Why Your Company Should Pay It Forward and Invest In Startups
At law firm giant Saul Ewing, offering free resources to entrepreneurs isn’t just generous — it’s business-savvy.
With 11 office locations and 270 attorneys, Saul Ewing is a longstanding legal powerhouse. Its practices span dozens of specialties and its clients have entrusted the firm’s attorneys with a slew of complex legal matters over the past 90 years. So when the firm recently announced a brand new RAMPTM initiative to offer practical guidance, connections and networking opportunities to local entrepreneurs free of charge, it was a major win for emerging companies.
Deborah Spranger, Chair of the firm’s Business and Finance Department, says the initiative has been a long time coming. “Saul Ewing has done legal work with startups for many years,” she explains, “It’s something that’s always been a focus of the firm.” RAMP is a formalized effort to provide startups with the connections and business guidance they need to help grow their businesses.
“You have to nurture these companies and surround them with the infrastructure they need to grow and thrive,” says Spranger. To do that, RAMP lawyers spend time getting to know these companies and their needs, and then introduce the entrepreneurs to clients, contacts and friends of the firm who may be helpful to them in various ways – whether it be fundraising, developing their products, or defining and entering their markets. With years of experience behind them,
Saul Ewing lawyers can also help steer entrepreneurs clear of common pitfalls as their businesses grow and evolve.
The program, which is available to everyone from college-age entrepreneurs to those who’ve tackled multiple ventures, is highly customized based on the needs of each participant. Established and prospective members alike may attend the monthly Start-Up Roundtable Series, which brings growing companies together to discuss shared experiences and challenges. Saul Ewing also organizes RAMP happy hours and informal networking events. There, attendees can receive valuable face time with Revital Hirsch, an associate at venture firm SCP Vitalife, who acts as an Investor in Residence for RAMP. Interested members can also soon attend office hours at the firm’s new office within the Drexel Innovation Neighborhood to casually sit down with legal practitioners in a range of specialties.
As much as the services are valuable for startups, Saul Ewing maintains that they are equally beneficial for its established companies who are looking to find the next “big thing.” “If firms want to be relevant in five or ten years, they have to be part of the innovation ecosystem and that is very clear to us,” Spranger explains. “It’s the right thing to do.”This is a paid partnership between UnitedHealthcare and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio