Insights from a Seasoned Startup Lawyer



Startup Counsel & Business Strategist

Mr. Mishcon is a seasoned Silicon Valley attorney with over 20 years of experience providing business counsel to high technology companies. He specializes in helping emerging growth companies negotiate and close deals, and has a deep background in financing, contracts, and licensing.  

Adam has a strong business sense, able to assess risks and introduce novel approaches to close deals. General Counsel for several tech startups, including companies funded by Sequoia Capital, 500 Startups, Google Ventures, etc, he shares time between San Francisco, New York, Washington State, and Portland (OR). 

Adam ishcon

➤ key appointments

  • Authored form license (EULA) for attorneys nationwide
  • AIPLA Committee on Open Source
  • IEEE Technical Committee on Security and Privacy
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association
  • Intellectual Property specialty group of the ABA
  • Sequoia Legal Roundtable Co-Lead
  • Duke Law Club Executive Board
  • TechGC Steering Committee


  • Duke Law School
  • Vanderbilt School of Engineering
  • Stearns Weaver Miller et. al. associate
  • Open source developer and architect

➤ BARS & Courts

  • New York Bar (motion pending)
  • Washington Bar
  • Florida Bar
  • San Francisco Bar Association

Areas of Practice


Blockchain is poised to change the world.  Though a bold statement, the smart contracts powering cryptocurrencies such as Etherium change the nature of cloud hosting with distributed ledgers.  ICO's are becoming the new IPO's, and the SEC is looking more closely at what is and isn't regulated in the US.  Distributed applications (dApps) are becoming the new App and excitement is growing for the disruption this new technology will bring.

formation & Option POOLS

Failure to properly attend to proper corporate formation and related activities can cause considerable effort and expense later, and even disrupt an otherwise settled financing.  Choice of the proper corporate entity can even impact you ability to take on investors or issue employee stock options.

Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality

The world of VR/AR has it's own special considerations, including in-world intellectual property rights to design and content, responsibility for user actions and interactions, and relationships between software and hardware.

privacy & data breaches

The world of privacy is ever evolving. With the consistent introduction of varying regulations worldwide, it's critical that every site that collects any personal information at all (name, email address, etc.) comply in every relevant jurisdiction.  Should you be unfortunate enough to experience a data breach, there are steps to follow which vary around the world.


Early finance presents it's own challenges.  Consider if investment is worthy of stock ownership or an alternative financing method such as convertible notes, that don't require a present valuation or may need some consideration as to the valuation cap.  Other approches gaining popularity include KISS financing and Safe financing documents, each with their own considerations.

Saas & licensing 

As the vendor or host of any software or application, the most important asset you is likely your intellectual property rights.  It's imperative that your licensing and/or use policies protect your rights while permitting the appropripriate use by your customers.

open source

If you use any open source software at all, you should consider the license terms and requirements for use, whether it's MIT, BSD, Apache, or particularly GPL licensed.  Failure to comply can have unexpected consequences.  If you use React.Js there are particular concerns of which you should be aware.


The startup and small business marketplace is still a new and fierce frontier that requires business and legal advice from an attorney who is deeply entrenched in the particularities of startup operations and venture financing. 

Employees & Consultants

Adding personnel early on can be tricky.  Important considerations should be weighed in deciding whether a W2 or 1099 engagement ins appropriate, and how to handle compensation and equity (stock option) awards.

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* logos are property of their respective owners