Working models between the student founders and faculty membersThe faculty members have already created intellectual property that is the basis of the project ideas proposed here. This contribution has to be recognized and valued in any relationship between the student founders and the faculty members.
The most important issue in any partnership is that the parties should all agree to work with each other. As creating and running a company is a long journey, it is important that the student founder and the faculty member ‘enjoy’ working with each other. Therefore, we suggest that as a first step, the student founder and the faculty member discuss their goals, expectations, commitments and understandings in details, to make sure their vision is aligned with each other. If the two sides see that the partnership is possible, we propose the following two working models. However, if, for any reason, one or both parties are not positive about this engagement, it is wise not to pursue it further.
- Licensing Agreement
The faculty member doesn’t intend to engage in the start-up creation with the student. Student will own the company he or she creates, subject to any existing prior agreement. Student’s company will be provided with the Option to License agreement with certain set times milestones, upon achieving which Option to License will be converted into Full License. The license agreement will bear royalties and certain performance milestones.
- Faculty Member Involvement
The faculty member plans to help the company more actively. In this case, the faculty member receives share in the newly created company, depending on the level of involvement outlined in the co-founders’ agreement.