The rise of the benefit corporation is in direct response to shareholder primacy. Under benefit corporation frameworks governed by state law, corporations that operate according to a “doing well by doing good” ethos may be shielded from a range of acquisition tactics and shareholder suits.
In the summer of 2017, two friends and I were seated around a table in a 24-hour donut shop. It was just past one in the morning; and, in the midst of glazes and sprinkles — and powered by bad coffee — we were launching a new company. Perhaps predictably, given the circumstances, our new venture would be called “Turdcules.”
Originating in rural Tennessee, and flavored by my background on the West coast in corporate social responsibility, Turdcules was to be a social enterprise concerning residential septic systems. In particular, our company would offer subscriptions of proprietary and eco-friendly cleaner packets to rival a certain ubiquitous market standard — let’s call it product X.
For each packet subscription sold, we would provide product to a nonprofit partner for distribution to rural Appalachian communities, where byproducts of improperly maintained lines often overwhelm family finances.
The business was slow to grow as we tested different development approaches; and ultimately, we took on active investors who steered the company in a different direction.
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About Kevin Christopher
Kevin is founder and principal of Rockridge®. Kevin’s practice areas include corporate, patent and trademark law. He is an entrepreneur, NIH RADx faculty member and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) reviewer. He mentors impactful and innovative founders through First Flight Venture Center, Oak Ridge National Lab Innovation Crossroads, and Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale. Kevin has been recognized as a SuperLawyer by Thomson Reuters and Top Business Leader by Conscious Company Magazine. Read more about Kevin, connect with him, and Calendly him.
RVL recommended reading by Kevin:
Plainspeak IP: IP Fundamentalist of Fundamentals
Plainspeak IP: Social Media Influencers
Grading Georgia’s Public Benefit Corporation Law
Improving Your Trademark EQ: How to Choose a RAD Trademark
What is a Patent? Why do I Need One? How can I Get One? What’s it Gonna Cost Me?
Common Mistakes Made by Entrepreneurs
Rockridge Venture Law® was launched in 2017 to become the preeminent intellectual property and technology firm across the Appalachian Innovation Corridor. We now have offices in Chattanooga, Durham, and Nashville, and represent clients and interests globally. Our services include all aspects of intellectual property, litigation, M&A, privacy, technology transactions, and ventures.
In 2018 and 2019, we were recognized as B Corp Best for the World for our commitment to triple bottom line business practices. Rockridge® is also certified by 1% for the Planet for its nonprofit partnerships advancing stewardship and sustainability. RVL’s nonprofit partners in 2020 include Green|Spaces, Living Lands and Waters, Mustard Seed Ranch, and the NC State Lulu Games Social and Environmental Impact Competition. We value transparency and proudly publish our yearly impact reports.
Our pioneering environmental and social impact programs attract top-notch legal talent and assure our clients of missional alignment with their corporate values. Rockridge uniquely addresses two modern profit drivers: innovation (uptake and development), and corporate social responsibility. We’re Building Today’s Company for Tomorrow’s Economy® by leading clients through the dizzying array of information controls, by helping them to develop and monetize proprietary assets, and by enabling their impactful products, programs, and principles.
Learn about global impact and innovation leaders at Rockridge I-Suite®.
See case studies on how we’ve helped transformative companies at Rockridge Case Studies.