At Techstars, we believe that entrepreneurs create a better future. One of the ways we do this is by behaving well and helping each other, as companies and as people.
This Code of Conduct provides guidelines for all members of the Techstars Network, including companies and people. These guidelines address both the things we do and the things we don’t do—as good actors in the world and as productive members of our #GiveFirst network.
Techstars companies must hold themselves to the highest standards as part of the Techstars community. We recognize that each of us is an ambassador for Techstars and for each other. Integrity in each of our companies is central to protecting our reputation for each other and for future companies. As part of the Techstars global community, we realize that we are living in public and need to act appropriately at all times. Therefore, those who do not abide by this Code of Conduct will be removed from the Techstars community and will no longer have access to the associated benefits.
Members of the Techstars Network are expected to help each other whenever possible by quickly responding to requests (ideally within two business days), leveraging their unique skills and personal relationships to support other members, and by sharing opportunities (such as relevant RFPs and talent that they themselves cannot utilize) directly with other members.
The Techstars Code of Conduct revolves around three key principles:
1. We give first.
2. We act with integrity.
3. We treat others with respect.
We give first.
1. We help others whenever possible. We are all busy, but when the ask is sincere and realistic, we respond and help. We are respectful of each other’s time and are clear and focused in our requests.
2. We respond quickly in-network. We make every attempt to prioritize and respond to requests from fellow Techstars network members, ideally within two business days.
3. We deliberately create a virtuous cycle. We proactively work to give back to the ecosystem by giving first to others in our community with no specific expectations of return.
4. We appreciate the help of others. No one goes it alone – startups are a team activity. We express our appreciation for the help of our customers, mentors, and others that makes our success possible.
5. We respect “no” as an answer. If another member says no to a request, we respect their decision.
6. We share talent and business opportunity. Whenever we have finalist candidates that we choose not to hire directly, we share them with others in the network. When we become aware of good business opportunities that we choose not to pursue directly, we share them with others in the network.
We act with integrity.
7. We are honest and transparent. If we say something either publicly or privately, then we believe that it is true. We do not intentionally omit important and relevant factual information in an effort to deceive others. We strive to be clear and transparent in our communications.
8. We protect sensitive information. When we are entrusted with sensitive, confidential, or personal information we use appropriate measures to secure it. We respect requests for privacy and confidentiality.
9. We communicate with our investors. We will send an update on our business at least every six months and be responsive to their inquiries.
10. If we fail, we fail well. If we are going out of business, we will notify our customers and make their data available to them for at least 60 days. We will advise every one of our investors and provide the chance to discuss what went wrong in a live conversation. If we know the company is going to fail, we attempt to return as much capital to investors as possible.
11. We disclose known conflicts of interest early. We err on the side of too much disclosure.
12. We do not steal assets or content. We encourage and respect independent, innovating thinking. We do not plagiarize content from anyone.
13. We are responsible with controlled substances. If consuming alcohol, we do so responsibly and in moderation. Alcohol is never provided to minors. We do not drive under the influence of any legal or illegal drug. We do not distribute, use, or operate under the influence of illegal drugs (defined by local or federal law) while participating or engaging in any Techstars program or event.
14. We abide by all local and federal laws. We do not do business with bad actors. We honor international sanctions. We are careful to do business only with lawful parties.
15. We do not pay or accept bribes or kickbacks. We do not engage in any form of corruption. We act with integrity in our dealings with others and strictly prohibit corrupt activities.
We treat others with respect.
16. We commit to non-hostile, open, and welcoming workplaces. We intentionally create workplace environments where employees, partners, customers, and visitors feel accepted and free to express their opinions, concerns, and needs with an expectation that they will be heard and respected. We communicate professionally and appropriately at all times.
17. We don’t tolerate illegal discrimination or harassment in any form. We will quickly fire employees who do this, and train our employees to recognize and address bad behavior. We will ban or fire mentors, investors, employees, contractors and others who discriminate against or harass others.
18. We are committed to diversity and inclusion. We are committed to building inclusive work environments that reflect and value the diversity of people and cultures found in the world, which we believe leads to better companies. To ensure that our commitment to diversity and inclusion are tangible, we adopt the Kapor Capital Founders’ Commitments, a set of four actions known as “G.I.V.E.” (Goals, Invest, Volunteer and Educate).
19. We stand up for others. We report violations and we appropriately intervene in situations when we witness violations of this Code.
20. We are reachable and responsive. We enable standard forms of communication so that anyone doing business with us can have a reasonable expectation of receiving a response in a timely fashion.
21. We participate in both offline and online forums with respect. We don’t cause or participate in flame wars online. We participate in respectful discourse in all forums. We do not comment anonymously or with false identities.
22. We respect our legal agreements. We follow the spirit and intent of our legal agreements.
23. We keep our promises. If we commit to do something, we do our best to do it. If we can’t keep our promises for some reason, then we strive to make it right in any way possible.
24. We do right by our customers. We strive to deliver products that delight our customers and seek to exceed their expectations.
25. We do not attack others electronically. We don’t maliciously attack others using scripts, robots, or similar techniques.
26. We are not spammers. We do not send bulk unsolicited email nor do we scrape contact lists and abuse them. We don’t harass prospective customers who have clearly said no to us and opted out of communications.
27. We work for the benefit of our companies. We always work for the benefit of our company, not for our own personal benefit.
28. We encourage professional development. As founders, we do everything we can to ensure the happiness and professional growth of our employees.
29. We avoid gossip. We don’t share disparaging comments and rumors about others. We are constructive in our feedback and always provide it directly to the individual or company to which it pertains.
30. We ensure fair pay for equal work. We are committed to ensuring everyone receives fair compensation (to include all forms of equity and benefits). We appreciate the commitment our employees make to the success of our companies and agree to compensate them without regard to ability status, age, ancestry, civil union, class, color, ethnicity, familial status, gender, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, military service (current or past), national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or other status. As a member of the Techstars network, we are committed to eliminating all forms of pay inequality.
The Techstars Code of Conduct is a living document managed by our community. For suggested changes, please contact us.
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