Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a pivotal agreement between startups, particularly those in the pre-product phase, and potential customers. It serves to establish a written understanding of commitment, interest, terms, and pricing before the delivery of goods or services. Often used interchangeably with Letter of Intent (LOI), MOUs are typically non-binding, facilitating partnerships and defining working relationships.

What it Means:

In the startup realm, an MOU acts as a foundational document, laying out the terms of engagement between a startup and a potential customer. It is a proactive step to ensure clarity and alignment before embarking on a business relationship.

How to Calculate:

Unlike numerical calculations, MOUs are not subjected to quantitative measurement. Instead, they involve a qualitative assessment of the terms and conditions mutually agreed upon by the parties involved.

Why Measure:

Measuring the efficacy of an MOU lies in evaluating its ability to succinctly capture the essence of the partnership. It serves as a benchmark for understanding the alignment between the startup and the customer, offering a roadmap for future collaboration.


Consider an Indian startup collaborating with a potential customer on a project with multiple phases. The MOU outlines the project scope, milestones, and pricing details. In this scenario, the MOU acts as a foundational document, ensuring both parties are on the same page before formalizing the agreement.

For Indian founders, mastering the art of MOUs is instrumental in building robust partnerships, fostering transparent collaborations, and ultimately contributing to the growth and sustainability of their startups in the competitive business landscape.