When institutions and entrepreneurs come together, such as in technology licensing or research faculty forming a startup, there are always conflicts of interest. If not, it’s a sign that everything, including the value of the venture has been watered down to pointlessness. Excessive policies and conditions are ultimately a way of saying “no” without having to own it.
Risk can never be eliminated. Only identified and managed. And sooner or later, somebody will complain.
Transparency and honesty go a long way so identify the potential conflicts and work it out. THEN let the attorneys write it up.
Each case is different so be flexible. No one set of rules can apply to every opportunity.
Ted McAleer served as a panelist at the 2013 SSTI Conference