Tech Transfer Central

SPACs and University Start-ups: Understanding and Assessing the Pros and Cons

Format: On-Demand Video/Transcript, or DVD
Originally presented: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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Price: $197
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SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) have become one of the hottest IPO trends, in large part due to the global pandemic and its effect on the stock market. This places university spinouts in an attractive position as SPAC managers are actively seeking M&A opportunities, and university start-ups are looking for viable options to go public. These new entities present real advantages, but pursuing a SPAC exit is anything but cut and dried.

These so-called “blank check” companies allow even an undersized start-up to go public and raise significant capital faster than it would with a conventional IPO. They can close a deal much faster compared to the cumbersome process of registering an IPO with the SEC, and they are a much more flexible vehicle for fundraising. Universities are just starting to turn attention to SPACs, and in a high profile deal worth $2 billion, Duke University spinout IonQ announced it had entered into a merger agreement with dMY Technology Group, a SPAC. 

However, SPACs are basically shell companies that have no commercial operations — leaving them open to controversy and risk. To assist TTOs and their start-ups in assessing the possibility of a SPAC transaction and its pros and cons, we’ve scheduled this informative webinar:

SPACs and University Start-ups: Understanding and Assessing the Pros and Cons

Tech Transfer Central invites you to join Michael J. Blankenship, partner in the Houston office of Winston and Strawn, LLP, for this timely distance learning program. He’ll explain what a SPAC is and why it has become such a popular option for going public, and you’ll gain keen insights into the benefits and risks associated with these fast-growing entities. Here’s a brief look at the agenda:

  • What is a SPAC?
  • Why has it become so popular globally?
  • What is the current state of the U.S. SPAC IPO market?
    • What are the current terms?
    • Who are the current investors?
    • Is it here to stay?
  • What is a “de-SPAC” transaction?
  • What role does a PIPE (private investment in public equity) offering play?
  • Why a SPAC over a traditional IPO?
  • What are the benefits for university start-ups?
  • What are the risks?

Meet your session leader:

Michael J. BlankenshipMichael J. Blankenship
Partner, Houston Office
Co-Chair, Energy & Infrastructure Industry Group

Winston and Strawn, LLP

Mike Blankenship focuses his practice on corporate finance, M&A, private equity, special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) offerings, and securities law. He regularly counsels companies on strategic transactions, capital markets offerings, and general corporate and securities law matters. Mike represents both issuers and underwriters in U.S. and international capital markets transactions, including initial public offerings (IPOs) and SPAC IPOs, and advises on corporate governance and securities market regulation.

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