Partner in the Spotlight: CMS

10th Mar 2017

Für die deutsche Version dieses Artikels, klicken Sie bitte hier.

Our partner and mentor network are a crucial part of what goes on behind the scenes at the SpinLab. When something is out of the realm of expertise of the SpinLab Core Team, the first people we will turn to is our partners and our mentors. With their wide reach in varying areas of expertise, we’re really enabled to be able to find the best resources and information possible to make sure our startups become successful as they can be. To date, we’ve got 17 companies in our partner network, and over 70 individuals acting as mentors that come from every business background and range of expertise you can possibly imagine.

Want to learn about more about CMS Hasche Sigle?

CMS Hasche Sigle (“CMS”) is a German legal-powerhouse. They cover all areas of commercial law, corporate and M&A, private equity and venture capital, intellectual property (“IP”), banking and finance, competition, dispute resolution, employment and pensions, tax and many more and have more than 600 lawyers at their disposal based in major commercial centers throughout the country. Their membership of the global CMS organization enables them to provide expert support wherever business takes their clients, both within Europe and beyond.

CMS is definitely a player in the legal arena that can help you get set up, get going, and keep running smoothly. Being that CMS is right down the road from us, operating amongst others in central Leipzig, they’re very active in our operations. They routinely support our cause by offering workshops in the SpinLab for our startups, collaborating 1 on 1 with us to create new ideas and development objectives, offering legal “feasibility” checks for our startups, and they frequently participate in the local events we host here. Check out one of CMS’s videos on Innovation below (In German).

SpinLab X CMS Hasche Sigle – The Perfect Match

It may seem obvious, but this partnership really does flourish for us. CMS develops compensation models that meet the specific needs of each individual startup. Just like the snow in the winter or the grass in the summer, no two startups are identical, and no two startups will have the same legal hurdles. In the case of compensation, startups are typically presented the challenge of not having sufficient funds in the early stages to afford legal consultancy costs. However, in order to do things properly from the beginning, a startup should have the legal guidance necessary with the best experience and quality to match it.

CMS really helps out our startup community by offering flexible compensation models to adjust to the unique needs of a startup. In addition to their experience and areas of specialization, CMS offers an added benefit – The consistent development of their “Legal Tech” initiative. This allows them to create certain contract packages from standardized documents involving little customization. This allows them to create certain contract packages from sandardized documents involving little customization.

The flexibility for a new startup or founder via our partnership with CMS doesn’t end there either. CMS also offers various deferral models that new startups can take advantage of. CMS views this as an investment in the future, as they strongly believe that startups and new innovations are going to be the driving force behind the economy and infrastructure of tomorrow. CMS views this as an investment in the future, as they strongly believe that startups and new innovations are going to be the driving force behind the economy and infrastructure of tomorrow.

“They strongly believe that startups and new innovations are going to be the driving force behind the economy and infrastructure of tomorrow.”

Last, but certainly not least, we cannot stress the importance of having a strong legal entity acting as a trusted advisor for our startups. Not just in principal, but also in reality. The mentoring capacity of CMS to be able to offer personalized and trustworthy relationships to our startups here in Leipzig has been extremely valuable. This type of unique working setup allows the startups and the mentors to be able to grow together through each process and problem solved.

So what kinds of legal questions do SpinLab startups typically have?

Our startup community wears the masks of many different industries, and with a community that diverse, come a whole host of different questions. Some questions remain constant, such as:

  • What is Venture Capital (VC)?
  • How does a VC finance round actually take place?
  • What are the negotiating priorities for seed financing?
  • How do we structure VC investments?
  • How can we plan exit strategies in the future?

VC tends to be a hot topic these days, and navigating through the legal jungle that one must in order to understand it is a task not easily undertaken alone. CMS helps startups figure out the best ways to tackle these common funding concerns.

Being a world rapidly being dominated by digital natives, many questions also typically arise around the topics of IP and IT. Any of these badboys sound familiar?

  • Can we actually register our brand?
  • Can we actually advertise in the way we have been?
  • What do we do if we get a warning from the competition?
  • How do we actually protect our know-how and methods?
  • How do we successfully integrate IP into our society?
  • Privacy is a big concern for us. What do we have to consider?

Finally, startups also have to employ employees at some point to be successful and to scale. The truth is, most startups don’t really have much experience around labor laws so it also helps to have someone like CMS around to help clarify questions around product compliance, certification, public law, and product liability as well.

So how do Lawyers and Startups really profit together?

Through cooperations forged between SpinLab and CMS, founders and startups receive legal advice from the very beginning at the highest level possible. CMS advises both investors and startups during all phases all the way up to the stock market launch. Having such a level of council readily available from legal professionals that are already familiar with startup processes is very valuable. An attorney who also advises big players in the industry knows their way in and out of the legal system, and knows how to negotiate. Through this very same network, they are we able to open doors and make introductions to other strategic investors.

From the attorneys’ point of view, they are able to further themselves by being introduced to a wealth of new technologies and ideas at the SpinLab. This enables the CMS team to be directly involved in the processing of legal systems of the future. When a startup carries out a legal feasibility check, the team often has an idea on which legal limits each business model has to consider. This type of working environment is very rewarding and motivating for the attorney side of the relationship, as it allows for projects that are both fluid and diverse. The SpinLab ecosystem gets to provide this type of experience for CMS every six months, with each new class.

Our Mentor & Demo Days here at the SpinLab round off the entire experience. When our teams pitch in front of our mentors, partners, and potential investors, it allows CMS the opportunity to exchange ideas with startups, venture capitalists, and other partners to help them expand their own network. In the end, CMS gets to broaden their horizon by providing legal advice on new business models, and they also get to network within the VC and digitization scene in Germany and beyond.

We thank our partner CMS for their continued support, and very much look forward to a continued successful partnership!

About the author

Shawn Segundo is the marketing manager at the SpinLab. He’s worked extensively with all company sizes from startups to enterprise clients while working as an online marketing consultant in both the United States and the European Union. Follow him on Twitter @shawn2nd

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