Kevin Vela


Kevin Vela is a founding partner at Vela | Wood P.C. He focuses his practice in the areas of startups, corporate law, capital raises, investment funds, and real estate investment activities. Kevin serves as general counsel for a number of small and mid-sized businesses, providing representation for business transactions, as well as day-to-day guidance on legal and operational issues. Kevin regularly advises on corporate governance matters, private fund formations and M&A activities. In recent years, he has represented both startups and investors in over $100M in seed, angel and venture rounds. Kevin speaks, reads and writes fluent Spanish, and is able to provide bilingual representation on request. He is active in the legal and business community, and regularly writes about startup and small business issues in the VW blog. Kevin was named a 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Super Lawyers Rising Star, was honored by D Magazine as a Best Lawyer in Dallas, and is a Texas Bar Foundation Fellow, an honor granted to 1/3 of 1% of Texas attorneys.

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The mode by which the inevitable comes to pass is effort.

– Justice Holmes

Fun Facts about Kevin Vela

  • If you need a favor from Kevin, ask him on a day when one of his favorite teams, the Detroit Tigers, Mavericks or Cowboys, win.
  • Can name every World Series Winner since 1970.
  • Kevin’s entrepreneurial spirit began early on when he owned a beer vending machine after college.
  • Has been named “best cooker in the world” by Ariana Vela, age 5.
  • Kevin and his former law partner, Ray, broadcast the football games for their alma mater, Nolan Catholic High School. Tune in during half-time to hear Kevin’s soon to be award winning segments “Kevin’s High School Diary” and “Concession Stand Critiques.”
Kevin is a graduate of the University of Texas, where he earned his bachelor degree in business administration and juris doctorate degree with honors. He was admitted to the Texas Bar in 2008. Prior to law school, Kevin spent seven years in Dallas, working in finance and marketing. Although he began his career working for Fortune 500 companies, an entrepreneurial spirit led Kevin to pursue roles in several startup companies. Later, he started his own business, a test preparation company. Having scored in the top five percent on the GMAT, LSAT, and GRE, Kevin used his test taking expertise to help hundreds of students increase their scores and gain admission to graduate school. With personal experience as a startup founder, Kevin has unique insights into the legal challenges facing new businesses. Today, he enjoys representing startup companies across the world.

Kevin is active in the business and startup communities. He is the Chair of the Texas State Bar Committee for Law Focused Education. He is also a board member of CFxAustin and the Texas Wranglers Alumni Association, and is the chair of the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association (which puts on the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dallas). He is a mentor for both RevTech, a leading venture accelerator and seed fund, and the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, which provides support and education to entrepreneurs and early-stage startups. Kevin is a founding member of The Dallas Angel Network (the “DAN”), a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting entrepreneurs with angel investors in Dallas. Further, Kevin co-manages a Dallas based venture capital fund, Blossom Street Ventures, which is currently on its third fund. An accomplished and experienced speaker, Kevin has addressed large audiences on topics covering Startups, Venture Financing, Crowdfunding, and Fund Formation. Kevin is regularly published and quoted in local media outlets on these topics. Raised in Arlington, Kevin is an avid Dallas sports fan. Although he used to enjoy spending time at the local sporting arenas around town with his wife, Layla, they now spend most of their time pandering to their two children, Ariana and Arman.


Some of Kevin’s recent representations include:

  • Represented a Dallas-based media company in a $15M acquisition.
  • General Counsel for a a Dallas-based $5.5M venture fund.
  • General Counsel for a Dallas-based $30M venture fund.
  • General Counsel for RevTech, a Dallas-based accelerator.
  • Represented a Dallas-based on-demand technology company in a $1.2M seed round.
  • Represented a Dallas-based SaaS company in over $6M in venture financing.
  • Represented an Australia-based public company in a $1.8M private investment.
  • Represented an Ann Arbor based e-commerce platform in a $350k seed round investment by a publicly traded company.
  • Represented a Nashville based consumer products company in a $3M exit to a publicly traded company.
  • Represented a Dallas based software startup in a $1.25M Series A round.
  • Represented a Dallas based SaaS startup in a $1.1M Series A round.
  • Represented an Austin-based social media startup in a $1M exit.
  • Represented an investment group in a $650k print & advertising debt deal for a major motion picture.
  • Represented the seller in an $880k Austin bar/restaurant sale.
  • Represented a Dallas-based construction company in an asset divestiture and $2M subsidiary sale.
  • Represented a Dubai based development company in $8M in real estate acquisitions.
  • Represented a Fort Worth based real estate company in a condo reclassification and $2.2M re-financing.
  • Represented a Kansas City entity in a $2.5M Private Equity investment deal.

Spanish Representations

The following recent transactions were conducted primarily or entirely in Spanish:

  • Represented the buyer in the purchase of a loan company based in South Texas.
  • Counseled a Dallas based Mexican restaurant in a member interest sale and corporate restructuring.


Kevin Vela's Recent Posts

Getting to “No.”

January 30, 2017  |  By Kevin Vela

One of the biggest frustrations we hear from our clients about the capital raise process is that VCs are non-responsive or unwilling to make a firm investment decision. To help with this, I reached out to several VCs whom we see on a regular basis to ask for their input. Read More

Posted in Funding & Capital Raising, Startups

Do I really owe Delaware $75,000??? Explaining Delaware Franchise Tax Calculations.

January 20, 2017  |  By Kevin Vela

Every year around January or February we receive frantic calls and emails from a handful of clients who are utterly shocked by the franchise bill they just received from Delaware. “How can I owe $75,075 in franchise taxes??? We don’t have that kind of cash; do I have to raise more money just to pay this bill? Does this happen every year??”
Read More

Posted in Franchise Taxes

Which insurance does my startup need?

January 18, 2017  |  By Kevin Vela

At some point in time, the topic of insurance will come up. Every startup and small business will need insurance, and for a mature business, an insurance guy is one of the four pillars of your business. We’re by no … Read More

Posted in General Business, Startups