Rules of Engagement

These rules are based on Startuplabs Rules of Engagement. Startuplab is Norway's leading launchpad for tech startups, and a good friend of ACCEL. Check out for more info.


ACCEL is built on the belief that everyone is equal, and that integrity and sharing is important to secure well functioning eco-system. We connect startups with mentors, investors, partners, established corporates and other startups. All participants, mentors, partners and investors have to read the Berlin Code of Conduct at the very start of each program or events we host.

Corporates should not engage in a process with a startup if they have already decided to build a competing solution. A best effort should be made to check with different departments and business units within the organisation to see if they are working on similar solutions.

Corporates considering making competing solutions should disclose this before having meetings with startups already in that market. A best effort should be made to check with different departments and business units, and any initiatives should be informed about in written communication up front. Then it’s up to the startup whether to proceed and what to share.

Both parties should set and communicate expectations clearly

  • The first meeting should be a mutual introduction to see if there are business opportunities to explore further.

  • During the initial meetings, both parties should carefully consider the information they share. Any information shared in the meetings should be treated as confidential.

  • Startups should understand that timelines and processes in a corporation world can be different to that of a startup company.

  • Startups should know that if they target core business of corporates there are a probability that the corporate have ideas or plans that may be in conflict.

If representatives from the corporate become aware of a conflict of interest, inform the startup in writing immediately. In larger corporations, it is possible that there are departments working on similar solutions and that representatives are made aware of these initiatives. If made aware of a potential conflict of interest, it is important to communicate this to the startup immediately.

When entering into detailed discussions, sign a mutual NDA. If the parties decide to have meetings that requires the sharing of confidential information or “the secret sauce”, the parties should sign a mutual NDA to protect their interests.

Refrain from soliciting. The parties should not do any recruitments initiatives towards personnel from the other party.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the Rules of Engagement.

Caspar M Lund | ACCEL Norge AS
+ 47 97 16 90 95 |