CommonBond, an upstart lender that offers low-interest loans to MBA students, garnered attention in The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Forbes magazine, after raising more than $100 million in venture capital and loan funds in early September.
The company, now located in Brooklyn, NY, is a former client of the law school’s Entrepreneurial Law Clinic, which provides legal services to the founders of start-up firms.
Students supervised by clinic director Steven Rosard provided guidance on how to navigate the process for a successful launch, CommonBond CFO and co-founder Michael Taormina said.
“They gave us very valuable advice,” Taormina said.
Taormina and the company’s two other founders were students at the Wharton School when they got the idea to start CommonBond and turned to the clinic for help.
The clinic provides an important service by offering well-targeted legal advice to the cash-strapped entrepreneurial community, Rosard said.
“Start-ups can’t afford to pay you for hours and hours of research,” Rosard said. “You have to know the law.”
In addition to providing clients with legal assistance, the clinic also offers workshops, such as “The Entrepreneurs’ Pre-Nup,” which was held at Quorum during Philly Tech Week in April 2013.
The clinic also helps the start-ups with networking, which is an important role for attorneys who practice in the entrepreneurial community, said Nathan Howard, a Class of 2012 alumnus and former clinic student.
Putting CommonBond on solid legal footing in turn aided Howard, who now works as counsel to the firm.