Start-up Garage Participants learn how to employ human resources in an early stage company

Start-up Garage participants learn the basics of employment law

A successful business relies on the dedication and hard work of the team behind it. Developing the team, and keeping it engaged, while protecting the results of the team is essential. In our fifth Start-up Garage learning session, students vying for one of eight positions in the 2012 Start-up Garage received valuable advice from Melanie Polowin, a partner at Gowlings, one of Canada’s top law firms.

Melanie has plenty of experience advising Start-up Companies and the investors that fund them. She led our student entrepreneurs directly to the two most important employment issues facing their ventures:

  1. Protecting Intellectual property by making sure the company owns it.
  2. Protecting scarce resources by ensuring a start up can make changes to the team when required to keep the venture growing through challenging times.

 This means having appropriate agreements, and following proper process in getting those agreements signed with everyone that touches the business, including founders, unpaid workers and volunteers, independent contractors, and  employees. Agreements that are drafted, and signed in a manner that is consistent with the laws where the company and its employees work are essential. These are normally not agreements downloaded from the internet.

If all this sounds like too much expense, and too much trouble for your small start-up, then Melanie provided practical advice for our entrepreneurs. This included finding a firm that deals with Start-up companies in your region that may provide you with templates, and instructions on how to use them for a nominal cost. Start-up Garage offers an environment for companies with similar needs to pool resources for a variety of products and services to help the ventures grow.   

Student entrepreneurs get advice from industry experts at Start-up Garage

The participants of last night’s event now have the opportunity to take this new insight into their Start-up Garage applications and demonstrate to our review panel that they have thought about their team, and how they will engage it in their businesses through the summer of 2012. Applications are due February 22, 2012, and results will be available in March.

About Ottawa Technology Transfer Network
The Ottawa Technology Transfer Network (OTTN) is a collaboration among academic research institutions affiliated with the University of Ottawa and who's goal is to enhance the economic impact of research commercialization through the sharing of best practices, enhanced market knowledge, student engagement and proactive industrial interation. OTTN members include the University of Ottawa, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institutie (OHRI), the Childrens' Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Unviversity of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI)

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