The Startup Counsel by The Trusted Advisors
The Startup Counsel by The Trusted Advisors is a 6 weeks program intended to spur legal compliance, innovation and creativity amongst start-ups. This program is focused on seed and early-stage start-ups. With this focus, we are able to hand hold start-ups from the inception stage to the expansion stage through the provision of legal services.
The status must have launched a product or be close to launching a beta version of their product or service.
A functional product or service which leverages technology.
The product must be scalable both online and offline.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the eligibility criteria?
This has been properly answered on our website. The summary however is that we are focused on businesses that are early-stage tech startups.
That is, your startup is our focus if it leverages technology to solve a problem. Your startup must have a clear source of revenue even if it doesn’t translate to profit.
This signifies to us that you have a readily available market and that you have prospects for growth
How do we assess start-ups?
Does your founding team have a thorough insight into the prevailing market they intend to operate in?
Can your team get the job done from beginning to end?
Do they possess the resilience and grit to withstand and get through tough times?
Are they passionate enough to see through with their goals?
Do they have clarity on the impact they seek to achieve?
Can your team build a healthy environment that will serve as a platform for talented, multi-faceted individuals to thrive and grow?
Is your business profitable?
Does your startup have an attributable source of income that is sustainable both now and in the future?
Do your users find your product easy to understand or apply?
Are your team aware of necessary improvements/ features that they should make to that product?
Does your team have an organized archive of customers’ data, and feedback? Are you actively upgrading your product to reflect the customer’s needs?
Is there a ready and sizable market for your product?
Who are your competitors in the market? Are you familiar with other key players in your industry?
Are you abreast with any key trends that would distinguish your startup?
What time of the year should I apply to the programme?
Our programme intake is on a cohort basis. It is open for startups every 2nd quarter of the year.
Can I apply again after being rejected?
Yes, of course! You are free to apply more than once if your company is qualified based on our eligibility requirements.
I have applied and haven’t heard back! When will I get an answer?
Don’t be perturbed. We receive lots of applications and it takes quite a deal of time (on average, four weeks) to go through all applications. However, we will reach out to you within this time frame on the next step
When does the programme start?
This has been uploaded to our website. Kindly visit our website to stay abreast with the necessary information.
Where is the programme based?
The program is based in Lagos, Nigeria both onsite and online. Further information would be released as regards the location.
Do you take a seat on the board of start-ups you work with?
No, we do not. However, we may consider the same at the request of the startup
Do we take equity in the startup we work with?
We take between 2% -10% equity in each start-up we work with, depending on the package the start-up chooses and in exchange for support and services offered throughout our programme.
Are our terms negotiable?
We have a standard deal for every start-up that we accept into the programme
What sorts of tangible services does your incubators provide startups?
As a law firm, our core services involve the provision of legal services across our diverse practice areas, depending on the need of the startup at that point.
Do incubators offer more nitty-gritty skills to help out startups?
We provide entrepreneurs- depending on their position and prior experience- with legal advisory, presentation skills, better access to private investors, strategic assistance, business negotiations, protection of intellectual assets and assistance with regulatory compliance in the entrepreneur’s particular industry.
Are we different from startup accelerators?
We are different from accelerators because we focus on entrepreneurs/ founders in their early stage of business. In contrast, accelerators focus on established business. In addition, most accelerators hub provide funds to startups but we simply assist startups by linking them with investors who can make funds easily accessible to them.
Do you only back Nigeria start-ups?
Yes. We are a Startup Counsel for startups in Nigeria. Your target market can be outside Nigeria, but your Startup must be in Nigeria.
Do we have to be incorporated in Nigeria?
No. We understand that incorporating in other jurisdictions, such as the US, may be more favourable for investors, you just need to have a presence in Nigeria.
Can we apply with just an idea?
We are more inclined to select tech-oriented startups that have built or launched a minimum viable product or a beta version and have some market demand.
However, even if are at the ideation stage only, there is room for application. Such idea should have at least a substantial market demand for your product/services. This could be evidenced by sign-ups, customer waiting list, and similar types of proof that establish the fact that it is marketable
Do we have to be already incorporated as a company?
No, we can help with the incorporation process
We have been operational for a while now, would you still consider us early stage?
Yes. We understand that for some companies, it takes time to clearly figure out the operational dynamics of their firm and the market base. However, what we clearly seek to see is that the business is scalable.
Do you only work with start-ups that build software?
We consider any start-up that uses technology to solve problems around them. We are open to other tech-enabled solutions as well as using other technology tools to create efficiencies.
Do you focus on any specific sectors?
We have a preference for sectors that would create long-lasting impact. We won’t most likely invest in sectors such as alcohol and gambling
We don’t have a technical founder but our solution works, is this okay?
This is not a mandatory requirement. However, we would prefer to work with a founding team with the knowledge and experience needed to build a product in-house.
We build custom software and websites for companies, can we apply?
For now, we only provide support for tech or tech-creating, or tech-enabled businesses with the potential to scale. Agencies that provide custom websites/apps for companies do not fall within our purview