Emerging Growth

LEADERSHIP: Thomas P. Dwyer and Christopher S. Miller

Pepper SEED™ is based on a holistic approach that combines the resources of an experienced, multi-disciplinary team into an affordable package for start-ups and early-stage companies.

The unique alternative fee structure includes access to essential legal documents and effective legal counseling. In addition, but for no additional charge, each company will receive mentoring in areas such as board development and management, business plan review, and investor relations.

Entry Fee

The client pays an initial fee of $2,500, as a sign of commitment to the program. This fee is applied as a retainer against our initial counseling.

Initial Documents

The firm provides the following documentation free of additional charge:

  • incorporation or LLC formation documents
  • founders’ shareholders agreement or operating agreement
  • stock restriction agreement (w/ vesting provisions)
  • 83(b) election form and instructions
  • form of employee non-disclosure agreement
  • form of consulting agreement
  • form of third-party non-disclosure agreement
  • form of equity incentive plan and agreements.

This basic documentation is not charged against the $2,500 retainer.

Customizations of these documents, as well as initial counseling, are billed at a 50 percent discount to our standard rates until the retainer is exhausted.


The firm will provide informal mentoring free of charge in areas such as business plan review, board development and management, and investor relations.

Board Meetings

As a sign of our commitment to our clients, we attend regularly scheduled board meetings for companies in the Emerging Company Program free of charge. We believe that this enables us to understand your business better and develop an even closer relationship with you and your board members.

Investor Introductions

Through our extensive array of relationships, the firm will make introductions to angel groups, seed funds and venture capital funds. A description of the company will be included in our quarterly publication “CapitaLink,” which is distributed to investors across the country.

Ongoing Counseling and Other Services

Phase I

Until the earlier of the company’s first significant financing or first 18 months of our engagement, we provide the following services at a 20 percent discount to our standard rates:

  • corporate counseling
  • contract preparation and review
  • copyright, trademark and patent counseling and prosecution
  • employment and benefits counseling.

All other services, including litigation, are provided at a 10 percent discount from our standard rates.

If approved, the firm will defer payment of fees up to a maximum of $25,000. If the company is sold prior to the end of the deferral period, all deferred fees will become due.

Phase II

After the company’s first significant financing or the first 18 months of our engagement, all of our services will be provided at a discount to our standard rates as agreed to and reviewed annually.

Phase II of the program is open to companies that meet the criteria, even if they have already received significant financing.

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