Originally published TAYLORHUB, February 2, 2018
Alvarez Spark Innovation Award recipient Todd Wackerman is an MBA student at Tulane’s Freeman School. To validate assumptions about his proposed nonprofit, Todd conducted a series of design-thinking interviews and focus groups with stakeholders. Since completion of this research, he has been following up a series of plans to generate a customer base and develop user interest in the facility.
When we left off, the Science Teachers’ Equipment Lending Library (STELL) was preparing to write a Memorandum of Understanding, a nonbinding document to help validate customers and demonstrate that interest exists for our service offerings.
After drafting the document with help from some baseline contracts provided by other lending library providers, I sent the finished product to an attorney friend to review, and the feedback came back less than ideal. “It is legally sound and well-written,” I was told, “but if I represented a school and saw this, I would advise them not to sign it.” The problem was that even though it said “non-binding” prominently, it felt too cold and contractual. Whereas the purpose is to generate interest, our MOU seemed too steeped in legalese to be attractive to school administrators.
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