Guidelines for Founders and/or Equity Owners Requesting Personal Consulting Agreements with Start-up Companies

Purpose:

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (“Mount Sinai”) supports successful academia-industry collaborations and encourages innovation. Mount Sinai has adopted policies and guidelines to support entrepreneurship and manage potential conflicts of interest and/or conflicts of commitment. Faculty requests for a personal consulting agreement with an early start-up company in which they have a personal financial interest (e.g. - licensed intellectual property, founder/co-founder, or equity ownership greater than de minimus) require a greater level of scrutiny. Proposed agreements must be submitted to the Office of Industry Engagements and Conflict of Interest (“COI Office”). These consulting agreements must be reviewed and approved by the medical school’s Business Conflicts of Interest Work Group (BCOIWG) prior to faculty members engaging in such activities.

Criteria for Requests:

  • The request must include a defined scope of services that is clear and distinct from the faculty member’s role/responsibility at Mount
  • The services with the company cannot include research activities. Any research with the company must be conducted under a separate co-development agreement negotiated through
  • The services with the company cannot include marketing activities on behalf of the company. Any exceptions must be clearly defined and explicitly approved by the
  • The payment for services must be fair market value and structured on an hourly
  • The agreement should be limited to one year and will be reviewed annually by the

Given the need to effectively manage potential conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment related to the transformation of an early stage start-up into a commercially viable entity, it is strongly recommended that consulting agreement between the faculty member and the company utilize the template in Appendix A. All personal consulting agreements must also include the medical school’s Uniform Provisions for Consulting Addendum (Appendix B) signed by the company.

For faculty members requesting to serve on the Board of Directors or hold an executive leadership (C-suite) position for an outside entity, please refer to the related guidelines here.

Appendix A: Consulting Agreement Template

Appendix B: Uniform Provisions for Consulting (Addendum)