Co-Founders and Core Team Protections

Co-Founders and Core Team – Key Protections you need in Founding Your Startup Team and Company 

This is a presentation I gave as part of a panel on “Founder Agreements and Stock Vesting – Building a Team, Protecting yourself, Managing expectations”, on

February 3, 2015 for The Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET) in Waltham.

In recruiting co-founders to your venture, you do want to be careful. Joining with a co-founder is like going into a marriage. You could spend years and go through much of your money, and you need to both trust and respect your co-founder to share that with you. So, it’s best not to just jump in bed but rather get to know your co-founder for months before or perhaps prior work experience.

Even then you still want to protect yourself. Things change. For some, family becomes more important. For others they can’t continue to live on ramen. It’s critical to have both core team but also founder’s vesting – so that if someone leaves you can get all or most of their stock back.

There are other issues too to include in your Founders Agreement to protecting yourself and the company you are founding, that were discussed in my presentation. these issues include the following:

  • Relations with past employers and claims to IP
  • Transfer of IP to the new venture
  • Allocation of Equity among Founders
  • Issuance of Equity and form it takes
  • Vesting based on service / performance entity
  • Vesting Acceleration
  • Minority Rights
  • Non-competes, confidentiality


For presentation outline, see LINK:

Hopefully, my presentation on the subject of co-founders and core teams will be of benefit to founders, entrepreneurs wand would-be entrepreneurs for the small and early stage companies I represent


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