S2, Episode 14: From Startup to Exit

Season Two: Episode Fourteen — The road from startup to exit, from the co-founder of a recently acquired successful business. 

Episode Description: Moyosola Soyemi (Fordham Law ‘20) and Eileen Gaffney (Fordham Law ‘20) interview Selin Sonmez, co-founder of Knock Knock City, Co., about the business process from startup to exit, including the various legal and business issues entrepreneurs should consider on their road to acquisition.

Episode Roadmap:

  • [:30] Moyosola Soyemi and Eileen Gaffney introduce themselves and Selin Sonmez, co-founder of the recently acquired Knock Knock City, who shares the inspiration for her startup and her studies in industrial design.
  • [8:45] Is it necessary to have an exit strategy when founding a company? The benefits of choosing a corporation over an LLC.
  • [11:39] Selin shares the online resources she utilized to find answers to legal questions and the point at which she began consulting with a lawyer instead.
  • [16:37] Tips for building a brand while protecting intellectual property rights, and financing without fundraising through maximizing SEO and partnerships.
  • [20:47] Questions to ask yourself before proceeding with a buy-out, including how to determine if the buy-out company is one that you want to partner with.
  • [27:28] Legal and logistical challenges of partnering internationally.
  • [29:02] Negotiating deal terms, both independently and with the guidance of lawyers.
  • [33:07] How to obtain accurate valuation of your company when selling. 
  • [37:37] A look at signing day and what life looks like for Selin after the acquisition. 
  • [41:35] The value of engaging in design thinking when looking for new business ideas. 
  • [44:44] Selin shares advice from the lessons she learned on the path from startup to exit.


“An exit strategy was always only in the back of our minds. Our focus was on growing.” — Selin Sonmez

“Ask yourself, if we sell, is this the right person? Does this deal match our vision?” — Selin Sonmez

“It’s always good to consider lawyers as business people too, who will be helping you and pointing out details you’ll be missing because you’re optimistic and want to be fast and get the deal done.” — Selin Sonmez

“There’s always someone who has been there, done that, and there is value in seeking advice from them.” — Selin Sonmez

“The right brain is a muscle. The more you practice it the more it evolves. So, there’s no such thing as not being creative; you can learn to be.” — Selin Sonmez

Mentioned in This Episode:

Additional Resources: 



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Startup LAWnchpad is the podcast that educates entrepreneurs about forming, growing and protecting a startup. Startup LAWnchpad is produced by the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic at Fordham University School of Law in New York City.