The Venture Capital Tangle

May 08, 2007

Fenwick & West partner Mark Stevens was recently quoted in a Wall Street Journal story titled, "The Venture Capital Tangle."

Situations arise where start-ups or technologies morph into potential competitors, posing a dilemma for venture capitalists and the companies in which they invest. These conflicts are prompting some venture capitalists to take preventative measures, removing themselves from questionable board positions.

Some venture-funded companies are also adopting conflict-of-interest policies for their board of directors, according to Fenwick & West's Stevens, who represents companies of all sizes and in all stages. He's also seen "several venture-funded firms implement formal conflict-of-interest guidelines for their board in the past 18 months."

Fenwick client MobiTV is taking this advice to heart. It introduced a formal conflict—of—interest policy for its employees and board late last year. The ultimate goal was to ensure policies were in place for its board members – several of whom are venture investors.