Founders’ Series

A New Model for Startup Success:
Navigating Funding Challenges in 2023

— Free In-Person Event —

Special thanks to Foley & Lardner for sponsoring this event
and allowing us to offer free admission

Registration Required

Limited seating

Following a similar pattern in past economic downturns, changing factors in the current economic environment — including inflationary pressures, market uncertainties, and risk aversion — have caused massive disruptions among startups and venture capitalists (VCs), and the ripple effects are extending across the entire community of founders and investors.

Showing a promising outlook into the future is no longer enough to get the funding that companies need to deliver on their ideas. Consequently, a potential nose-dive in available funding has shifted from a what-if scenario to become a harsh reality. Compared to the previous year, funding from VCs decreased by over 30% in 2022.

Despite the abundant negativity surrounding the current investment atmosphere for startups, there is a counterargument that now might be a good time to invest in startups and VC funds, for a variety of reasons:

  • Lower current valuations of startups
  • Increased accessibility to top talent
  • Ability of VCs to “stretch” their money longer
  • Better discipline in the decision-making process

The net result is increased pressure on VC firms to improve the efficiency of their funds, enhance productivity, and reach their targets — all of which translates into higher returns for shareholders.

In this VLAB Founders’ Series event, Louis Lehat (partner and business attorney at Foley & Lardner LLP) will moderate a “fireside chat” with SC Moatti (managing partner at Mighty Capital). During their conversation, these experts in their field will share their thoughts concerning the current investment atmosphere and provide advice for startup founders about addressing challenges and opportunities:

  • How can founders adapt to the current macro-economic environment?
  • What are the do’s and don’ts when pitching your idea and raising capital?
  • How should startups modify their company strategy — i.e., short-term vs. long-term?

In addition to fireside chat, a few select founders will have the opportunity to get in the “hot seat” and receive some individual counseling about their unique situations.

Join us on April 18 for this exciting and thought-provoking event.

Register Below



SC Moatti, managing partner, Mighty Capital

SC Moatti is the founding managing partner of Mighty Capital®; the founding CEO of Products That Count, the most influential product acceleration platform; and a lecturer at Stanford and Columbia Universities. Previously, SC built products at Facebook and Nokia that billions of people use. Andrew Chen, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, called SC “a genius at making products people love.” SC serves on the boards of public and private companies, earned a master’s in electrical engineering and a Stanford MBA, and is a Kauffman Fellow.


Louis Lehat, partner and business attorney, Foley & Lardner LLP

Louis Lehot is a partner and business lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, based in the firm’s Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Los Angeles offices, where he is a member of the Private Equity & Venture Capital, M&A and Transactions Practices as well as the Technology, Health Care, Life Sciences and Energy Industry Teams. Louis focuses his practice on advising entrepreneurs and their management teams, investors, and financial advisors at all stages of growth, from garage to global. Louis especially enjoys being able to help his clients achieve hyper-growth, go public, and successfully obtain optimal liquidity events.

To assist his clients in realizing their objectives, Louis brings to bear a broad array of legal and business instruments, processes, and strategies, from formation to liquidity. He guides emerging private companies as they secure VC financing, prepare for IPO or de-SPAC, and navigate the exit. His domain experience in public offerings and private placements of equity, equity-linked, and debt securities, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, spinoffs, strategic investments, and joint ventures, as well as corporate governance and securities law compliance matters, serves his clients well. Additionally, Louis regularly represents U.S. and non-U.S. registrants before the SEC, FINRA, NYSE, and NASDAQ.

Prior to joining Foley & Lardner, Louis was the founder of a Silicon Valley boutique law firm called L2 Counsel. He previously served as both the co-managing partner and co-chair of the emerging growth and VC practice of a global law firm in Silicon Valley. With a legal career in New York, London, Paris, and Silicon Valley spanning more than 20 years, Louis has worked in technology, health care, clean energy, and other innovative industries, leveraging the latest legal technology tools to drive strategies and solutions that make sense.


In-Person Event
San Francisco, CA
(Location details will be sent to registered attendees.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Fireside Chat: 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm
“Hot Seat” Startups: 6:30 pm – 6:50 pm *
Q&A: 6:50 – 7:00 pm

* 3-4 selected founders from audience will be featured on the virtual stage.

About the VLAB Founders’ Series

Founders’ Series events provide a unique opportunity for startups and technologists to take part in an interactive session. Come prepared with your burning questions!

If you would like to have the rare opportunity to take the “Hot Seat” on stage to receive feedback from the speakers, please be sure to enter your question in the field on the assessment form. Startup founders selected for the “Hot Seat” will be notified in advance.

For all other questions, please contact





SRI International



Johanson & Yau


Paul Hastings




Umunhum Brewing