My name is Roger Rappoport founder of Access Silicon Valley, a sometime angel, and a practicing corporate attorney based in San Diego and Silicon Valley (click here for bio), focused almost exclusively on representing emerging growth companies, and helping first time and serial entrepreneurs develop and implement strategies to build, finance, grow and, ultimately, sell their startups. I always elicit a chuckle from clients, when I tell them that the advice I provide typically falls into one of three buckets: legal advice (40%), business advice (40%) and psycho-therapy (on the house) (20%)! (The time devoted to psychotherapy is invariably higher (significantly) and seems to track closely with, the presence of a diminished bank account, an impending payroll, and the closing date of a financing that appears to be slipping.)
In addition, since virtually all of my clients are alike, in that they have no money, get money, have no money again, get more money again and, ultimately exit, there is constantly a little dash of matchmaking thrown into the mix, when it comes to helping entrepreneurs develop a funding strategy, and identifying the appropriate angels, angel groups or VC’s that we should target to fund the next “cool thing” or their “disruptive technology in that space.”
Having been an entrepreneur for a decade before becoming a lawyer (and having left a lot on the table and having learned many valuable lessons in that regard), I have what I believe is a unique perspective–the ability to view situations from both sides of the table. Whenever I dealt with lawyers in my prior life as an entrepreneur, I remember so often wanting to shout out to them “don’t keep telling me what I can’t do or give me a lecture on the law–just give me what you believe are the best alternatives to help me accomplish the things that I want to achieve!” This is one of my mantras that I try to live by in assisting my clients. Access Silicon Valley is ultimately my attempt to provide access to all of those resources that I never had access to as an entrepreneur, which I believe can significantly contribute to the long term success of a company.