Code of Conduct

We expect all attendees, speakers, sponsors, and staff to work with us to ensure Startupfest remains a safe and inclusive space for everyone. Any form of harassment, discrimination, or inappropriate behavior that violates our Code of Conduct will not be tolerated. Violations will result in immediate action, which may include removal from the event and prohibition from future Startupfest activities.


We—the organizers of all Embrase organized events—conduct ourselves with kindness, respect, openness and a sense of community at all conference events we run, and attend. As such, we look to our attendees, speakers, partners, volunteers and collaborators to agree to the following when participating in any of our events:

  1. We communicate in a manner appropriate to a professional audience coming from diverse backgrounds.
  2. We are sensitive to the needs of others around us, use good judgement, and treat others with respect.
  3. We refrain from intentional harassment of others. 
  4. We comply immediately with direct requests to stop a behaviour that is considered harassment, or deemed unwelcome. Specifically, we do not initiate or engage in the following: 
    • Offensive verbal comments or jokes related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, language, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. 
    • Presentation of sexual images that may be triggering or offensive to specific members of the community.
    • Intimidation, stalking, and unwanted following.
    • Unwanted photography or recording of a specific individual.
    • Sustained disruption to proceedings.
    • Inappropriate or unwelcome physical contact.
    • Public shaming.
    • Unwelcome sexual attention. 
    • Ignoring the identified gender and preferred pronouns of a participant.
  5. When we observe an instance of harassment, we contact a member of the conference organizing team immediately.
  6. If we are asked to leave by the conference organizers due to a violation of the above points, we will do so immediately, quietly, and without drawing attention to the situation.

The conference team reserves the right to maintain the anonymity of the victim in all instances, and by participating in our events, we agree not to challenge this and understand that the well-being of the victim will be the priority to the organizing team.


Understanding the Code

What Is Harassment?

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion; sexual images in public spaces; deliberate intimidation; stalking; non-consensual photography or recording; sustained disruption of event proceedings; inappropriate physical contact; public shaming (as provocation or retaliation); and unwelcome sexual attention.

Exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, partners and volunteers are all subject to the Code of Conduct. Exhibitors should take particular care to avoid the use of sexualized images, language, or activities in their promotional material and activities.

Be careful in the words that you choose:

  • Remember that sexist, racist, and other exclusionary jokes can be offensive to those around you.
  • Do not assume the prefered pronoun of those around you.
  • Excessive swearing is inappropriate for professional events.


Contact Information

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the conference team immediately. At physical events, conference team members will be wearing Team badges and distinctive T-shirts. For virtual events, please contact

If the matter is especially urgent, please call/contact either of these individuals:

Conference staff will do what is necessary to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. We value your attendance.


Reporting a Code of Conduct Violation

  1. Please report the incident to a member of the event “team”, all clearly marked in T-shirts and team badges or identified within online platforms as an event organizer. All reports are confidential.
  2. When reporting an event, please try to collect as much information as possible, the team member can help you with this. Information may include things like:
    • Identifying information (name/company) of the participant doing the harassing.
    • The behavior that was in violation.
    • The approximate time of the behavior (if different than the time the report was made).
    • The circumstances surrounding the incident. For online events, screenshots, URLs, or a record of the interaction may help resolve the issue as well.
    • Other people involved in the incident.
  3. The event team is well informed on how to deal with any incident and will proceed accordingly.
  4. If you ever feel that your safety is ever threatened, please never hesitate to contact 911. If you do not have a cell phone, a staff member can assist you.
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