How to divide equity between founders in university spin-off?

Possible Duplicate: Forming a new software startup, how do I allocate ownership fairly?

The history of the project: The project started four years ago based on the works and idea of one of the team members. He and a second member built a prototype and played a major role raising subsidies to hire a team to work on the project.
Around two years ago we were hired as main developers to work on the project financed by the raised subsidies. The first two members of the project focused on business development.

Today the subsidies are finished and the two first members of the project are hoping at raising funds in three-four months. They are still negotiating license agreements with the university. We have been working without salaries for one month.

What is a fair equity dividing for this project knowing that first two members invested money, and raised initial subsidies to start the project, and that we developed most of the technology based on the initial prototype. We did not have paying customers while we had subsidies, we just had something looking promising. Our first paying customers date only from one month ago.

We know we are too late to start these negotiations. Two months ago we didn’t want to have these discussions because we needed all our time and energy to keep the project alive. We believe in the project (have declined recent offers) and really want to find a fair arrangement.

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asked Oct 25 '12 at 21:34
6 points
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  • You need to resolve the university licensing issue first. You will be lucky if they accept less than 50% equity plus revenue sharing. Be prepared for it to take months to get to an agreement and then for the contracts to go through their legal department and your own lawyers. Wait until after all of that to see what you have to divide up. – James 11 years ago

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