ConVerge Monthly: February 2019
Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

In this month's newsletter: 
  • Business Booster Series: How to Avoid Legal & Intellectual Property Pitfalls
  • Self-Employment in the Arts Conference 2019
  • Upcoming Events
  • Internship Opportunity for Students
Business Booster Series:
How to Avoid Legal & Intellectual Property Pitfalls
Launching a startup takes bravery—and attention to detail. Even one misstep at the outset can make it IMPOSSIBLE for investors to fund your new venture. In this interactive session on Tuesday, March 5th, learn how to avoid the most common legal pitfalls for start-ups and when to put an intellectual property plan in place to protect your company's most valuable assets: your ideas. (Spoiler alert: the right time is NOW!) 

Bringing years of “BigLaw” firm experience to startups, attorneys Furqan Mohammed (Founder, MST Law) and Randy Micheletti (Founder, Incubate IP) will walk you through the best way to get your new business off on the right foot. 

This workshop is free! Space is limited, so please register by Friday, Mar 1st.
Furqan Mohammed is one of the founding attorneys of Mohammed, Shamaileh & Tabahi, LLC (MST Law) , a specialty law firm focusing on corporate and transactional matters. Furqan is an advisor and advocate who takes the time to understand the business of his clients and then helps them execute their vision from a legal perspective. His legal experiences include incorporation of the business, operating agreements, employment matters, and founder disputes.

Furqan’s legal work has been featured in various media outlets, including ABC News , WGN News , NPR Radio , and In These Times . He has been distinguished as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine for four consecutive years (2016-2019) and identified on the Lawyer of Color’s Second Annual “Hot List” as an up-and-coming diverse attorney in the Midwest Region.

Furqan graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University Chicago in 2008 and magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2011. Prior to founding MST Law, Furqan worked as a Commercial Litigator for Perkins Coie LLP, an international law firm with over 1000 attorneys.
Randy Micheletti is the founder of Incubate IP, a specialty law firm offering small and emerging companies sophisticated intellectual property portfolio development services at a fraction of the cost large law firms charge. To accomplish this, Randy brings a decade of experience from the world’s most sophisticated law firms to a compact, efficient platform. Incubate IP’s clients pay for excellent legal services—not fancy office space, breathtaking views of the lake, or expensive artwork in exotic wood-lined conference rooms. But cost-efficient doesn’t mean cookie-cutter at Incubate IP; each client is provided a customized strategy based on a deep understanding of all aspects of the competitive landscape, the technology’s core innovative features, and the long-term goals of the business.

Incubate IP’s clients appreciate Randy’s pragmatic and goal-oriented approach. Having seen and worked with startups from both the innovators’ and the acquirers’ sides, Randy uses his unique perspective to build strong IP portfolios optimized to bring maximum additional value to each client’s business, whether the client’s goal is obtaining outside investment/funding, licensing out technologies, licensing in technologies, or seeking a merger/acquisition.

Randy graduated cum laude from Augustana College with a degree in Chemistry, then earned his M.S. in Organic Chemistry in Peter Wipf’s organic synthesis lab at the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied non-hydrolyzable stereoelectronic mimics of peptide bonds. He then graduated with high honors (Order of the Coif) from Chicago- Kent College of Law (Illinois Institute of Technology) with a certificate in Intellectual Property. Randy is a frequently invited speaker at scientific meetings, universities, and startup incubators across the country. An avid trumpet player, Randy regularly performs with various musical groups around the Chicago area in his spare time.
Attention artpreneurs! Do you have basic questions about filing for LLC for your business? Bea Rodriguez-Fransen will be available to answer your questions at the Self-Employment in the Arts (SEA) Conference. An annual event hosted by North Central College, the conference will be on February 23 and 24, 2019 at 2112 Inc./Fort Knox Studios in Chicago. Geared towards emerging visual, performing, literary, and media artists, the conference features keynote presentations, artist-led sessions, panel discussions, one-on-one mentoring sessions, roundtable discussions, and workshops. In addition, there will be a juried college art competition and funding pitch competition. For educators and art organization leaders, there are sessions and opportunities to share best practices.

Bea Rodriguez-Fransen is the Project Manager of ConVerge, Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at North Central College. In 2018, she founded the center’s Women Entrepreneurship Conference, an annual event in October that convenes students and professionals in various industries, providing a supportive venue where women can network and learn how to start or grow their own ventures. Bea is also founder and owner of two businesses, Chicago Kettlebell Club, LLC (kettlebell education and fitness training services) and Bea Rodriguez Enterprises, Inc. (grant writing and nonprofit development services). She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Beloit College, where she earned her BA degrees in English and Sociology. In her spare time, Bea enjoys writing short stories, poetry, and her novel-in-progress, and is pursuing a Master of Liberal Arts degree, with an emphasis on Writing, Editing & Publishing. 

Click  here  to access the information for the  2019 SEA Conference .
Marketing Intern for Naperville-Based Startup (Part-Time)
Internship Duration: Spring and Summer Terms

Description: Our small team is looking for a marketing intern for the upcoming spring and summer terms. Candidates should be enrolled and pursuing a degree in marketing or business. This internship will be unpaid. The intern will work directly with the founder of an early Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) startup.
ArT Wine Preserver started at the end of 2016, with the goal to reduce waste in the wine industry through product design and supply chain management. Currently, the company has a top rated product on and helps wineries protect their sample pours.

Successful interns will learn how to: create content in an organized and steady manner, manage small projects, startup and test business models, and generate leads.
Responsibilities and Duties:
·          Create content for company’s social media accounts
·          Build content for email marketing to wineries and tasting rooms
·          Manage marketing initiatives such as sweepstakes and email campaigns 
·          Flexible skill development as necessary for tasks
·          Analyze past campaigns and marketing tests
·          Work with existing partners
Additional opportunities for learning how small businesses operate, startup business methodology may develop.
Hours : Part-Time.
Work Environment: On college campus in Naperville, IL coworking space. Interaction and direction from the company founder typical as well as with other startup businesses. 21+ ideal.

Interested? Send resume and cover letter to