The MBET Experience

The University of Waterloo – Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Program

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September 12th, 2006 · No Comments

Yesterday we had Eric Schneider from Miller Thompson in to go over our MBET class non-dislcosure agreement. He handed out a form, and asked everyone to sign it before we got started. Someone asked if we could read it first, and he said, “Well, alright, go ahead”.

I need to learn that there are tricks and lessons everywhere in this program. You think that it’ll just be a standard NDA agreement. However, in the 3rd paragraph, they added this line:

The undersigned hereby assigns, transfers and conveys unto CBET all rights, title and interest in and to any inventions that may be developed by the undersigned.

Hmm… you want me to sign everything over to CBET? Something seems fishy here! Turns out this document was a fake one, given to us to teach us to READ things before we sign them. Just ask the city councillors in Waterloo who signed the RIM Park financing deal about this one.

Anyway, the idea is that we all sign an agreement to allow us to freely discuss our ideas with our classmates, without the fear of them telling them to other people, or stealing them for themselves. Sounds simple enough, but we managed to complicate the agreement (when we got the real one) and a few people pushed for a couple changes. Anyway, I’m sure it’ll go sorted out.

Both times we’ve had lawyers in to speak to the class, a lot of people seem to have gotten scared and worried about protecting their ideas. Maybe I am far to open, but to me, an idea itself is worthless (and I am quoting someone far smarter than me). It’s execution that counts. Anyway, it seems the lawyers just get everyone worried. I’m sure it’s good advice, and I probably should be a little more careful about who I talk to about my own ideas, but I still think you need to discuss your ideas with a lot of other people to get thoughts and feedback – you never know who will give you good advice or a great connection!

One thing I am going to have to be very careful of is not discussing anyone’s ideas here on the blog. Someone remind me to edit before I post.

On another note, class started yesterday. Strategy was great. We also had our first accounting class this morning. I think Accounting is our heavy course this term – lots of reading. However, I learned a lot about balance sheets, and I’m sure I’ll be reading financial statements differently after this term!

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