The Upside Foundation enables early stage and high growth companies to give back by donating equity to charity. CBRE Forward interviewed some of their members at a recent community event.
What is The Upside Foundation?
We work with Canadian founders who want to make a difference in the world. The Upside Foundation enables them to donate equity in their company for a charity. When you are a part of the Upside Foundation, you are a part of a community of founders who share your values, also want to make a difference, and are working hard today to make that a reality.
We create programming for our members to come together, to learn from other founders, to bring their teams out to give back like we are doing today, and to help support them on their way to a successful exit. Jennifer Couldrey, Executive Director, Upside Foundation of Canada.
Why did you decide to pledge to The Upside Foundation?
We chose to get involved with the Upside Foundation because at our core Xocial is all about positive impact gaming. Our impact strategy is something that is in the very core of what it is we do. When we thought about how we can use our business for a force for good, the Upside Foundation was a natural fit. It’s simple to do and it’s right at the start of your corporate development and it’s a no-brainer. It’s fast, simple, and impactful. Colin Duetta, Co-founder and CEO of Xocial
What makes the Upside community unique?
What makes the Upside community unique is that every business owner wants to have an impact at some point, but Upside members have decided to bake that impact in from day one. When you are a startup, you often don’t have a lot of money to give back, so equity is one of the only things that we can really commit early on, and hopefully it turns into something tangible. Outside of that commitment, it’s a community of people who all have an eye to philanthropy, and who care about giving back. Erin Bury, CEO at Willful & Kevin Oulds, Co-Founder at Willful
This is probably my fourth event coming for Upside. Not only have I learned some great things from some of the awesome founders that have been speakers at our events, but the energy is great here. The people are so warm and welcoming, and we always do a lot of fun things. I’m always walking away with learning more about someone else’s business and there’s usually someone out there who offers to help our company in some way, which is amazing. Sarah Selhi, CEO at SpaceiShare
Why is it important to build social responsibility into your business -and why did you choose to do so by pledging with Upside?
It was important for us to be a part of the Upside Foundation, because we wanted to give back to charitable causes that really meant something to the founders. Two of the founders of Odaia have experience with Sickkids Hospital. This is one way for us to be able to share the success or part of the success of Odaia back into our charity of choice. Philip Poulidis, Co-Founder at ODAIA.ai & Helen Kontozopoulos, Co-Founder at ODAIA.ai