“We won’t fund a company where the founders don’t have vesting equity” Sam Altman, Y-Combinator
Essentially having vesting equity is pre-negotiating what happens if one of you leave!!! you need to do this… you need to do this, I’ve said it twice!!!
I’ve been running coworking spaces for 6 years, I’ve since best friends fall out, running / starting a company is one of the most stressful scenarios you’ll ever experience.
To back this up I was listening to the Ycombinator podcast (here is a link to it on Spotify) on a flight back from our soon-to-be co-living work space in Tenerife. The whole series is probably well worth listening to… I’m currently up to number 7… its not waffle, great advice, and even at 1.5x speed easy to listen to. However, if you’re short on time like me then in terms of vesting / co founder split the bit you need is here click this link and skip to 24:33 & 26:18 (or -21:44 depending on whether you’re on a phone or in the web browser, spotify seems to pick whether you want to know how far in, or how long is left).
This made me then question whether we should put some useful templates on the Ministry website, as a template UK company setup mem & arts with vesting schedules (shareholder agreements) is probably useful to more than just me. Has anyone got any template documents they wouldn’t mind me sharing on here… or just links to other pages on the web where they are posted?
I’ve seen the ones on the BVCA website and I’m guessing there are some on Seedlegals, anywhere else that are freely available?
As a solo founder who bootstrapped Ministry from scratch I’d not previously needed to register with vesting shares, however as mentioned earlier in my time running coworking spaces in London I have seen many founders of other companies fall out. As starting a company can be one of the most extremely stressful things you can do during your time on this planet… you might have been best friends growing up but there is nothing like the pressured environment of a startup company to put strain on that relationship.