Get Legal Wise: The Startup Basics In Setting Up Your Business


There's this expectation in the world of startups that you're just supposed to know what you're doing. Running the business, finding the talent, getting investment, sourcing loyal customers, and of course, tackling the legal mind field like a boss. But in reality – and the very reason we have co-founders to pick up on those skills we just don't have – we're not going to be pros at everything.

That's exactly why we've teamed up with our good friends at Lewis Silkin to answer some of those tricky business, investment and legal questions we all want to know the answer to, but might be afraid to ask.

Check out our first instalment below, where we delve into setting up your business as a corporation, equity battles, options and employment contracts.

If you've got further questions you'd like us to find the answers to, drop us an email at and we'll see what we can do!

Startup Intellectual Property Tips and Tricks

Collider startups recently visited the London offices of one of our legal sponsors, Mathys and Squire, to discuss the world of Intellectual Property (IP). One super insightful session later, our goody bag to take home was a wealth of information, including the insights any startup should know, and how to build an IP strategy that works for you. Said goody bag fully digested and lots of our startups prepped ready to take next steps, we thought we'd summarise our key learnings – because it would be greedy if we didn't share, right?

What is Intellectual Property?

IP – intellectual property – protects the result of your creativity as an intangible asset (or property). It does not protect an idea alone, but the ‘physical’ embodiment of that idea. There are four main types: patents, trademarks, registered designs and copyright.

Having the right type of IP protection can help prevent others copying your inventions, the names of your products or brands, the design or look of your products, and the artistic works that you write, create, produce or record.

What can I do about it?

There are some basic steps you can take to develop an IP strategy that works for you:


Get to grips with how you can use IP to both protect your business and attract interest and funding.

What are you making; what are selling; what sets you apart; are you keeping records of who has created what and when – get your head wrapped around the basics of IP, and answer these questions as a starter for ten.


You now need to identify your core IP. Find where your value lies – is it the design, the brand, the unique technology?


Once you've identified the elements you want to protect, develop a strategy for how you'll do that – is it a trademark, copyright, design or patent?

Plan how and when you will go about putting the safety net in place and capture it all in your overarching IP strategy, even if you don't intend to register your Intellectual Property until you have secured more funding.


Take the steps you are able to take immediately, and start planning for the future. Track your sales, inventions and progress, and although it might seem a pain, record everything.


Keep track of what applications are being filed and approved to help de-risk your IP – various portals and tools online can assist with this and look around to see what others are doing. Patents can be a great R&D resource - to stay focussed.

Why does it matter?

IP is all about protecting, but also creating value. A solid IP strategy and goals can demonstrate a level of understanding about your present and future that will satisfy an investor’s appetite, and adds significant value as you look to scale.

"We identified four possible opportunities [Mathys and Squire] felt were worth pursuing and reviewed our existing trademark protection," said Scoop Retail, one of Collider's Class of 2015 and attendees of this workshop.

"They really took the time to understand our business!"

Investing With Accelerators: 5 Tips From Frederic Court

Frederic Court We recently heard from Frederic Court, founder of VC Felix Capital and expert in MadTech investment. Here’s his top tips on investing in this space:

1. People, not business

With business comes people, and they’re the ones that make stuff happen. The idea matters, but don’t forget their passion too.

According to Frederic, successful investment opportunities comes down to three things: reputation, network and luck.

2. Be friendly

It’s okay – we can be grumpy too. But whilst it seems like an obvious point to make, taking the time to get to know the people behind the business.

3. Be patient

Investing in a start up will never see immediate results, with a normal exit cycle around 8 years. Anything less lands in the ‘pretty quick’ category, although can be done.

4. Be prepared

There’s often two choices for an early stage individual investor: front the cash to maintain your equity stake or be content with getting diluted out.

5. Be reasonable

A normal fund return is around 1.4x – 3x is a really good return and anything above this is rare. And yes, unicorns are rare creatures to find in every sense of the word.

Choosing startups for an accelerator: How we find the best of the best

Collider Accelerator Every year, we scour the globe for up to 10 top madtech startups to join our accelerator – in fact, we’re smack bang in the middle of doing just that right now.

We want to uncover the most innovative ideas, discover teams with incredible hustle and ultimately, find what we believe could be the next big thing in the marketing and adtech space.

Here’s a breakdown of how we find, interview and pick our startups from start to finish.

Inbound: The applications

We invite startups to apply directly to our accelerator using F6S – it’s quick and easy for you and helps to gives us a first look into what it is you’re creating.

Outbound: Referrals

Thanks to the Collider team, investors, brands, mentors and alumni all being submersed in the industry and on top of what’s going on, referrals play a large part in the startups we consider each year.

Keeping an eye out

Proactive research is also a huge part of how we work at Collider. Events, tech hubs and industry specific databases are all ways in which we reach out to start ups.

The two most important things we look for is a signifier that your startup fits into the space we work in, and an impressive idea that sparks our interest.

What are we looking for?

We’re looking for the must have, not the nice to have.

Many of our questions are centred around working out whether we’re the best people to help you, and whether you’ll get the most you can out of our programme.

And you can never under estimate the importance of a great team – it’s incredible to see how significant the people are to the investors’ decisions.

Throughout the entire process, we look at around 600 companies to ensure we really are finding the best in this space.

Collider picks startups

Stage one – a phone call

This usually lasts around 30 minutes and gives you a chance to properly explain exactly what it is that you’re doing. This process usually happens around September/October time, with our feedback given within 2-4 weeks.

Expect the key question: “What are your main challenges?” We don’t ask this to catch you out – it’s to make sure you’re a fit for our accelerator so we can give you the very best value.

Stage two – Collider Partner chat

This step is for us to get our heads together and discuss as a team: who you are, what it is you’re doing and whether you’re a good fit for Collider, drawing on our previous experiences. A model that most major VC’s also follow, it allows us to bounce off each other and on a high level, how we could see your idea fitting into the market.

Stage three – Pitch to Collider Partners

If you get through to this stage, this is your chance to really impress us from the get go – the aim is to get us talking! We’ll ask you to prepare a five minute pitch, usually followed by a short Q&A.

The most important thing we gain here is seeing what you’re like face-to-face and to get to know the team.

You’ll know within one week if you’re through to the final stage.

Collider Accelerator programme in action

Stage four – Pitch to Collider Investors

Selection Day – the big one.

This works in a very similar way to stage three: a five minute pitch followed by a short Q&A, but this is in front of the very people who could be investing in your startup.

Our investors all have incredible and relevant experience in this field, and use this to help curate a list of the very best startups they believe could work in the real world. We start moving fast here – you’ll find out the next day.

Quick tips

If you’re considering applying for our accelerator programme, ask yourself these questions and then come and say hi:

1. How did this project start?

2. What challenges do you face?

3. Why Collider?