A few years ago, as part of the firm’s commitment to working with start-ups and emerging companies, Goodwin Procter LLP launched the Founders Workbench. This new site targeted founders of new companies and provided free access to critical forms, memoranda, best practices and other resources to enable capital-efficient company formation.
Since its inception, Founders Workbench has focused on conveying that Goodwin Procter understands what it takes to become a successful company and will provide the highest quality legal services to help achieve success. The new site was extremely well received and helped drive new business and boost the firm’s popularity in the entrepreneurial community. Particularly popular was the site’s interactive Document Driver, a free tool that allowed founders to customize the legal documents needed to form a C-Corporation—which only Goodwin Procter offered at the time (online).
Fast forward a few years. Today, Founders Workbench has a loyal following and has become a valued resource with entrepreneurs. Goodwin Procter decided it was time to take Founders Workbench to the next level and revisit the site’s content and design. Drawing inspiration from the creative visionaries the site was built to help, Goodwin Procter partnered with One North Interactive to create an interactive experience that would appeal to the site’s innovative audience of risk-takers.
VITAL TOOLS, APPS & RESOURCES FOR FOUNDERS AND ENTREPRENEURS
Knowing how important free resources are for entrepreneurs, Goodwin Procter and One North partnered together to build upon the firm’s already strong set of business launch tools included in the Founders Toolbox, such as the:
- Capital Calculator—This new web app allows founders to estimate the effects of taking on investors, including proposals offered by venture capitalists, and determine the payout in a business sale if they're given ownership shares to employees.
- Deal Dictionary—Another web app, the Deal Dictionary allows entrepreneurs to quickly look up easy-to-understand definitions of legal and other terms to better understand unfamiliar jargon used in conversations with counsel and investors.
- Document Driver—With this tool, business owners can produce legal documents, such as a Certificate of Incorporation, to form their business as a Delaware corporation, the most commonly utilized entity for start-ups, particularly ones trying to raise venture capital financing. The enhanced Document Driver also now includes LLC documents.
All three of the interactive tools included in the Founders Toolbox can also be saved to a founder’s mobile phone for on-the-go access.
Other notable features of the site include:
- Anchored Toolbox – Accessing resources in the Founders Toolbox is simplified, as the tools remain available at the top of the page, regardless of how far the user has scrolled.
- Events Listing—Business owners can find out where they can connect with Goodwin Procter and other external sources in person, including upcoming startup-related seminars and conferences.
- Blog Updates—Frequent posts, written by Goodwin Procter attorneys and guest authors, offer helpful advice and information on investment, emerging technologies, patent processes and many other topics relevant to a founder.
ASSISTING A TECH-SAVVY AUDIENCE
Goodwin Procter knows that entrepreneurs aren't afraid to try new things on their path to discovering the next best thing. In order to provide its audience with the technological sophistication they’d expect of their own work, the firm decided to demonstrate its progressive thinking by becoming one of the first law firms to take advantage of responsive design capabilities in addition to offering web apps.
The new Founders Workbench automatically adjusts to the device it’s viewed from, providing on-the-go business owners with an experience optimized for their needs. Mobile and tablet users won’t have to squint at tiny visual elements or attempt to click through endless pages. Instead, swipe gestures were incorporated, allowing them to seamlessly use their fingers to navigate the site. On the other hand, desktop users are presented with a view that leverages the added screen space.
A NEW FACE
Because the site is truly a resource dedicated to the client, Goodwin Procter decided to create a new look and feel, different from its corporate design. To ensure the site had a dynamic and distinct brand identity, One North created a new logo for Founders Workbench and redesigned the site using a completely different color palette. The Founders Workbench Twitter profile was also updated with the new design.
The navigation was also enhanced to better reflect a founder’s journey, with each section of the site representing a new step in the process of building a successful business, from Forming, Financing and Operating to Hiring, Growing and Protecting.
The new Founders Workbench also features case studies detailing how fellow entrepreneurs have effectively interacted with legal professionals. New business owners looking for a little encouragement can access detailed accounts of how other entrepreneurs launched successful companies—including three MIT grad students who created a low-cost printing product and a sole proprietor who launched a tool that measures social media users’ influence.
The message is simple: If they can do it, so can you. With the help available on the Founders Workbench website, entrepreneurs can learn how to wrap up the requirements involved in starting a business—and focus on turning their latest idea into a reality.