The world’s politicians and business leaders coincide that the weight of the global recovery rests on entrepreneurs’ shoulders. Everyone is looking for the next Apple, the next Google, or the next Facebook, and even Facebook is looking for the next big thing, acquiring companies such as Instagram and Waze for more than $1 billion in each case.
This focus makes sense, particularly for European political leaders. As the Kauffman Foundation has famously discovered, start-ups are responsible for 2/3 of all jobs created in the United States. In the words of the Economist, Europe, on the other hand, has had a growth crisis due to its “chronic failure to encourage ambitious entrepreneurs”. Over the past 60 years, the US has created 52 global companies, while Europe has only created 12. At its peak, Apple by itself was worth much more than all of the Spanish IBEX35.
Driven by a quest for survival, the world’s top business leaders are similarly rediscovering their inner Steve Jobs. Kodak’s demise has demonstrated that a company that loses its entrepreneurial spirit – and its ability to adapt, change and innovate – will eventually lose relevance. In fact, a PwC poll of top American CEOs found that 82% of CEOS expect that the global economy will probably get worse, but 85% are confident that their companies will grow thanks to new products, services and business models. Not content to wait, large companies like Spain’s Telefónica are increasingly pursuing open-innovation models with entrepreneurs and start-ups in search of such new products, services and business models.
Lawyers should be highly relevant to this conversation, but most simply don’t speak the entrepreneur’s language. Entrepreneurs are neither impresarios nor small-business owners. They are highly innovative risk-takers who understand that they have a one-in-a-million chance of changing the world, that failure is the most likely result, and, as such, they have little tolerance for overly conservative lawyers that are more obstructive deal-breakers who have no clue what it takes to make a business run than helpful dealmakers who understand the start-up’s real needs. In other words, entrepreneurs seek lawyers who understand their unique challenges, who will not offer them standard-form contracts with reams of useless reps and warranties, who will help them to expand their networks and, in general, who will accelerate the realization of their dreams. In this senses, lawyers are often seen as part of the problem and not part of the solution.
The aim of this 10-session program launched by IE Law School – Executive Education is to help lawyers become more fluent conversationalists in the start-up world. The program will bring together start-ups, start-up lawyers, politicians seeking to foment the entrepreneurial ecosystem, venture capitalists and business executives eager to collaborate with start-ups. The program will be much more practical than theoretical and will be held in Madrid on June 27 – 28, 2013.
For further information please contact with Andrea Longaretti (email@example.com ).