Building a BAIL Team

On November 10th, the Blackstone LaunchPad presented a BAIL Workshop at Syracuse University.

What is BAIL? BAIL stands for banker, accountant, insurance, and lawyer, and Blackstone recommends every new business or startup form a good relationship with each team member.

At the workshop, banks were represented by Ben Alexander, Commercial Loan Officer at New York Business Development Corporation.  In the simplest definition, banks provide organization for capital, but what most entrepreneurs are interested in is obtaining financing. Alexander recommended entrepreneurs come prepared when applying for a loan.  Banks like to see personal funds invested into the project, as well as a business plan, financial projections, sources and proposed uses of funds, cost estimates, personal finances and tax returns, and specifically for startups, a detailed plan on how operations will be funded.

Representing accounting was Matt Gardner, co-founder of Gardner & Capparelli, a Syracuse-based CPA firm.  Not only do accountants help with general bookkeeping, they can help navigate things like taxation, payroll, sales tax, and the difference between employees and contractors.

Business insurance is coverage designed to protect a business from financial loss.  Insurance agents like Rina Corigliano-Hart, an OneSelect Account Consultant at Onegroup, can help entrepreneurs decide what type of coverage best fits their small business or startup.  Corigliano-Hart notes that Business Owners Policies (BOP) are great for entrepreneurs for the protection on a range of things like copyright infringement and intellectual property claims.

The last member of a BAIL team is a lawyer.  Gerry Stack, a partner at Barclay Damon, who focuses on tax and corporation law, spoke to the importance of a lawyer on a startup team.  A lawyer can help decide the corporate form that makes the most sense for the business, often a limited liability corporation or a corporation, and the pros and cons of each.  A lawyer can assist in protecting all aspects of a business, from intellectual property, to protecting personal interests to entering into various sorts of agreements.

Blackstone Launchpads are campus based entrepreneurship hubs to provide support to entrepreneurial students and other members of campus communities.