5 Questions in 5 Minutes with Tom Bealer

July 18, 2023

You have a background in entrepreneurship – can you share a bit about how this informs your practice of law?

I’ve always been interested in start-ups and entrepreneurship. I majored in business administration with an emphasis in finance at the University of Colorado and though my first job out of school was in financial sales, I realized that what really interested me was helping start-ups, and maybe one day potentially starting my own. I decided financial sales wasn’t for me and I attended a full stack web development bootcamp at Galvanize, which gave me first-hand exposure to the skills used in the tech world. During the Galvanize program, I was accepted to law school at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and felt that a legal education, paired with my coding background, would be a great skillset that could allow me to help others with their own entrepreneurial dreams. About halfway through school I co-founded the Venture Law Society which focused on helping start-up founders, particularly with respect to evaluating financing rounds. From there I became a Legal Fellow at Techstars onboarding companies into the Techstars accelerator programs and working with founders directly. So really from very early on in my career I’ve had this tech /entrepreneurial focus. And then when the two-year fellowship ended, I decided to focus more on developing my legal skills, and that’s what brought me to RPCK.

What drew you to impact investing?

There are so many people out there trying to innovate new solutions to solve so many big problems. And I think the coolest thing about start-ups and entrepreneurs is that they want to change the world and develop commercial solutions that can bring positive change to millions. Some of them are very commercial, but some are just trying to solve real problems that affect people all over the world. Being able to help them do that is great – it’s just really satisfying. I’ve always wanted my work to have meaning, and when I found RPCK it felt like a meeting of the minds.

Can you tell us a bit about the kinds of matters you work on at RPCK?

What I love about my work is that I get exposure to the whole ecosystem of the start-up world – both from the company side and the investor side. I’m an associate, so I’m involved in a broad mix of matters, but essentially in fund formation, complicated restructurings, Series A and B rounds and other matters. All of this gives me a behind the scenes view of what goes on at start-ups as well as of the investor side. I work with a lot of the senior team and, as the youngest attorney at the firm, I’ve had to get up to speed quickly which has really accelerated my development as an attorney.

How would you describe the RPCK culture?

It’s unique and accommodating. Everyone is very hands on and willing to help you learn – so you’re not just thrown into things without support and oversight. And I feel like the culture informs the approach we take to the practice of law. We all spend a lot of time breaking concepts down for clients, helping them understand impact and learn the concepts behind the agreements and transactions. I’d say that we take a real partnership approach as sort of old-fashioned consiglieres to our clients.

Is there anything that has surprised you so far?

I didn’t know what to expect when I first came to RPCK. Only part of what we do is build partnerships among great companies and investors. What’s really cool is learning to bake-in the impact tools and mechanisms to the body of an agreement. So, there’s a lot of creative thinking that the firm uses that is different than most other places. I also have come to really appreciate our growing practice in Denver. Tom Scriven is a force and a huge factor in the impact community here. He participates in lots of roundtables with investors and is helping to grow and organize the impact sector here. It’s been cool to be a part of it.


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