Michael Hagele works as outside general counsel for different tech companies who operate in the defense, biotechnology, aerospace, and internet industries, and he also focuses his efforts on investing in tech companies who are in their very early stages. Hagele previously worked for Fenwick & West LLP in the Licensing and Online Commerce Group in their Silicon Valley offices. This was after he had earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Iowa as well as a Juris Doctor while studying at the University of California at Berkeley. He also served as a general counsel for internet companies that were backed by venture capital, and it was there that he learned more about managing the legal affairs of a company. Follow Michael Hagele at tumblr.com

Michael Hagele was once asked to recall a time when he felt he had failed as an entrepreneur and how he overcame it. He commented that he was part of a restaurant and that this restaurant was opened with a celebrity chef who wanted to have no part of the restaurant’s equity. The chef was against the idea of taking equity as part of his compensation instead of a full salary, and Hagele realizes now that this should have been enough to warn him that the chef would be an issue. The reason for his response has to do with the fact that he believes that the people who work for a company should be invested in the company’s success. Stock options or other forms of equity are good examples, and he has discovered that equity participation helps to motivate workers to push harder for the success of the company they work for.

Michael Hagele has talked about where the idea for his own firm came from and a lot of it had to do with his own experience as an in-house and outside counselor. He discovered that smaller, more focused firms can offer their clients the kind of high-quality legal service that is more affordable to tech-focused companies. He has learned, along the way, that one of his best business assets is his ability to put himself in the shoes of the people he serves. Instead of focusing on his own bottom line, he hones in on what he can do to make his client’s life easier.

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