Expert

Matteo Daste

Matteo Daste represents clients on corporate finance, governance, organizational and operational matters, and routinely acts as outside or local counsel for both domestic and foreign entities. Over the years, Matteo has represented both private and public entities and institutions in capital-raising transactions and reorganizations, and has assisted clients in structuring, negotiating and conducting private placements of equity, debt and hybrid securities including multiple rounds of convertible preferred stock and debt financings. Matteo‘s experience also includes representing issuers in both registered and exempt public securities offerings, and exchange listings. He has been involved in structuring bridge- and equity-financing deals as well as representing financial institutions in TARP-related transactions. Matteo is a founding member of the Business Association Italy America (BAIA), and sits on the Boards of Directors of two technology startups and three nonprofit organizations. Matteo is also outside counsel (legale di fiducia) to the Italian General Consulate in San Francisco. Matteo has authored various articles on TARP and Dodd-Frank topics related to securities regulation. He has also been featured as a speaker on several occasions, appearing at the Italian Parliament on venture capital reform, in newspaper interviews, and on television and radio programs both domestically and internationally. Matteo has also held a number of lectures and seminars at universities including Stanford University, UC Hastings College of Law, La Sapienza in Rome, the Universita’ di Genova, the Libera Universita’ di Bolzano and the Universita’ dell’Insubria in Varese.

Course Structure

1. Introduction: Why Silicon Valley? It’s all about the Ecosystem. The course will open up with a lecture focusing on why the Silicon Valley ecosystem is still the number one place in the world for technology startups. Silicon Valley is the place where new ideas and technologies meet the business world and where innovation is a way of life. You will learn the economic and sociological reasons for the birth and existence of Silicon Valley, why it is crucial to engage in the ecosystem and why it is important to be part of the culture. The discussion will analyze the symbiotic relationship between universities and large companies. Both are where talent is forged and innovation is replicated. The strength of Silicon Valley is that great ideas in universities meet business applications, thus creating market driven innovation. You will learn about legendary corporate R&D facilities of Silicon Valley such as Xerox Park, up through what nowadays Google Labs and Y Incubator are doing. By understanding what academic research is of interest to large companies, you will gain a new perspective on why startups must produce innovative products for the market and not just cool technology. 2. The Three Silicon Valley "Factors of Production": A. Corporate Finance and Intellectual Property You will learn why and how the technology startups define the value of their property. The lecture will start with an explanation of why law is generally important in a young, pragmatic and multicultural society like the United States. It will then address two most significant legal areas for creating and preserving tangible value in technology startups: corporate finance and intellectual property. On corporate finance, the discussion will address the concepts of "cap tables" and rounds of financing using different equity and non equity instruments such as convertible notes and series of preferred stock, and why Silicon Valley likes them. On intellectual property, the lecture will cover an introduction to trade secrets law and nondisclosure agreements. You will next learn why early stage companies file provisional and definitive patent applications, trademarks and copyrights. The discussion will round up with technology licensing. B. Human Resources and Talent Pools In this lecture you will learn about how to access and leverage human resources in Silicon Valley. Top talent is the key to success, but talent moves fluidly in Silicon Valley. You will understand the tools used to identify and retain top talent, whether as independent contractors or advisory Board members. The discussion will include basics of stock options and why stock based incentive compensation is crucial currency in Silicon Valley. You will get an idea of what are the expectations in Silicon Valley, how nonprofit organization and knowledge exchange are critical in adding value, and how social networks are dramatically changing the traditional job market and are making the workforce very fluid and flexible. C. Silicon Valley Venture Capital Silicon Valley was born and thrives on the symbiotic relationship between new ideas and venture money. Without investors, even the best ideas may never turn into innovative products and services. In this lecture you will learn about the VC landscape in Silicon Valley: who the VCs are, what they do, what they want to see in technology startups. Learn how a VC usually makes his or her mind about a company in the first 30 seconds, distinguish between real VCs and advisors dressed up like VCs, and when a company is VC ready. Learn also what to expect from VCs in terms of support, and how entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley think of VCs as more than just investors, but also in terms of business mentoring and guidance. You will also learn what VCs will expect from entrepreneurs, from pricing in a round to painful realities if the business does not take off as expected, and how to be prepared to deal with those circumstances. 3. The Concept of Exit. The concept of exit is the key in the life cycle of a Silicon Valley startup, and it is what financially sustains and propagates the Silicon Valley ecosystem. Exit means monetization of investments in a startup: if you raise funds, you need to plan for a sale where investors realize a gain. Most exists are via M&A. In this lecture you will learn how to think in terms of such positioning, and what steps you need to boost your valuation and generate revenues. You will learn how innovative technology turns into a business, and what it takes to do so for hoping for a successful exit. The lecture will also cover an overview of the exit process through M&A or IPO. The presentation will include a discussion of the role of angels and bootstrapping opportunities. The paradigm created by internet applications, with lower development costs and faster time to market expectations will also be analyzed.