Startups across Canada have an enormous potential to generate significant economic and social impact through their business operations. Accompanying this potential is a responsibility to give back and support the community that fostered their success. Many entrepreneurs want to give back, but cash and time strapped startups don’t usually have a way to do so. The Upside Foundation enables Canadian startups and high-growth companies to give back by donating equity to charities- “Sharing the Upside”.
“We are proud to announce that the Upside Foundation has seen significant growth in 2016- and at the beginning of 2017 has reached 75 member companies,” says Mark Skapinker, Managing Partner of Brightspark Ventures, and Co-Founder and Board Member of the Upside Foundation.
Upside achieves this important milestone with Porpoise, a New Brunswick-based startup. This is extremely fitting, given Porpoise’s social mission to enable strong company culture through celebrating employees’ contribution and involvement in the community and company. Porpoise and Upside are excited to be working together to encourage other startups to embed a commitment to giving back into their company’s DNA.
By joining the Upside Foundation, Porpoise is donating 1% of options in the company to Upside. When Porpoise has a liquidity event in the future, those options will be converted to cash and donated to the Canadian charities the Porpoise team feels the most strongly about.
“We’re excited about this partnership because we work with socially responsible brands, and want to show our commitment to giving back from the beginning. We believe leading by example is a great way to help make this movement more effective especially when we are aiding other businesses to give back better. In order to take our commitment to the next level this partnership makes perfect sense and we look forward to working with the Upside Foundation along with it’s 74 other members!” says Topher Kingsley-Williams, CEO of Porpoise.
Ultimately the foundation’s goal is to embed giving back as a core component of startup culture- for all startups to consider how they will give back right from the beginning.
“We are excited to continue to increase the number of companies in Canada who have committed to giving back in this way. The Upside Foundation is part of a growing global movement, and we think that Canadian entrepreneurs want to be a part of that,” says Rob Antoniades, General Partner of Information Venture Partners, and Co-Founder and Board Chair of the Upside Foundation. “We’ve created a simple way for them to fulfill their desire to give back. We look forward to seeing the startup community make a huge positive impact in Canada for years to come”.
Porpoise is an innovative platform that increases employee engagement and improves workplace culture through goal setting, gamification, and acknowledgement. Porpoise allows employers to connect with their employees, and employees to connect with each other. Good companies know that it’s important to give back and that your people are your best ambassadors in the community. Employees who are encouraged and recognized for their community involvement are more engaged and loyal. Creating a positive corporate culture where employees perform better, and stay longer. Connect with Porpoise on Twitter @porpoiseapp, and check them out online www.porpoise.com.
ABOUT THE UPSIDE FOUNDATION
The Upside Foundation is a registered charity that provides an innovative philanthropy platform to enable Canadian startups and high-growth companies to give back by donating equity- “Sharing the Upside”. Since startups’ cash and time is scarce, the Foundation makes charitable giving quick, easy and cash-free.
The model is powerful: Earlier-stage and high growth private companies pledge stock options or warrants to the Upside Foundation. When the company has a liquidity event (e.g., IPO, acquisition), the Foundation monetizes the options and donates the proceeds to registered Canadian charities selected by the member company (and approved by the Foundation).
Take the pledge today and join our community of entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders who believe in doing good while doing well.