This case explores the dilemmas that can confront startup founding teams using a simple two-way negotiation exercise to. The storyline of the case starts in September 2008, when a graduating (DC) and an incoming MBA student (AC) met at an event and discovered their shared interest in launching a new investment fund focused on renewable energy projects in East-Africa. In line with their respective backgrounds and interests, they wrote up an agreement that detailed each member’s roles in the business and the distribution of shares and rewards. It also outlined that DC would be based in Europe to seek funding and would be in charge of putting up all of the financial capital, while AC would be a salaried co-founder based in Kenya, and would focus on finding investable renewable energy projects. After six months, the two founders realized that the initially very promising idea for the venture proved to be much more difficult to develop than they had anticipated. In addition, the bi-continental relationship proved harder to manage. As the team adapted to the new insights and tensions, they realized that the initial shareholder agreement would have to be revisited.
LEPOUTRE, J. (2019). AC / DC Invest. ESSEC Business School.