Launch of the AUA Technology and Innovation Legal Clinic
YEREVAN, Armenia ‒ On September 27, 2018, lawyers and entrepreneurs came together to mark the opening of the Technology and Innovation Legal Clinic of the American University of Armenia (AUA) LL.M Program. The event was hosted by the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC). The Legal Clinic is funded by the generous contribution of the Armenian Bar Association.
Opening remarks were delivered by Adelaida Baghdasaryan, LL.M. Program Chair, and Dr. Michael Kouchakdjian, Director of EPIC. A workshop followed led by Stepan S. Khzrtian, Esq. (LL.M ‘10), founding partner of LegalLab. The workshop content was specifically designed to incite interest in launching a startup on the spot and to cover topics of relevance to U.S. corporate laws for Armenian tech startups.
Khzrtian kicked-off the workshop by announcing the launch of a new tech startup seeking on-the-spot answers to questions as to what it would be doing and what it would look like. Two participants came forth as the budding startup founders of “I.F.Car, Inc.,” a Delaware C-Corp. “We will be engaged in promoting innovation through seminars and trainings,” said one founder, “… and invent flying cars in the process through cutting-edge research!” added the other founder. Seated on opposite sides of the hall, these two founders were just meeting each other on the spot. A corporate lawyer chimed in, “but first, let’s see what each founder will bring in to the startup and how the shares of this new corporation will be allocated between you two.”
Engaging the creative entrepreneurial minds and the methodical legal thinking assembled in the hall, Khzrtian guided the participants through a high-level overview of some of the most important concepts of relevance to startup founders and lawyers. Topics covered ranged from the pre-incorporation founders’ agreement to incorporation documents, on to issuing capital stock and devising employee options, instituting and enforcing confidentiality and intellectual property protection, and raising capital through convertible notes and SAFEs. Throughout the discussion, Khzrtian also made reference to the relevant provisions in the Armenian law.
By the end of the workshop, the participants had successfully set-up a new corporation with all the pillar components of a corporation in place, including shareholders and seed capital, a Board of Directors, C-suite management, and options-incentivized CTO and advisor.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.