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This Code of Conduct provides guidelines for all members of the Tech For Life Institute ecosystem, including companies and people. These guidelines address both the things we do and the things we don’t do — as good actors in the world and as productive members of our network.

Tech For Life Institute mentors, entrepreneurs, and companies must hold themselves to the highest standards as part of the Tech for Life Institute community. We recognize that each of us is an ambassador for Tech for Life Institute and for each other. Integrity in each of our companies is central to protecting our reputation for each other and for future companies. Those who do not abide by this Code of Conduct will be removed from the Tech for Life Institute community and will no longer have access to the associated benefits.

Members of the Tech For Life Institute ecosystem are expected to help each other whenever possible by quickly responding to requests (ideally within 2-4 business days), leveraging their unique skills and personal relationships to support other members, and by sharing opportunities (such as relevant RFPs and talent that they themselves cannot utilize) directly with other members.


The Tech For Life Institute Code of Conduct revolves around key principles:

1. We are helpful.
2. We act ethically, and with integrity.
3. We treat others with respect.
4. We create companies and technologies that do-no-harm, and are not evil.

We are helpful.

1. We help others whenever possible. We are all busy, but when the ask is sincere and realistic, we respond and help. We are respectful of each other’s time and are clear and focused in our requests.

2. We respond quickly to all in our Tech for Life Institute network. We make every attempt to prioritize and respond to requests from fellow Tech for Life Institute network members, ideally within 2-4 business days.

3. We are deliberate in creating a virtuous cycle. We proactively work to give back to the ecosystem by giving first to others in our community with no specific expectations of return.

4. We appreciate the help of others. No one goes it alone – startups are a team activity. We express our appreciation for the help of our customers, mentors, and others that makes our success possible.

5. We respect “no” as an answer. If another member says no to a request, we respect their decision.

6. We share talent and business opportunity. Whenever we have finalist candidates that we choose not to hire directly, we share them with others in the network. When we become aware of good business opportunities that we choose not to pursue directly, we share them with others in the network.

7. We are committed to building a safe, sustainable, long-lasting and prosperous global society through our business activities. We believe in solving environmental issues, such as climate change, to contribute to building a people- and planet-friendly future.

We act ethically, and with integrity.

8. We are honest and transparent. We operate with a high degree of corporate responsibility and ethics. If we say something either publicly or privately, then we believe that it is true. We do not intentionally omit important and relevant factual information in an effort to deceive others. We strive to be clear and transparent in our communications.

9. We protect sensitive information. When we are entrusted with sensitive, confidential, or personal information we use appropriate measures to secure it. We respect requests for privacy and confidentiality.

10. We communicate with our investors. We will send an update on our business at least every six months and be responsive to their inquiries.

11. If we fail, we fail gracefully. If we are leaving a startup or going out of business, we will notify our stakeholders as soon as possible. We will advise every one of our investors and provide the chance to discuss what went wrong in a live conversation. If we know the company is going to fail, we attempt to return as much capital and resources to investors and partners as possible.

12. We disclose conflicts of interest early. We err on the side of too much disclosure and transparency.

13. We encourage and respect independent, innovating thinking. 

14. We are responsible with controlled substances. If consuming alcohol at a Tech for Life event, we do so responsibly and in moderation. Alcohol is never provided to minors. We do not drive under the influence of any legal or illegal drug. We do not distribute, use, or operate under the influence of illegal drugs (defined by local or federal law) while participating or engaging in any Tech for Life Institute program or event.

15. We abide by all local and federal laws. We do not do business with bad actors. We honor international sanctions. We are careful to do business only with lawful parties.

16. We do not pay or accept bribes or kickbacks. We do not engage in any form of corruption. We act with integrity in our dealings with others and strictly prohibit corrupt activities.

We treat others with respect.

17. We commit to non-hostile, open, and inclusive workplaces. We intentionally create workplace environments where employees, partners, customers, and visitors feel accepted and free to express their opinions, concerns, and needs with an expectation that they will be heard and respected. We communicate professionally and appropriately at all times.

18. We don’t tolerate discrimination or harassment in any form. We will quickly terminate employees who do this, and train our employees to recognize and address bad behavior. We will ban or terminate relationships with mentors, investors, employees, contractors and others who discriminate against or harass others.

19. We are committed to diversity and inclusion. We are committed to building inclusive work environments that reflect and value the diversity of people and cultures found in the world, which we believe leads to better companies. 

20. We stand up for others, and are principled in our responses. We report violations and we appropriately intervene in situations when we witness violations of this Code.

21. We are reachable and responsive. We enable standard forms of communication so that anyone doing business with us can have a reasonable expectation of receiving a response in a timely fashion.

22. We participate in both offline and online forums with respect and courage. We don’t cause or participate in toxic online behavior of any kind. We participate in respectful discourse in all forums. We do not comment anonymously or with false identities.

23. We respect legal agreements. We follow the spirit and intent of our legal agreements.

24. We do right by our customers. We strive to deliver products that delight our customers and seek to exceed their expectations.

25. We do not attack others electronically, in any form. We don’t maliciously attack others using scripts, robots, or similar techniques.


26. We are not spammers. We do not send bulk unsolicited email nor do we scrape contact lists and abuse them. We don’t harass prospective customers or competitor customers.

27. We encourage professional development. As founders, we do everything we can to ensure the happiness and professional growth of our co-founders, and employees.

28. We avoid gossip and heresay. We don’t share disparaging comments and rumors about others. We are constructive in our feedback and always provide it directly to the individual or company to which it pertains.


29. We believe good companies and good business can, and must be, synonymous. We prioritize humans rights and the safety of the environment. We do not do business with parties that abuse the rights of others or the environment, on this planet or other worlds.


30. We ask our ecosystem to ensure fair pay for equal work. We are committed to ensuring everyone receives fair compensation. We appreciate the commitment our ecosystem of entrepreneurs, startups, and partners make to the success of our companies and agree to compensate them without regard to ability status, age, ancestry, civil union, class, color, ethnicity, familial status, gender, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, military service (current or past), national origin, pregnancy, race, religion (or lack thereof), sex, sexual orientation, or other status. As a member of the Tech for Life Institute network, we are committed to eliminating all forms of pay and employment inequality.

We create companies and technologies that do-no-harm, and are not evil.

The Tech for Life Institute Code of Conduct is a living document managed by our community. For suggested changes, please contact us.


If you have witnessed a violation of our Code of Conduct please report it here.