Can an organisation submit a team?
Yes! An organisation can submit an R9 Accelerator team or enable their staff to join a team.
If you’re considering this contact us and we can talk you through what you should consider when forming a corporate team.
I’m interested, what should I do now?
Check out all the information on this website then get in touch with us now – we’d love to hear from you. The sooner we start to get to know you, the sooner we can support you to get involved.
Firstly, we encourage you to register for and come to the R9 Rev Up 18-20 November 2016. This is your chance to hear about the opportunities and meet innovative key players from the public and private sectors – as well as have a whole lot of fun.
Once you have an idea of who you’d like to team up with for the accelerator and what opportunity you want to pursue, go ahead and apply. Deadline is 2 December 2016.
Then it’s team selection time. The selection panel may want to have a chat to get to know you better – after all, they’ll be investing in you for the next 3 months and the accelerator is an intense process. They’ll want to know you’re 100% committed and able to get the most from the accelerator. Successful teams will be notified by 16 December.
If offered a place on the programme, there will be some paper work to take care of then it’ll be straight into Bootcamp on 24 January 2017.
How will I protect my ideas?
Team applications are confidential to the R9 Accelerator project team and Selection Panel and and will not be shown to anyone else.
If you’ve applied as an individual your profile might be made available to teams so they can decide whether to invite you to be part of their team. This will be restricted to basic information about you and the skills and experience you offer.
Who will own the IP?
R9 Accelerator is taking a principles based approach to Intellectual Property.
Intellectual Property Principles
- Government doesn’t have any interest in owning IP. Government sponsors are interested in getting their problems fixed. The government’s key driver is to ensure that an entity can take great ideas and opportunities forward to a successful solution. During the accelerator, the IP that is created by government workers (aka intrapreneurs) on the team is owned by the Crown and the Crown is gifting this to the entrepreneur(s) (aka private sector individual(s)). There is no automatic government ownership – that would be contrary to programme principles and the State Services Commission’s Guidelines for Treatment of Intellectual Property Rights in ICT Contracts.
- Entrepreneur’s ownership of IP compensates them for their work in the Accelerator. Any pre-existing IP owned by any party and brought into the R9 Accelerator will continue to be owned by that party. Any IP developed during the Accelerator will belong to the entrepreneur(s). IP is valued by entrepreneurs and forms part of the compensation for their involvement in the Accelerator. To use IP requires approval of all owners, therefore the more owners of IP you have, the more difficult it may be to take action to use it. Therefore, we suggest that splitting IP ownership is to be avoided. Where multiple entrepreneurs form a team the IP will be split evenly between them. They may then choose to form a business entity to own the IP, of which they would each own a share of the equity.
- Government employees (intrapreneurs) working as team members do not own any of the IP. IP developed by intrapreneurs belongs to the Crown, who will gift it to the relevant entrepreneur(s) (refer point one). Any IP that is generated by intrapreneurs who are working in the accelerator programme is not owned by that individual personally and cannot be owned by them while they are funded by the Crown to work on the programme as an intrapreneur or contractor.
- Intrapreneur team members can negotiate with the Entrepreneur(s) after Demo Day. Intrapreneurs working in the accelerator do not own any of the IP their team creates. If at the end of the Accelerator a team does end up with a viable product or solution, intrapreneurs may want to negotiate with the entrepreneur(s) in their team around how to be involved in further development of a solution and any entity established to exploit that IP.
- Government needs to be able to use the IP, if the Entrepreneur doesn’t. To cater for situations where the Entrepreneur does not make use of the IP after the Accelerator, for example they’re unable to continue developing a commercially viable solution, the government reserves the option to take a perpetual, exclusive, sub-licensable, royalty free, worldwide license to use, modify and distribute the IP for any purpose whatsoever if the entrepreneur does not use it within 1 year of Demo Day. If the entrepreneur indicates that they have no interest in using the IP, then the government may negotiate to transfer the IP to the Crown or to gain a license to the IP earlier on the same terms as above.
- An escalation path to an independent IP decision maker. In the event of any disputes in respect of IP, either between the Crown and entrepreneurs or between members of Accelerator teams, the parties will defer to the opinion of an independent IP expert adjudicator. In the event that an entrepreneur chooses not to develop the IP, an independent Crown appointed adjudicator will determine if the government can claim a royalty free license to use the IP. They can also assess the value of the IP if the government disagrees with the price at which the entrepreneur wishes to sell or license the IP. They can also adjudicate where there are grievances between parties. Advice and support from independent experts will be made available to support these discussions and to advise on the entities and contractual arrangements needed to encourage the development of successful solutions.
