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Startup LAWnchpad Podcast

Apr 21, 2020

Startup LAWnchpad is the podcast that educates entrepreneurs about forming, growing and protecting a startup. Startup LAWnchpad is produced by the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic at Fordham University School of Law in New York City.


Episode Description:  William de Wolff (Fordham Law ‘20) and Kei Komuro (Fordham Law ‘21) interview Robert B. Nolan, Jr. (Fordham Law ’77), Managing Partner at Halyard Capital about various stages of capital raising including seed capital, venture capital, and private equity; how to attract investors; and how to raise money for your business.


Episode Roadmap:

  • [:30] William de Wolff and Kei Komuro introduce themselves and Robert B. Nolan, Jr, who shares the beneficial role that legal training played into his transition from law to private equity.
  • [5:06] The spectrum of funding within the world of seed capital, venture capital, and private equity, and key characteristics of each stage.
  • [11:04] At what stage do investors want to see a profit from their investments?
  • [12:35] The importance of receiving operational expertise and guidance, in addition to financing.
  • [14:50] Common concerns of investors regarding practical, legal, market changes, and management issues, and how investors evaluate the profitability of a startup.
  • [20:10] Advice regarding the concerns of entrepreneurs seeking capital through private equity.
  • [27:14] Why investors need to be kept well informed by struggling entrepreneurs.
  • [29:34] The value of social innovation and positive environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in the investment world.
  • [38:42] Options beyond certified B corps or benefit corporations that companies can take advantage of to incorporate a social mission.
  • [42:18] A look at the future of capital funding supporting social initiatives.
  • [44:54] Mr. Nolan’s recommendations for entrepreneurs who are attempting to become investors or to get access to pools of capital, and the importance of intellectual property in attracting investors.



  • “Seek more than capital when talking to investors — seek those with expertise who can help you penetrate or disrupt a marketplace.” — Robert B. Nolan, Jr.


  • “Always remember the first and foremost rule with a venture capital or private equity professional is that they believe management can deliver its promise…. It’s usually based on an entrepreneur’s vision and their perception of how they will make a difference in the marketplace.” — Robert B. Nolan, Jr.


  • “Investors don’t expect you to be profitable from day one, but you do need to ultimately figure out a path to profitability.” — Robert B. Nolan, Jr.


  • “The best thing an entrepreneur can do for its investors is to be transparent. Be open with information and tell them in advance if you see a problem coming.” — Robert B. Nolan, Jr.


  • “The opportunity to have a dream developed and nurtured is the greatest reward one can have in the business world.” — Robert B. Nolan, Jr.


  • “One of the most attractive elements for an investor is the potential — let alone the realization  —  of intellectual property that is derived from the business idea being touted by the individual entrepreneur.” — Robert B. Nolan, Jr.


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The information contained in the Startup LAWnchpad podcast and any materials associated therewith (the “Podcast”) is for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or tax advice with respect to any particular circumstance. The Podcast is not a complete overview or analysis of the topics presented and may contain information that varies in different jurisdictions and is subject to revision, interpretation, or nullification after the date of recording. The transmission of information to you does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and any host, guest, or their respective employer, including but not limited to Fordham University School of Law and Lincoln Square Legal Services, Inc. None of these parties shall be liable for any loss that may arise from any reliance on the Podcast. You should not rely upon the Podcast or treat it as a substitute for legal advice. You should consult a lawyer familiar with your particular circumstances and licensed in your jurisdiction for legal advice