The Emerging Companies Group at Osler is composed of individuals who are passionate about entrepreneurship and fostering the growth of early ventures. Located in offices across Canada, including Toronto, Vancouver, Montréal, Ottawa and Calgary, our team members are eager to share their experience and insight with emerging companies to help maximize their development and ensure long-term success. We also leverage our New York office’s cross-border legal expertise to support Canadian companies’ growth and transactional needs south of the border.
We have represented entrepreneurs and emerging companies nationwide from a broad spectrum of knowledge-based industries, supporting them from incubation through their growth trajectory. We provide legal advice on the wide range of issues and legal requirements that emerging ventures face, from corporate and tax structuring and fundraising and shareholder agreements to intellectual property strategies and employment- and compensation-related matters – all of which require a deep understanding of the market and expert counsel.
Leveraging our expertise across the country to help your company grow
Our firm helps entrepreneurs and emerging companies tackle legal issues by providing access to our collective experience, expertise and national network as well as sources of capital, service providers, potential board members, executives, customers and suppliers. We aim to build a long-term relationship with each client’s management team and provide value at every step of our clients’ growth.
Our legal counsel are at the forefront of the fast-paced Canadian technology sector – we have strong connections with entrepreneurs and extensive experience working side by side with the leaders of early, middle and late-stage ventures. As well, our insight into emerging markets and investment opportunities provides deep and informed access to potential funders. We have vibrant and ongoing relationships with the most prominent players in both Canada and the United States, including leading private equity funds, venture capital funds, pension funds, major corporations, institutions and growing private companies. Our strong legal referral community includes both international and domestic clients looking for business opportunities in Canada.
Osler’s transactional deal flow
Osler acts for more than 700 early and growth stage ventures and venture investors across Canada. In the last three years, we have acted on more than 400 angel and venture financings. Specifically in 2016, Osler advised on 132 deals with more than $1 billion raised by emerging companies.
Supporting innovation nationwide
As part of our commitment to Canada’s broader community of entrepreneurs, Osler sponsors a number of programs and organizations across the country that are dedicated to supporting emerging companies. We are committed to the idea that founders with passion, vision and a plan can access the legal and business guidance they need to launch their venture.
We helped launch and continue to support both The Next 36, a non-profit charity that helps identify and fast-track the development of Canada’s most talented young innovators, and the Creative Destruction Lab, a program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management that provides guidance from some of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurial founders along with access to expert advisers and relevant workshops for university-affiliated entrepreneurs. We are the exclusive legal sponsor of the Creative Destruction Lab West, which is based out of UBC’s Sauder School of Business, and Zone Startups Calgary, a Calgary-based accelerator program, to support the growth and development of early-stage companies in Alberta, in partnership with General Electric.
Osler is also a founding sponsor of OneEleven, a community of data-driven entrepreneurs, and The Next Big Thing, an entrepreneur-led foundation committed to the next generation of Canadian entrepreneurs. We are committed to working with our fellow sponsors at these and other ventures, such as FounderFuel, Highline, TandemLaunch, AceTech Ontario, CIX and the C100, to ensure that founders can access the support they need to launch their venture.
Start-up Program for emerging companies
Our special Start-up Program provides emerging companies with the highest level of responsiveness in a cost-effective manner. To help entrepreneurs get their best start, our start-up legal package draws on the full spectrum of Osler legal services, from IP and labour/employment to tax, litigation and regulatory advice and beyond. Even after an emerging company has become revenue generating or completed a material financing transaction, we will provide legal services on, as much as possible, a competitive fixed-fee basis (instead of the traditional hourly rate model).
Start-up Program essentials
- Incorporation – or taking reasonable steps to conform your company’s constating documents (articles and bylaws) to venture-backed company standards
- Preparing/updating organizational and legal documents for your start-up company based on venture-backed company standards
- Providing access to, and general advice relating to the use of, certain standard template documents
- Attending board meetings
- Maintaining the minute book
- Responding to general legal questions by phone or by email
Start-up Program add-on services
- Technology transfer (whether from the founders, a university, research institution or other third party)
- Customer-facing commercial agreements/templates
- Friends and family financing round
- IP applications (including patents and trademarks)
Industries we support