- Agreement to act in good faith to recognise the contribution parties have made. The gifting of IP by the Crown to entrepreneurs is done so in good faith to enable and encourage growth and prosperity for the NZ economy. It is given with an expectation that the entrepreneur will act in good faith when dealing with the government in their negotiations over the solutions that this IP may enable and that they will fairly price their products and services to reflect the investment and support the government have provided to them during the development process.
- IP principles are in contractual agreements. These IP principles will be incorporated into the contracts signed by team members to participate in Accelerator 3+.
If I’m an employee, what should I tell my manager?
Supporting a staff member to be part of R9 Accelerator is a big decision. Managers have to agree to continue supporting you financially during the accelerator, they may need to backfill your role or find workarounds, and there is a risk that you’ll find a new passion and not want to come back.
It’s a big ask, but there are also big gains from being involved through you in R9 Accelerator.
You not only learn and develop personally, but you become a conduit for learning and development for your organisation. It’s important to find ways to encourage this flow – while also ensuring that you can focus on your team.
If you’re interested in being involved talk to your manager well in advance of the application deadline. We recommend that you create a development plan which looks at both what you want to get out of the accelerator and how you can make opportunities to share your new knowledge within your organisation.
If you need help navigating these conversations contact us.
If I’m an employee, what happens to me post Demo Day?
If your team has launched itself as a business and you’ve decided to resign and join them full-time, awesome! You should be mindful going into this that startups do not offer the same security or financial rewards as you have in a salaried position, but the challenge and fun can be unmatched. If you are taking this step, recognise the opportunity that your manager has given you and look for opportunities to share your knowledge with your organisation.
If you’re not quite ready to leave your organisation, but want to continue with your team, talk to your manager about possibilities. One option might be to take leave without pay for a period while you determine if the business is viable. Another option might be to see if your manager will allow you to remain involved.
If you are transitioning back to your organisation, be mindful that you might experience a post-accelerator slump and plan for it accordingly. Look for opportunities to share your knowledge. Put your hand up for other opportunities that utilise your skills. Become a lean methodology champion.
I can't do full-time, how else can I get involved?
R9 Accelerator team members must be full-time and based in Wellington. If this isn’t possible for you, there are other ways you could be involved.
For instance, if you have specialist knowledge of the opportunity area you could offer some of your time to the team as a domain expert. Or, if you bring a specialist skill, such as you’re a developer, you could talk to the team about getting involved at the point that they’re building prototypes.
At any rate, still come along to R9 Rev Up and find out what R9 Accelerator is like, what the opportunities are and who is applying for teams. If nothing else you’ll have a great weekend.
Is the $20K stipend in exchange for equity?
No. The stipend is not in exchange for equity and no equity is taken during the R9 Accelerator. The stipend is to contribute to the costs of non-government workers during the R9 Accelerator.
Can I get started already?
Sure. We recommend that people don’t get too locked into solutions prior to R9 Accelerator, as part of the process is validating what customers want before you start building. However, if you want to start researching and exploring, go for it.
We’ll be posting more information, such as helpful resources, on each of the opportunity pages as we collect it from the government sponsors. Check back regularly or Contact us and let us know that there is an opportunity (or opportunities) that you’d like notifications about any updates.
Can I apply if I am based outside of Wellington?
Yes, but you have to be located in Wellington for the duration of the Accelerator – as an accelerator team member, you’ll need to be breathing the same air as your team for the whole 3 months.
Can I apply on my own?
Yes. Bear in mind that our preference is for pre-formed teams, so we encourage you to attend R9 Rev Up and start making those contacts. However, if you have the right skills and attitude, then we may be able to find you a team during the selection process. In your application, be sure to emphasise how you work best and the skills you bring to a team.
I work for government, can I apply?
Definitely! We are really keen to see teams that are a mix of public and private sector people.
Talk to your manager about whether they would be willing to assign you to R9 Accelerator. This would mean you continue getting your current salary.
If your manager can’t sponsor you, they might consider allowing you to apply for leave without pay. Teams receive a small stipend [$20K] that they can use to cover their costs during an accelerator. Talk to your team mates about how you will distribute this.
Obviously this wouldn’t be the same as getting your full salary, so getting support is the best option.
If you need help navigating these conversations contact us.