Skip to the main content

Employee Non-Compete Agreements: Protecting Innovation or Stifling It? / Making Massachusetts More Competitive

A Discussion Hosted by the Berkman Center, Spark Capital, and Highland Capital Partners; Sponsored by Gunderson Dettmer and Silicon Valley Bank.

4:00 PM: Employee Non-Compete Agreements: Protecting Innovation or Stifling It?

The use of employee non-compete agreements by Massachusetts companies is routine, with employers mandating that employees steer clear of any business of a competitive nature once they leave their present jobs, typically for a year or more. Many believe these agreements are critical to guarding a company's hard-earned intellectual property -- protecting legitimate business interests, and thus our region's economy. Others, however, believe that non-competes are nothing more than handcuffs that prevent talented entrepreneurs from bringing new innovations to market and, in some cases, even driving entrepreneurs to leave the region to pursue their innovations elsewhere. In this session, we'll bring together some of the area’s best known venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and executives to explore the issue of non-competes and weigh the pros and cons of their use here in the Commonwealth.  Are non-competes protecting innovation and economic growth in Massachusetts? Or stifling it?

Panelists will include:

  • Paul Maeder, general partner, Highland Capital Partners
  • Lee Fleming, associate professor of business administration, Harvard University
  • Rich Miner, VP for mobile technology, Google
  • Bijan Sabet, general partner, Spark Capital
  • Moderator: John Palfrey, Clinical Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School

5:15 PM: Making Massachusetts More Competitive

In an area flooded with local university talent and no shortage of small entrepreneurial businesses, why does New England lag behind Silicon Valley when it comes to building large enterprises?  What are some of the home-grown factors that hinder sustainable company building in the region?  Paul Maeder will lead a discussion that takes a look at the key factors impacting the environment and what can be done to change them.

Panelists will include:

  • Lita Nelsen, Director of Technology Licensing, MIT
  • Pano Anthos, CEO,  Hangout Industries
  • Bill Aulet, Senior Lecturer and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, The MIT Entrepreneurship Center
  • Moderator: Paul Maeder, Highland Capital Partners

6:15 PM: The event will be followed by a cocktail reception.


Download media from this event here.

Past Event
Thursday, June 19, 2008
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM