Rules of Engagement

StartupLab is a facilitator, connecting startups with established corporates. StartupLab will provide guidance to both startups and corporates to ensure a good and transparent process. We recommend that both the startups and the corporates discuss, understand and agree on the “Rules of Engagement” before they meet.

1. Corporates should not engage in a process with a startup if they have already decided to build a competing solution.

A best effort should be made to check with different departments and business units within the organisation to see if they are working on similar solutions.

2. Corporates considering making competing solutions should disclose this before having meetings with startups already in that market.

A best effort should be made to check with different departments and business units, and any initiatives should be informed about in written communication up front. Then it’s up to the startup whether to proceed and what to share.

3. Both parties should set and communicate expectations clearly

  • The first meeting should be a mutual introduction to see if there are business opportunities to explore further.
  • Any follow-up meetings should involve other decision makers within the corporation and be used to evaluate whether it is interesting to pursue a business relationship.
  • During the initial meetings, both parties should carefully consider the information they share. Any information shared in the meetings should be treated as confidential.
  • Startups should understand that timelines and processes in a corporation world can be different to that of a startup company.

4. If representatives from the corporate become aware of a conflict of interest, inform the startup in writing immediately.

In larger corporations, it is possible that there are departments working on similar solutions and that representatives are made aware of these initiatives. If made aware of a potential conflict of interest, it is important to communicate this to the startup immediately.

5. When entering into detailed discussions, sign a mutual NDA.

If the parties decide to have meetings that requires the sharing of confidential information or “the secret sauce”, the parties should sign a mutual NDA to protect their interests.

6. Refrain from soliciting

The parties should not do any recruitments initiatives towards personnel from the other party.

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