Law firm partners with UTEST program to offer legal advice to early-stage startups

TORONTO, ON (August 10, 2015) — Toronto-based law firm Aird & Berlis LLP (A&B) has become the sponsoring legal partner to the University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology Program (UTEST).

This partnership was covered in TechVibes, Law Times and the Financial Post‘s Legal Post blog.

Welcome to the table: Aird & Berlis are joining MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto in supporting UTEST, an early-stage incubator for start-up companies that has graduated 17 companies and counting.

Welcome to the table: Aird & Berlis are joining MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto in supporting UTEST, an early-stage incubator for start-up companies that has graduated 17 companies and counting.

UTEST is a 12-month incubation and acceleration program co-managed by the University of Toronto (U of T) and MaRS Innovation that allows selected U of T-affiliated early-stage startup companies to incorporate, use office space, receive mentorship and access $30,000 in funding, with opportunities for follow-on funding from MaRS Innovation.

In 2014, UTEST was named one of Canada’s most promising start-up accelerators in an online series by BetaKit, a digital publication that covers Canadian technology.

“We are thrilled to partner with A&B and leverage their legal expertise for our startups and emerging companies,” said Kurtis Scissions, who co-directs UTEST with MI’s Mike Betts. “To date, 17 companies, including Granata Decision Systems, Whirlscape, Crowdmark, eQOL and TrendMD, have successfully graduated from our program. We look forward to adding A&B’s Startups Team of lawyers to our mentorship group for the UTEST program, beginning in 2015.”

A&B’s Startups Team, led by Rebecca Kacaba and Mat Goldstein, offers a range of legal services to new companies in the technology, digital or consumer application spaces. A&B supports startups at every stage of development, from incorporation, incubation and commercialization through to the public offering.

The A&B Startups Team advises on all aspects of capital raising—including seed, angel and venture capital—as well as corporate development, mergers and acquisitions, product and technology licensing, privacy, anti-spam and other commercial considerations. A&B also leverages its broad network of entrepreneurs and funders to make strategic introductions and connections.

“We already have a close relationship with both MaRS Innovation and the University of Toronto Innovations and Partnerships Office,” said Rebecca Kacaba, partner at A&B and leader of the firm’s Startups Team. “We look forward to counselling the successful companies and individuals who graduate from UTEST, and to continue working with UTEST to build a successful growth program for early-stage entrepreneurs.”