Greg has worked with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and venture funded companies for over twenty years. This gives him an expertise in the do’s and don’ts of starting companies and raising capital. He shares that in this interview.
Greg Kim is a cross between a social entrepreneur, corporate attorney and business builder. He is the founder of and a partner in Vantage Counsel, LLC which is next generation law firm. Vantage Counsel concentrates on the overall business success and adds value through consultation, networking and an innovative billing system that saves the client money while increasing Vantage Counsel’s profits. Vantage Counsel is a network of attorneys, soon to be worldwide, working together for the needs of the client.
Another aspect of Greg’s business is the strong commitment to social entrepreneurship. He focuses on companies that have a dual bottom line whether it’s curing cancer or solving the world’s energy crisis. He founded the Entrepreneurs Foundation with former Silicon Valley Bank CEO, John Dean. The Foundation helps venture funded startups set aside equity for future charitable causes.
Closer to home, he helped his son, River raise over $25,000 for charity this year. His son, River is a high school Junior at Punahou School. Other student projects have grown out of this and Skyrocket Foundation was born. Greg is fully committed to the community and this thing we call social entrepreneurship. The model is working as Greg has more free time, income and fulfillment.
This interview really touched our producer, Michael in a special way. Michael told me that he almost cried with the story about River and the commitment that Greg has to live a life of meaning. Yes, I realize that Michael is a bit sensitive but that doesn’t dilute the message that Greg has for us all.
Some Questions asked:
In a nutshell, what is Vantage Counsel and how is it different than other law firms?
What made you want to start such a radically different law firm?
How did you cut costs in Vantage Counsel?
Reinvention of your business and innovation…
What is the difference between your business building concept and the normal legal business model?
Please explain your idea on ‘convergence of disciplines’.
Are you finding it’s harder on your own?
Do you consider yourself more an attorney or entrepreneur?
How did you get your entrepreneurial start?
Can you tell us about your involvement in Dragon Bridge?
Can you tell us about Malama Jam, how it began and why it’s important?
What is the Skyrocket Foundation about?
What are your plans for social entrepreneurship?
What non profits or community based organizations are you involved with?
How has that affected your business success?
What does the future have in store for Greg Kim?
What are the biggest and most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make when starting a new venture?
What are the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when approaching VC’s and angels?
What are the most important things that an entrepreneur needs to do or have to raise funds from investors?
How does convergence of disciplines work to increase revenues and profits?
Gregory R. Kim
Partner and Founder, Vantage Counsel LLC
Gregory Kim is a partner and the founder of Vantage Counsel LLC, a Hawaii based law company focusing on emerging companies, with a primary focus on company building. Mr. Kim received a BS in engineering and applied sciences from Yale University in 1979 and a JD/MBA (emphasis in finance) from the University of California, Berkeley in 1983, where he was articles editor of the California Law Review. Mr. Kim started his legal career at Pillsbury Winthrop, San Francisco, in 1984, joined Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, Honolulu, in 1988, and launched Vantage Counsel LLC in October 2004.
Mr. Kim is an active participant in various tech groups in Hawaii and is devoted to building a technology industry in Hawaii. He is a founder, board member and executive officer of HiBEAM, an accelerator program for emerging technology companies located in Hawaii, and is a founding director of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Hawaii. Mr. Kim has served on the advisory board of University Connections, a University of Hawaii program that promotes the commercialization of technologies developed at the University, and has been an active participant with the Wayne Brown Institute, which conducts an investor conference each year. Mr. Kim has also served as a judge for the University of Hawaii business plan competition and for the Asia Moot Corp Competition, and has lectured on legal and business aspects of venture capital and startup company representation.
Mr. Kim also served as the Chair of the Business Law Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association, and founded and chairs two subsections of the Bar Association–the Venture Lawyers Work Group, which focuses on creating the legal infrastructure to support startup and emerging growth companies, and the DCCA Work Group, which works closely with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (“DCCA”) each year to formulate business-friendly legislation. Mr. Kim was the principal draftsperson of the Hawaii Business Corporation Act, and is also an editor-in-chief of the Corporations Law Manual, published in 2002 by the Hawaii State Bar Association. Mr. Kim is recognized as a leader in the field of corporate law by Chambers USA.
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