Kevin Christopher:
Founder of Rockridge Venture Law®

In the summer of 2016 I made the “we’re not in California anymore” move from Oakland to Cookeville, Tennessee. During my 10 years in the Bay Area I’d developed a career in commercialization, leading technology partnerships at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Lab while moonlighting in renewable energy and biotech startups. I left Lawrence Livermore in ’16 to lead intellectual property efforts at a venture-backed pharma company. In parallel, I launched Rockridge Venture Law®.

Rockridge is at heart a founders’ firm. After law school my first job was with a biomass energy conversion startup, and to supplement the low pay + equity position I sold sandwiches from a street cart. I took random gigs from Craigslist like excavating basements in East Oakland. Newly married with law school debt, I literally dug trenches to make it happen. The sense of dedication and purpose I developed in that grimy Oakland underbelly would see me through successes in entrepreneurship, law, and civic service.

Fast forwarding to January 2017, I led Rockridge from a windowless, mixed-use 96 sq. ft. office space in Cookeville, Tennessee, with thin walls separating me from a newlywed couple. I offered intellectual property services to a rural, largely uninterested community. I was the only patent attorney within the surrounding 13 counties…for a reason. And still I hustled and persevered to realize my vision.

Rockridge is designed to be the preeminent venture law firm across the Appalachian Innovation Corridor.

Rockridge is designed to be the preeminent venture law firm across the Appalachian Innovation Corridor. By “venture law” I mean the offering of aggregated data privacy, intellectual property, and technology law specific to needs of modern disruptive companies. This is not the type of legal service that can be offered by a general practice firm, or by an attorney who went from undergrad to law school to a law firm with little understanding of how scaling actually works. At Rockridge we’ve assembled a core leadership team of Silicon Valley and New York tech law expats, Ph.D.’s publishing in the major journals, and innovative young minds pioneering their respective practice areas. By offering a different kind of law led by entrepreneurs, we’ve now grown our footprint across Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Durham.

But we’re not just a cutting-edge venture law firm. We’re a 2018 & 2019 B Corp Best For The World Company for our commitment to triple bottom line practices. We’re Conscious Company Media, Leadership Tennessee, and USPTO Public Service honorees. We’re venture lawyers working together as a social enterprise, as changemakers. We want our company, investor, and litigation clients to get our very best, but we also want to positively impact our communities.

People ask me what Rockridge stands for. It’s a sentimental nod to my old Berkeley neighborhood where I learned to hustle, but more importantly it refers to a precipice. At Rockridge we know what it means to attack the crux and stand at the precipice of our own climb, and we’re here to see you through in yours. Learn more about our team here.