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Calfee’s Emerging Companies and Venture Capital practice focuses on helping innovators, entrepreneurs and investors in successfully launching businesses, raising financing and growing their companies. We offer practical, solution-focused advice with a business perspective honed from representing clients at every stage of development – from corporate formation, to initial and later-stage financing, to sale, IPO or market leadership.

Our firm-wide capabilities and team-oriented approach to service enable our clients to call upon a range of experienced lawyers in a variety of practice areas, including our Intellectual Property group with a breadth and depth of experience that has a reputation for being unsurpassed in our region.


We work with entrepreneurs to:

  • Properly set up their companies
  • Review their business plans and identify key strengths and weaknesses
  • Protect or license core technology
  • Negotiate terms for initial and later-stage financings
  • Prepare key agreements with employees and consultants
  • Structure equity incentive plans
  • Evaluate how best to achieve liquidity

We offer guidance on forming and running a board of directors or advisers, and we also attend board meetings and provide counseling on important business decisions.

We have represented entrepreneurs in a variety of business ventures, most notably in software development, financial technology, technology-enabled services and medical device design and development.

In addition to our corporate expertise, we are able to use the knowledge of our lawyers who hold degrees in various technical and scientific fields to gain a sophisticated understanding of the technical and intellectual property issues faced by companies in these industries.


Calfee has represented seed investors, angel and early-stage investors, high-net-worth individuals, venture capital firms and private equity firms in their investments in numerous technology companies as well as various other industries.

Through our experience with emerging companies, we are able to efficiently manage venture capital financings and effectively navigate more complex transactions. Our practical, solutions-driven approach and our experience enable us to cost-effectively protect investors’ interests.

With the assistance of our Intellectual Property group, comprised of more than 40 lawyers with technical and scientific degrees, we can conduct sophisticated due diligence, including landscape analyses of competitors’ patents, clearance studies and patent portfolio audits, and provide opinions and advice regarding patentability, infringement, validity and freedom to operate.

Calfee represents numerous venture capital funds, private equity funds, hedge funds, real estate investment partnerships and other investment entities in connection with their organization, management, operation and compliance. Our fund clients also draw on the resources of our corporate, litigation, tax and other practices for their investment activities and internal management and administration needs.


Chambers USA 2022 Band 2 Ranking in Corporate/M&A – Ohio: North

For more than a decade, Calfee has been ranked for Corporate/M&A – Ohio by Chambers USAChambers USA commentators noted Calfee's Corporate and Finance practice "Draws from an impressive statewide team with a strong track record across a broad range of corporate and transactional matters, acting on behalf of public and private businesses and financial institutions. Areas of excellence include M&A, securities offerings and private equity and venture capital fund formation." 

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2023 "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in the following areas:

  • Corporate Law (National Tier 2, Regional Tier 1 Cleveland, Regional Tier 1 Columbus, Regional Tier 2 Cincinnati)
  • Tax Law (Metropolitan Tier 1 Cleveland)
  • Venture Capital Law (National Tier 2, Metropolitan Tier 1 Cleveland)




We have advised issuers and investors in numerous fund-raising transactions, including these notable engagements in the past several years:

  • Represented a medical device technology company in its initial funding transaction and multiple subsequent preferred stock financings.
  • Advised numerous startup and early-stage software developers in convertible note and convertible preferred stock financings.
  • Represented technology-focused angel investor funds and early-stage venture capital funds in their initial and follow-on investments in numerous technology companies.
  • Counsel to a developer of data aggregation technology and services in various corporate matters, including the acquisition of a complementary business and the formation of a joint venture.
  • Represented a regional venture capital firm in its investment in senior debt of a financial services technology company.
  • Represented a financial technology business in the lending industry in its Series A and subsequent follow-on offerings.
  • Represented a provider of web-based clinical applications in its seed investment.
  • Represented an online, event ticket sales platform in its seed investment and the subsequent acquisition of a complementary business.
  • Represented a developer of a telehealth physical therapy application in its seed financing round.
  • Represented an investment holding company focused on essential service businesses in its formation and initial financing round.
  • Advised the developer of a mobile payment and rewards management platform for the travel and hospitality industry in its seed financing round.
  • Represented the developer of a global identity verification network in its Series A offering.
  • Represented a student loan refinancing platform in its initial structuring and subsequent Series A and Series B financing rounds.
  • Represented a blockchain credentialing company in its initial structuring and Series A financing round.

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Calfee's Corporate and Finance practice "draws from an impressive statewide team with a strong track record across a broad range of corporate and transactional matters. Areas of excellence include M&A, securities offerings and private equity and venture capital fund formation."

Researcher comments from Chambers USA

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