BC Law’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Clinic (EIC)—and student Chad Ozbeki ’18—played an important role in the recent sale of their client, Campus Insights, to the largest student-run company in the world.
The acquisition of Campus Insights by Harvard Student Agencies (HSA) was facilitated by Ozbeki, who represented the market research company during the four months leading up to the recently announced deal. The three-year-old business was itself a student-run operation, one of whose co-founding brothers, Riley Soward, is a Boston College 2017 graduate.
Campus Insights uncovers consumers’ candid opinions of products and brands by conducting user interviews across the US and internationally. It specializes in in-person and remote research interviews with Gen Z and Millennial individuals. It counts among its clients Airbnb, Chegg, and Fortune 50 companies.
It wasn’t until Campus Insights had completed the fundamentals of the deal with HSA that it faced the necessity of legal counsel to handle the sale. “We came in after the business terms had been negotiated,” said Ozbeki, “and we were tasked with putting together a term sheet, negotiating transaction documents, and helping them navigate the deal process to get to closing.”
For him, the effort was as much an education in legal transactional issues as it was in client engagement. “We helped the client understand what their business objectives were and came up with the legal strategy for how they could achieve them,” Ozbeki explained.
Professor Lynnise Pantin, who directs the EIC, paired Ozbeki with Riley and his brother Stephen, who had applied to the clinic for assistance. “This was a serious deal that would happen fast,” she said, “and I felt Chad, who is serious and detail-oriented, could hit the ground running.”
Riley Soward remembers his first meeting with Ozbeki, which was also his first sit-down with a lawyer since he’d founded the company at age 18. “I went in, and on the table was a printed agenda and a bottle of water, and we shook hands. I knew immediately I was in good hands. I felt safe about this,” said Soward. The result, he said, was that “we were able to negotiate really solid terms, and we knew exactly what we were committing to. We were very happy with that.”
The Campus Insights project was classic EIC, said Pantin. The clinic offers students the opportunity to represent micro-entrepreneurs, technology entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, artists, authors, filmmakers, and musicians, who may be individuals or for-profit businesses in the Greater Boston area in need of transactional legal counsel related to starting or operating their business. “The students are developing personally and professionally as they learn what really matters and then they attack the issues in order to solve them,” she said.
Photo, from left, Lynnise Pantin, Riley Soward, Chad Ozbeki ’18