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Venture Briefing: Companies Sponsoring Social Media Contests Beware Venture Briefing: Companies Sponsoring Social Media Contests Beware

Venture Briefing: Companies Sponsoring Social Media Contests Beware

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SEC Crowdfunding Rules Drawing Concern Over Protections
Sites like RocketHub work by connecting entrepreneurs with potential customers all over the country. Soon, though, life is going to change drastically for these sites due to rules written by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which will enable businesses to use crowdfunding to sell stock, says law professor Mercer Bullard of the University of Mississippi.
(Source: NPR, 2014-05-09) Read the full article
Poison Pill Ruling May Boost Defenses Against Activist Investors
A Delaware state court judge blocked efforts by the hedge fund mogul Daniel S. Loeb to overturn a crucial corporate defense at Sotheby’s, the auction house. Donald F. Parsons, a vice chancellor of Delaware’s Court of Chancery, decided that he would not overturn a so-called poison pill plan that limits Mr. Loeb to no more than 10 percent of Sotheby’s shares while letting passive investors hold as much as 20 percent.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-05-02) Read the full article
Trying to Make Tax Breaks Permanent, House Passes R&D Credit
The House voted to make permanent a tax credit that rewards businesses for investing in research and development, pushing Congress toward an election-year showdown over a series of expired tax breaks that are popular back home but add billions to the budget deficit. The research tax credit expired at the beginning of the year, along with more than 50 other temporary tax breaks that Congress routinely extends.
(Source: ABC News, 2014-05-09) Read the full article
SEC Hints at Scrutiny Over Private Equity Funds' Fees
Lest the buyout industry feel left out of the regulatory crackdown that has recently been visited upon hedge funds and major banks, the Securities and Exchange Commission indicated it’s taking a close look at the fees and compliance structures at private equity funds. The SEC found “illegal fees or severe compliance shortfalls in more than half of the firms it examined since starting a review of the $3.5 trillion industry two years ago,” Drew Bowden, the head of the SEC’s exam program, said in a speech.
(Source: Bloomberg Businessweek, 2014-05-08) Read the full article
SBA Under Contreras-Sweet Will Push New Programs
Maria Contreras-Sweet is taking over at an important time for the Small Business Administration, which had been without a permanent leader for more than a year. The economy is starting to find its footing after a slow start to the recovery, and small business owners, many of whom have been parked in wait-and-see mode the past few years, are starting to borrow again.
(Source: The Washington Post (free reg. req'd), 2014-05-09) Read the full article
Fewer Venture Investors Raised 85% More Money Over 10 Years
A much smaller class of venture investors raised a lot more money in 2013 than did those from 10 years earlier, according to a new report from the National Venture Capital Association. The $16.8 billion raised last year is up 85 percent from 10 years ago, but that number is down from the $19.6 billion collected in 2012 and the $19 billion in 2011.
(Source: San Jose Business Journal, 2014-05-06) Read the full article
KKR May Open Buyout Funds to Retail Investors
Only the wealthiest and most sophisticated investors are allowed to put money into the leveraged buyouts done by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. But according to a regulatory filing, KKR is working with another firm to allow investors to commit a minimum of just $10,000 for exposure to its private equity funds.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-05-01) Read the full article
Washington AG First to File Crowdfunding Lawsuit
If you raise money via Kickstarter and don't deliver the products you promised backers, the government will come after you. In what is the first consumer protection lawsuit involving crowdfunding, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a suit against Ed Nash and his Nashville, Tennessee-based company, Altius Management.
(Source: GeekWire, 2014-05-01) Read the full article
Some VCs Looking to Heartland for New Ideas, Investors Following
At a time when more than half of the country’s venture capital -- some $33 billion annually -- is going to startups in California, two alums of Sequoia Capital, Silicon Valley’s most successful VC firm, are making the mother of all contrarian bets: that West Coast money is getting dumb chasing the next Facebook and overlooking opportunities in the heartland. Investors think the two are onto something -- in January Kvamme and Olsen’s Ohio-based Drive Capital closed a $250 million fund, the second-largest inaugural fund anyone has raised anywhere in the country in the last year.
(Source:, 2014-05-07) Read the full article
Companies Cutting Back on Research and Development Spending
Corporate profit might be beating expectations, but some companies are skimping in ways that might come back to bite them later. More than a quarter of the 121 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 that reported research and development spending in the first quarter, including Merck, International Business Machines and Texas Instruments, spent less on R&D than they did in the same year-ago period.
(Source: USA Today, 2014-05-12) Read the full article
Companies Sponsoring Social Media Contests Beware


Susan D. Rector

For the first time, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on March 20th signaled an interest in enforcing false and deceptive advertising practices in social media. The FTC sent Cole Haan a closing letter, which is tantamount to a formal warning that its social media contest had run afoul of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act prohibiting unfair and deceptive advertising practices. Read full article online.



Ice Miller Clients Win at 2014 Mira Awards

TechPoint held the 15th annual Mira Awards gala honoring Indiana’s outstanding companies, educators and entrepreneurs for technology innovation on Saturday, May 3. Read full article online.



By The Numbers

PE deal-making in the B2B industry got off to a relatively strong start in 1Q 2014, building on the momentum seen in the second half of 2013. Capital invested in the industry increased almost 60% from the prior quarter, recording the second highest quarterly total going back to 1Q 2008.
Source: PitchBook Newsletter PE & VC Edition and McGladrey Quarterly Private Equity Deal Flow Reports


Services Group

Ice Miller has been one of the most active law firms in the private equity industry over the last decade, representing both entrepreneurs building great companies and the private equity firms and individuals that invest in them. We have extensive experience with all types of funds (formations and operations); mezzanine and senior secured financing; leveraged buyouts, roll-ups, build-ups, and consolidations; divestitures and exits; and complex litigation on behalf of investors and privately financed companies. In addition, over the past 10 years, Ice Miller has represented hundreds of emerging growth businesses in various industries on such matters as entity formation, capitalization, capital raising, alternative financing, intellectual property rights and protection, growth and exit strategies, corporate governance, tax matters, and many other legal issues that are critical to the growth and success of an emerging company.

Read the complete profile of the Business Group.




Anthony Aaron
Haley Altman
Jennifer Andres
Richard Barnhart
Edward Braum
Jessica Brown
Kristine Camron
Timothy Capen
Joshua Christie
Ryanne Bush Dent
Dustin DuBois
Stephen Edwards
Jasmin N. French
Eric Goodman
Jon Groff
Stephen Hackman
David Hight
Paul Hogan

Steven Humke
Michael Jordan
Josef Keglewitsch
Patrick Kennedy
Dean Leffelman
Chris Michael
Laurie Miller
Michael Millikan
Robert Ouellette
Thomas Pampush
Matthew Servies
Brittney Sharp
Brent Showalter
Scott Snively
Dale Stackhouse
Elizabeth Thomas
John Thornburgh
Richard Thrapp
Kristina Tridico
Aaron Weir



This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader must consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances.

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