Pierce Atwood has a long history of success helping startups, entrepreneurs, and emerging businesses grow into profitable enterprises. Our Catalyst Program for Startups team provides today’s growth companies with skilled legal services to help get an idea off the ground, access funding, and address the basic legal requirements for running a business. Services offered through our Catalyst Program include:

  • Buying and leasing real estate
  • Corporate governance
  • Employee benefits and executive compensation
  • Employment law guidance, including non-disclosure and non-competition agreements
  • Equity incentive plans and awards
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Structuring, negotiation, and documentation of angel and early and late-stage venture capital financings
  • Technology and outsourcing licensing  
  • Trademark and patent protections

Attorneys in our Catalyst Program help startups and small businesses keep sight of not only the important issues of the moment, but also what will be important in the next stage — and beyond. By taking this long-range view, Pierce Atwood helps to lay the foundation for our clients’ long-term success.

Catalyst Program Benefits

We provide new clients with our Startup Engine, a suite of services designed to help get your new business off the ground:

  • Advice on choice of entity
  • Assignment of inventions and non-disclosure
  • Development of equity incentive plans and related equity award forms
  • Documentation of initial capitalization
  • Formation of business entity and required foreign qualifications
  • Initial intellectual property and branding consultation
  • Non-competition and non-solicitation
  • Provision of standard employee agreement forms
  • Stockholder’s agreement or operating agreement

We work with each client to develop an uncomplicated alternative fee arrangement. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach ... we’ll find a fee arrangement that works for you.

Catalyst Program Case Studies

“StartWire and Pierce Atwood have a history of doing great work together. I think of their attorneys as key business partners rather than just outside counsel. Since our inception, they have provided timely, practical, efficient advice.” – Chris Forman, CEO and Founder, StartWire

"My experience with Pierce Atwood attorneys has been nothing less than top-notch - they are highly professional, responsive, and have taken the time to understand the needs of my small craft brewery. Pierce Atwood attorneys handle my company's legal matters as efficiently as possible and have delivered first-class results." – Dan Kleban, Owner, Maine Beer Co., LLC

Representative Experience

Assisting Troy Scarbrough, founder of CropLocal, Inc., in setting up his S corporation. CropLocal is a virtual farmers marketplace connecting local farmers to local consumers.

CropLocal S Corporation Set Up

Gum Spirits Productions, based in Portland, Maine, has been producing independent films since 2003. Pierce Atwood saw Gum Spirits through a private offering to raise funding for the film Three Priests. We also set up the corporate structure, including with respect to investor interests, of Three Priests LLC, acted as production counsel for Three Priests, and worked with Gum Spirits to secure and negotiate distribution for the film.

Gum Spirits Productions Corporate Matters

We assisted Moki Doorstep with corporate and intellectual property strategy and implementation related to a portable step that affixes to a vehicle door frame, offering a simple solution to reach a car roof. Moki’s Kickstarter campaign raised $110,736 from 2,220 backers in just 30 days, and was followed by an appearance on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

Moki Doorstep in Corporate & IP Matters

As part of our Catalyst program, we represent Village Internet, LLC, a 2016 winner of the UNH Social Venture Innovation Challenge, in initial formation and general corporate matters.

Village Internet Formation & General Corporate

Representation of Xinarow LLC as participant in the Catalyst program for emerging businesses.

Xinarow LLC as Catalyst Participant