This post is by Kia Kokalitcheva from VentureBeat
Click here to view on the original site: Original Post
Jeffrey Schox is a patent attorney to Silicon Valley’s startup stars — and sometimes, he’s their investor too.
Schox, an attorney and the owner of Schox PLC, a boutique patent law firm nested in San Francisco’s startup-heavy SoMA neighborhood, has been in business since 2003. For the last several years, he’s used his firm to generate deal flow — identifying startups he might invest in.
Later this year, he’ll take his investing a step further with the launch of a seed fund and the expansion of his team of patent agents’ role in the investments he makes into clients.
With the reputation he’s built, and constrained by the small size of his team, Schox works with a select number of clients, and invests in about 10 of the 30 to 40 new clients he takes on every year.
“We have the luxury of picking clients,” Schox said during an interview at his office with VentureBeat, adding that his team turns away about 80 percent of the companies that reach out.
To evaluate potential clients, he and his team ask themselves two questions: Would they invest in this company? And how much enjoyment would they get from working with it? (“Would we get a beer with these guys?” as one employee put it to me.)
They also have to consider potential conflicts of interests and stay away from working with competitors of current clients. So while Schox is working with two drone companies, for example, he says they’re approaching the space in completely different ways, which removes that conflict.