Spark Capital Endorses Brownsberger-Jehlen Bill to Eliminate Non-compete Clauses in Massachusetts

Apr 08, 2009, 09:00 ET from Spark Capital

Non-compete Clauses Stifling the Emergence of Promising Young Companies

BOSTON, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Spark Capital, a venture capital firm with investments focusing on the conflux of the media, entertainment and technology industries, today officially endorsed House Bill Number 1794 lead-sponsored by State Representative William N. Brownsberger and State Senator Patricia D. Jehlen. The bill calls for the elimination of non-compete clauses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which would prohibit the use of non-competition agreements mandated by employers that force employees to sign away their rights to engage in any business of a competitive nature when they leave their present jobs.

"As a Boston venture capital firm, we are always looking to propel innovation across the Commonwealth, and to strengthen Massachusetts' global competitiveness," said Bijan Sabet, general partner of Spark Capital. "Through several discussions and planning sessions with State Representative Brownsberger, it's clear that employment non-competes are stifling the emergence of promising young companies in our state, forcing some of our most innovative entrepreneurs to leave in favor of more open corporate environments. The success of Silicon Valley, which does not legally enforce non-competes, is a prime example of how emerging startups are allowed to thrive."

Spark Capital has long supported the elimination of non-compete clauses but does support the enforcement of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) which the Brownsberger-Jehlen Bill would not impact. Also, Spark created the Alliance for Open Competition, which is a group of entrepreneurs, investors, and executives in support of elimination of non-compete clauses in the interest of spurring innovation and improving the economic competitiveness of the Northeast. Additionally, last year along with Harvard Law School, Spark co-hosted an open discussion on eliminating non-competes at the prestigious Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

More information on the Alliance for Open Competition can be found at

About Spark Capital

Spark Capital is a venture fund based in Boston, Mass. with investments focused on the conflux of the media, entertainment and technology industries. Over the last decade, Spark has been instrumental in the development of new markets and market leaders, such as Twitter, Akamai Technologies, thePlatform and Novatel Wireless. The Spark team includes former executives of major entertainment, media, and technology companies, such as IAC, Sony, Time Warner, Blockbuster, Lionsgate, Apple and Microsoft. With this deep experience and $622 million under management, Spark Capital provides world-class entrepreneurs and revolutionary companies with the resources to succeed in today's marketplace. To learn more, visit

SOURCE Spark Capital