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Deal 5: Turing College Co-founder & CBDO Benas Sidlauskas on Participating in Silicon Valley Accelerator Y Combinator

Deal 5: Turing College Co-founder & CBDO Benas Sidlauskas on Participating in Silicon Valley Accelerator Y Combinator

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On March 26, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Motieka & Audzevicius, working with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, had advised Lithuanian start-up Turing College on its relocation to the United States in order to participate in Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Benas Sidlauskas, Co-founder & CBDO at Turing College, to learn more about the matter.

CEEIHM: Could you please remind our readers about what Turing College is and what its goals are?

Benas: Turing College is an online data science school suitable for all levels of expertise, attacking a USD 7.7 billion market. To give some context, Last year, the EU faced a data skills gap corresponding to 769,000 unfilled positions.

Turing College is unique in 3 ways: (1) We co-create our curriculum with tech companies like NordVPN. Because of it, students are work-ready from day one. (2) Students study self-paced & assess each other’s work. This lets us maintain the same education quality with 70% less staff. (3) We provide learning performance data reports for (a) students to understand inefficiencies in learning and (b) companies to hire our students faster.

CEEIHM: Motieka & Audzevicius and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe advised your company on its relocation to the United States to participate in Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator. What made you decide to participate in that particular accelerator?

Benas: Because it is the best accelerator in the world, which led startups like Airbnb, Drobpbox, Instacart, Stripe, and others to conquer the market. It also has a network of 6,000 founders, whose total value of all companies combined is more than 300b dollars. So it’s like getting to Harvard, just for business owners.

CEEIHM: What’s next in line for your company, once the accelerator is over?

Benas: To prove that our product-market fit is right, place our students, and get international hiring partners.

CEEIHM: Moving to a different country must have been quite demanding. What were some of the challenges your company faced during the process and in what ways did the law firms help you overcome them?

Benas: It is. The biggest headache was to make everyone happy – our current investors and future ones. There were specific provisions, which are a norm in the US but are different from those in the EU.

CEEIHM: You mentioned in your previous interview that Motieka & Audzevicius has been with your company from the very beginning. However, what made you choose Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as your other legal counsel?

Benas: YCombinator has top leading law firms as their partners, which they offer us to choose from. Orrick looked like a firm that we could trust. Nevertheless, Motieka played a significant role in helping us too.

An earlier Deal 5 interview with Sidlauskas covering Turing College's EUR 1.2 Million Investment Round can be read here.

Originally reported by CEE In-House Matters.

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