Startup Haven Code of Conduct

All members and sponsors are expected conduct themselves in accordance with these core Startup Haven principles.

  • Honesty and Integrity, always to the highest standards and without compromise.
  • Dignity and Respect, regardless of race, gender, religion, place of origin, citizenship, sexual orientation, age or disability.
  • Privacy and Confidentiality, with everything that happens on, Founder to Founder Forum and at all Startup Haven events.
  • Helpfulness and Responsiveness, remembering that the reason you are a Startup Haven member is give and get support withing the entrepreneur community.

Founders Dinner and Poker 2.0 Event Code of Conduct

Despite being a poker game, playing poker is not the primary purpose of Startup Poker 2.0 events — i.e., the reason to attend and play is not to play serious poker or to win money. You’re there to support other entrepreneurs and to build relationships.

As such, Startup Poker 2.0 is not intended for professional or serious amateur players to beat up on lesser players. If you’re one of them, remember that you’re just there to hang out with the rest of us donkeys and have fun.  More experienced players are expected to help new and less-experienced players figure out the rules, strategy and etiquette – impatience, criticism, disgust and otherwise unsavory treatment of unskilled players is cause for termination from the invite list. That said, good natured trash talking is welcomed and encouraged. It’s a fine line. Find it.

Startup Haven events are made possible by the generosity of sponsors who will also sometimes attend events with the rest of us.  However, Startup Haven is committed to limiting the number non-essential sponsors who attend. So if you see one at an event, that means they are essential and so please say thanks and make an effort to understand what they do.

Entrepreneurs should expect to meet investors… not pitch them.  As Mark Suster says, “investors invest in lines, not dots.”  Startup Haven events are an opportunity to begin (or continue) drawing lines with investors.  So don’t be “that guy” who’s constantly trying demo his product and pressing hard for a coffee meeting with investors.   Not only does it not work… you become “that guy”.

Startup Poker 2.0 players who whine about bad beats, act out negatively when they loose or are in general too serious or aggressive about their poker may not be invited back.  Players who are generally rude, anti-social or just can’t seem to figure out how to have a good time also may not be invited back.

While Poker 2.0 is a fun, casual, low stakes game, all players are expected to follow the house rules and seek to peaceably resolve disagreement.

Sponsors Code of Conduct 

In addition to conforming to all of the codes of conduct above, sponsors are also expected to follow these additional codes.

Non-profit organizations that support startups are always welcome at our events, whether or not they are financial supporters of Startup Haven.  Non-profit organizations are encouraged to engage attendees in any professional manner that helps sustain their mission to support startups.

It takes a village to raise a startup and service providers (e.g., lawyers, bankers, real estate professionals, accountants, etc.) are an essential part of the village and they contribute substantially to the success of startups.  As a supporter of Startup Haven and, by extension, the startup community, for-profit sponsors are also welcome at some of our events!

For-profit sponsors are encouraged to engage attendees in a professional manner and to offer help and advice.  However, overt or aggressive marketing or prospecting is not permitted.  Sponsors are best served by considering Startup Haven as an opportunity to build relationships with the core tech startup community and not as an opportunity for lead generation. So if you find yourself reaching in your pocket for a business card every time someone talks to you then you’re doing it wrong.  Have fun and make some friends. The rest will follow.