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So I'm an intern out of college in a tech company that sells a main software product B2B and does consulting as in support and specific development of that product according to customer's needs.

The company uses mostly old languages and methodologies to build the product and is very slowly adapting to the current Era. In spite of that, they are starting a partnership with universities and the likes, trying to implement and include VR in their product.

I'm interested in startups (as in looking to eventually have one) so I went to a related event where I met a team that is developing VR tech. I told them about my company doing this and they said they were interested in meeting someone from my company to find out if they could cooperate instead of the Unis. I said I could have a word and see where it goes. I have their contact. They don't know my company's name yet.

Some info:

They are a very small team with a practically finished product in great need of funding.

I've been thinking about doing some VR work in the future, have some ideas on that.

I do not have any competence in the VR field.

Questions:

  • Should I be careful disclosing to my boss that I went to a startup event, asking the other party to keep that as a secret as to not have repercussions on eventual career progression inside the company, mistrust, etc?

  • What can I gain out of facilitating the connection? Should I try to remain as an intermediary? What are reasonable expectations to ask for? Should I ask them directly how can they help me?

  • Was it a recruiting event? Or just a VR event? From the point of view of an employer, I don't see anything wrong with attending a VR event. VR is a new form of entertainment. As to acting as an intermediary, I would let go of that if I were you. Next time, offer to work as their representative in front of other companies (don't focus on selling to your employer, not only there is a potential conflict of interest there, but to be taken seriously and paid accordingly, the startup must think they can use you to sell to multiple companies, instead of selling to just one company). – Stephan Branczyk May 29 '17 at 13:41
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Should I be careful disclosing to my boss that I went to a startup event, asking the other party to keep that as a secret as to not have repercussions on eventual career progression inside the company, mistrust, etc?

Yes, you should be careful.

You don't want to be throwing off vibes that you are looking for a new job or are looking to start up your own company, if you want to progress in this one.

What can I gain out of facilitating the connection? Should I try to remain as an intermediary? What are reasonable expectations to ask for? Should I ask them directly how can they help me?

You seem to be thinking that you can profit from running across this new startup.

It's extremely unlikely that an intern with no experience can decide to become some sort of ad-hoc sales agent for a startup company without a real product. And there are ethical and legal issues that could get in the way of trying to personally profit from a deal with the company for which you are interning.

You would probably be best served to pass along the information about the startup to someone in your company who is in a position to act on it. Just mention that you happened to run into this company and found it interesting, but don't go into depth about how that happened.

Perhaps if this arrangement is beneficial to both sides, you will generate some goodwill for yourself. Don't expect anything more.

  • The benefits I'd be looking for would be on the startup side, not the current company. Thanks for your input – dR_ May 29 '17 at 13:12

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