Michael Hagele, High-Tech Attorney and Venture Capitalist

Most people tend to view the law as a professional steeped in tradition. However, Michael Hagele has combined his passion for the law with a love of technology. The Silicon Valley attorney and venture capitalist sat down with IdeaMensch to discuss his unique business model. Hagele, who has served as general counsel for several high-technology companies, set out to prove that a small firm could provide general counsel services of the same caliber as established firms.

After earning his undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa, Hagele went on to the UC Berkeley for law school, getting his start at Fenwick & West LLP in the Licensing and Online Commerce division. It was this experience that inspired him to bring the high-level of representation offered by major firms to a small-firm environment. He attributes his success to his belief in putting the customer first, which he argues is the single most important habit an entrepreneur can develop.

Starting a law firm is no small feat, especially when launching a new concept as Hagele did. According to the distinguished attorney, one of the best ways of dealing with the stress and meeting the challenge is engaging in regular physical activity and staying healthy. In addition, Mr. Hagele cites social media as the main way he acquires new business.

Besides providing general counsel services for aerospace, high-tech, and biotechnology companies, Michael Hagele is also an active venture capitalist. The trend that most excites him right now is Artificial Intelligence, especially the prospect of genetic programming. Although Hagele is enjoys being at the helm of an innovative law firm and working with cutting-edge technologies, he recognizes that it is only possible because of his tenacity. During the interview, he talked about his job washing cars during the winter in Chicago, which taught him the value of hard work and perseverance.