After a two-year pandemic hiatus, Procopio is relaunching its LaunchPad incubator program to help early-stage companies achieve liftoff.
LaunchPad, a program of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP (PCHS) subsidiary Procopio Business Advisors (PBA), was first launched in 2012 to help emerging growth companies with business formation, intellectual property protection, early funding and other areas of growth.
“We’re passionate about identifying and fostering the next generation of bleeding-edge innovators right here in San Diego County,” said Ken Weixel, PBA senior growth advisor and consultant for the LaunchPad program. Weixel, a noted life science and healthcare industry leader and former managing partner of the San Diego office of Deloitte LLP, began working at Procopio at the start of this year and was tapped to help lead the incubator program.
“When I came on board, one of the things [Procopio] wanted me to do is to relaunch LanchPad, no pun intended, and see if we can reinvigorate it,” he said.
New to the reinvigorated program is an advisory board comprising of successful entrepreneurs, investors and experts in finance, marketing and other critical areas for emerging-growth companies. Members include serial medtech entrepreneur, venture investor, board member and advisor Brian Kelleher; longtime San Diego growth strategist Susan Kuruvilla; Tech Coast Angels LA co-founder John Morris; healthcare executive and board advisor Sal DiGiuseppi; and life sciences serial entrepreneur and CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame inductee Magda Marquet
“As San Diego’s start up environment continues to thrive, Procopio’s LaunchPad incubator plays a unique and vital role in providing the ideal environment with key resources and tools to support creative and ambitious entrepreneurs with big ideas and the passion to change the world. I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting community as a member of the advisory board,” Marquet said.
In addition to the advisory board, LaunchPad cohort companies will benefit from the program’s established offerings such as provided office space at Procopio’s Del Mar offices and legal services in areas like intellectual property and patent protection and business structuring.
“But it doesn’t stop there.” Weixel said. “One of things that I think is distinguished about our LaunchPad offering is in addition to helping them with their legal needs while they’re in the program for nine months to a year, we also hold programs for them, and we expect them to participate.”
The programs include educational opportunities on key topics including valuation, funding, intellectual property strategy, employment issues, pursuing a strong exit and basic accounting.
“Some of these people, they’re great businesspeople, they have a great idea but they certainly don’t have a CFO so they might not necessarily have any understanding of financial statements,” Weixel said.
Procopio attorneys provide ongoing legal support and assist with corporate structuring, patent protection, investor pitches, branding and growth strategy.
A Program for Everybody
By design, LaunchPad is open to all types of companies and serve founders of all types of backgrounds, from recent graduates to seasoned professionals looking to start a company of their own, Weixel said.
“Whether it’s life sciences or software-as-a-service or high-tech hardware or renewable energy, our community produces highly creative entrepreneurs with bold ideas for new companies. The LaunchPad incubator’s sole focus is to ensure their growth and success,” he said. “There’s no lack of these incubators in San Diego, but many of them – if they are in life sciences for instance – are companies that would need wet labs. We’re not a wet lab incubator. What we are is almost a convener if you will of these companies.”
One of the companies LaunchPad convened for is program alum RealStir – a real estate search platform for real estate agents.
“Procopio’s LaunchPad provides the all-important incubation ingredient to a startup whereby great legal minds are available to help and advise in all key aspects,” said RealStir CEO Walid Romaya.
Dave Twining, COO of drone tech company Planck Aerosystems, said “we can definitely trace our current success back to our time in Procopio’s LaunchPad.”
For Procopio, the program also has benefits beyond elevating local companies.
“We want to be there for them when they leave LaunchPad too,” Weixel said, “It’s an obvious business idea that we have. They’re going to be Procopio clients for a long time and hopefully be very successful.”
Applications for the 2022 LaunchPad cohort are now being accepted. Potential participants must complete an application and provide a pitch deck and/or executive summary. More information is available on the LaunchPad website at law.procopio.com/launchpad. Questions can be directed to PCHS Director of Marketing & Client Relations Kevin J. Wilson at 619-515-3234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded: 1946 (by Alec Cory)
Managing Partner: John Alessio
Headquarters: Procopio Tower, Downtown San Diego
Notable: Company also has offices in Del Mar Heights, Silicon Valley, Orange County, Las Vegas and Scottsdale.