MassChallenge Partners with Founders Pledge to Help Entrepreneurs Pay It Forward
MassChallenge and Founders Pledge are pleased to announce an exciting global partnership that will encourage MassChallenge’s 835 alumni and future founders to pledge a portion of their exits to charity through Founders Pledge. MassChallenge, the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet, has also been designated by Founders Pledge as a preferred entrepreneurship charity.
Through Founders Pledge, a charity that was spun out of Founders Forum, entrepreneurs leverage their success and give back to society, committing to donate at least 2% of their personal proceeds (not equity) from a liquidity event to a social cause of their choice.
“We are empowering the pie makers of the world to help solve big problems via innovation and by supporting change through charitable donations to charities they care about.” — John Harthorne, CEO MassChallenge
The cooperation is based on the shared vision of helping entrepreneurs across all industries creating value, and maximizing their impact on the world. Both organisations operate at scale — MassChallenge is scaling entrepreneurship while Founders Pledge is scaling giving.
“Growing a successful business is hard. Doing good doesn’t have to be.” — David Goldberg, Co-founder Founders Pledge
As of March 2, Founders Pledge has had 329 pledges across 249 businesses with $18.2b in aggregate valuations, making the total value of pledges around $70 million. Founders Pledge charges nothing, allowing pledgers complete control in selecting the recipients of their donation, and brings together their community with regular events. The charities don’t need to be selected at the time of pledge and the whole process takes less than 5 minutes and creates tax efficiency globally.
Pledges have been signed already by a number of MassChallenge alumni, including Nicola Gammon (founder and CEO at Shoot) and James Roy Poulter (co-founder and CEO at Pronto), David Hellard at Zipcube.com and Danilo Leao at BovControl.
“I thought — what kind of legacy do I want to leave as a human being? It was an easy decision for me to give back to the community, and to donate to MassChallenge, an organisation that has helped me and my business so much.” — Nicola Gammon, Founder of Shoot
“I want to create wealth via Pronto and go on to do good after that. It was an easy and obvious decision to pledge and having that as an example for my team.” — James Roy Poulter, Co-founder of Pronto
To date, 835 MassChallenge alumni have raised over $1.1 billion, generated over $520 million in revenue, and created over 6,500 jobs. If all MassChallenge alumni pledged 2% of their personal exits, they would contribute tens of millions to charity. There is no obligation for MassChallenge alumni or future founders to sign a pledge, nor is it obligatory for them to donate to MassChallenge. Any entrepreneur can sign up to Founders Pledge and nominate MassChallenge as his or her charity of choice.
Brent Hoberman, co-founder of Lastminute.com, MADE.com, and Founders Forum, also supported the announcement today and stressed the importance of giving and connecting the tech community to opportunities to give at all stages of their life cycles.
“When you have 80 people together in a room who have ‘made’ it, there is not as much energy. Getting together with younger entrepreneurs and using our influence collectively for good with Founders Pledge, we can accomplish so much.” — Brent Hoberman, Founder of MADE.com
Ben Medlock, co-founder of Swiftkey, has also recently exited and discussed the importance of impact and analysis in giving. He noted how easy it was for him as a founder to be able to take part in Founders Pledge.
“Effective altruism is important when looking at giving. Bill Gates has been able to give his wealth and put his mind to making his impact even greater. I take my inspiration from him and Founders Pledge helps make it a reality. Founders Pledge connects people with causes that they feel an affinity to so they don’t just put cash in, but follow up with their pledges and that’s really valuable.” — Ben Medlock, Co-founder of Swiftkey
We have found that by having a mission within an organisation not only makes moral sense, it makes business sense. By inspiring and retaining talent, and helping to bring more supporters to your cause and business, instilling a sense of purpose early on is key in today’s economy.
We hope that by taking this step, more entrepreneurs will join us in creating “more pie” for all of society. When we all create value, we all win. By leading the way here in London and through the global network MassChallenge has, we can help spread the ethos and awareness of tech philanthropy and help early-stage entrepreneurs to think about giving now, while growing their businesses at the same time.