436.7683920.436.7683
Brian Vogt

Vogt, Brian T.

Associate
Milwaukee
414.287.9608414.287.9608
Justin Webb

Webb, Justin P.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9527414.287.9527
Edward (Ned) Witte

Witte, Edward (Ned) B.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9518414.287.9518

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