YK Law Hosts the Columbia IBM Blockchain Accelerator

March 26, 2020

On February 28, 2020, YK Law LLP organized a legal clinic in our New York office for 10 blockchain startup teams from 5 continents participating in the Columbia IBM Blockchain Accelerator, where one of our partners, Alexandra Levin, is a mentor.https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/OvpmH7eegbZRAbMySyPc3A

YK Law attorneys lectured the Columbia IBM Blockchain Accelerator entrepreneurs on a range of legal issues that are vital to startup founders, including incorporation jurisdictions, intellectual property protection, data privacy compliance and the unique legal challenges in the blockchain technology and cryptocurrency industry. The legal clinic concluded with private sessions where the teams met and were advised by individual YK Law Partners.

Jesse Weiner, Co-Managing Partner, opened the event by introducing the teams to YK Law and its large global network.


Claude Baum, Partner and Co-Chair of YK Law’s Corporate practice group, followed Mr. Weiner and provided information about Corporate Law issues that new and emerging businesses must consider when operating in the U.S. He highlighted corporate friendly states offering the best protection and incentives for new businesses.


Laurel Grass, Administrative Partner of the New York office, lectured on the importance of Data Privacy and Compliance for startups. She spoke about the urgency of getting legal representation early in the startup process to avoid mistakes that could turn into expensive legal and regulatory issues down the road.

Scott Kaliko, Partner, provided his best practices for Intellectual Property protection and the importance of executing non-disclosure agreements when trying to attract partners and investors for a new business.


Alexandra Levin, Partner and Chair of the Blockchain Technology & Digital Currency practice group, spoke about legal challenges unique to the blockchain industry. She provided guidance on blockchain and crypto-friendly jurisdictions in the U.S. and abroad. She also highlighted common U.S. regulatory pitfalls that blockchain companies are susceptible to and how to avoid them.


Henry Li, Co-Managing Partner, provided insight into what blockchain companies need to do to succeed in operating or raising capital in the Asian and specifically Chinese markets. He also spoke about key industries and provided tips on working in China.

Ian Liao, Partner, focused on Venture Capital Funding. He spoke about how venture capitalists can be a fundamental tool for the growth and success of startups. He also spoke about other key fundraising options for new businesses.

James Wolf, Of Counsel, was also in attendance and provided information on immigration pathways for blockchain entrepreneurs.

The group presentations were followed by private meetings in which YK Law attorneys addressed individual concerns and issues with each of the Accelerator teams.

YK law has a strong practice supporting start-ups in innovative technologies such as blockchain and we are committed to helping our start-up clients structure their businesses for long-term growth and success.

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