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Guidelines for Mentors in Duke University's Entrepreneurship Programs

Best effort:

·      Mentors will make their best effort to provide good and timely advice to student project teams.

Confidentiality:

·   Mentors will maintain the confidentiality of any proprietary information of the student teams. They will act as though they are bound by a standard non-disclosure agreement.

Financial interest:

·      Mentors are volunteers. Mentors are not in an employment or similar relationship with Duke or with the student teams and shall receive no financial compensation for their work with student teams that they are advising. Mentors are not covered by Duke University insurance for claims arising out of volunteer mentor advice given to students.

·      Mentors shall have no financial interest in a mentored student project while they are serving as mentors under a Duke sponsored program. Mentors may transition from mentor status to a different status with a financial interest (such as advisor or board member with equity), but this should be an explicit transition with full information disclosed in advance of the transition to the relevant Duke personnel.

·      Mentors should not solicit for any services or products (that is, not sell any products or services to the mentees) while acting in an advisory capacity.

·      If the relationship between a student team and mentor transitions to one in which the mentor will make an investment or otherwise have a financial interest, the mentor will ensure that there is a written contract in place, the terms of said contract having been determined and agreed to by all student team members, said financial interest and the terms thereof have been communicated in advance to the relevant Duke personnel and that the students have sought and received disinterested competent advice before entering into the contract all as evidenced by the completion of an intent to invest disclosure form.

Conflict of interest:

·   Mentors should disclose to the relevant Duke program officials any possible or potential conflicts in any mentoring relationship. Mentors  will not engage in any relationships where their interests may conflict with the interests of a mentee team (including but not limited to the items listed under “Financial interest” above).

Transparency:

·      Mentors shall make best effort to keep the relevant Duke program coordinator informed of the status of their mentoring relationship and any changes in that relationship.

Liability:

·   Students use or do not use mentor advice in their sole discretion and as such neither mentors nor Duke University have any liability whatsoever for students’ ultimate business decisions.

Professional Relationship:

  • A professional relationship between mentors and students should be maintained at all times and proper business etiquette shall be practiced.




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