The Foundry

The foundry

A community of visionary philanthropists, family foundations and pledging members, The Foundry provides more than just financial support - these donors play a pivotal role as leaders within our community; sharing their knowledge and experience to inform the philanthropy of pledgers and establishing a legacy of impactful giving.

Generous gifts go towards our annual operations and reserves - underwriting costs like staff salaries, research on the highest-impact global charities, and putting on content-rich programmes, while allowing us to plan ahead, creating efficiency and stability.


The Foundry Members

Niklas Adalberth

"I’m excited to be able to contribute to a community of founders who are thinking critically about their giving. Together I believe we can achieve a huge amount of good."
Niklas co-founded unicorn payment company Klarna 2005, backed by investors such as Sequoia, Atomico and General Atlantic. More than 10 years later he quit his operational role as deputy CEO to found tech-for-good Norrsken Foundation. Norrsken invests in entrepreneurs such as Welcome Movement, Doctrine and Karma that tackles the biggest problems in society. In addition to investments, Norrsken last year opened the largest co-working space in Europe for people that tries to improve the world with over 350 members.

John and Susan Baird

John is currently the Senior Partner and Board Chair at Velocity Group, an executive coaching firm specializing in early stage ventures beginning to scale. John is considered to be one of the premier executive coaches in Silicon Valley, having coached CEOs and Founders for over 25 years. John built his career working with the top leaders at companies ranging from early stage start-ups to Fortune 500 firms like Apple, Nike and Twitter. He serves on a number of nonprofit local and national Boards.

Susan is a retired school counselor in San Jose, California. During her career years she counseled at the junior college, high school, middle school and elementary levels. Presently, she volunteers in several community organizations and her church. Susan is part of several reading groups and likes to hike regularly. She and John enjoy spending time with their children and eight grandchildren who live nearby.

Vikrant Bhargava and Dr Surbhi Virmani

Vikrant Bhargava is the Managing Partner and founder of Veddis, a multi-asset investment company and is married to Dr Surbhi Virmani. Vikrant was previously co-founder and Marketing Director of PartyGaming Plc. Dr Virmani has 20 years of experience in Anaesthetics and Critical Care, and now specialises in Cosmetic Dermatology. Together, Vikrant and Surbhi initially established two charities, LetzDream, working with the most vulnerable people in India and LetzChange, a tech platform that now powers GiveIndia, India’s largest giving platform for charities. Being committed to effective philanthropy, they set up Veddis Foundation to research and focus their giving on the highest impact opportunities in the UK, India and elsewhere. Vikrant is also passionate about transforming high school children’s relationship with STEM. In 2018, he founded FIRST UK, which aims to get more students interested in STEM through robotics.

Shirley and Curtis Chambers

Curtis was Uber’s seventh employee and was the first Head of Engineering for Uber, UberEats, and UberFreight. Before Uber, he helped build Expensify and Akamai. Shirley was a product and operations manager at Yahoo, launching emerging markets globally. After leaving the corporate world, she dabbled in startup life.

Curtis and Shirley are now focused on philanthropy and impact investing. When they’re not traveling, Curtis and Shirley spend their time between San Diego and San Francisco with their two young children.

Luke Ding

Luke studied medicine at Oxford before switching to a career in finance. He held a number of senior management positions at Natwest and Merrill Lynch, and became a senior partner at fund management firm Brevan Howard. Luke now engages full time with his philanthropic activities in parallel with pursuing his business interests. He is a keen supporter of many organisations associated with Effective Altruism and his early donations have played an important role in the rapid growth of many promising charitable organisations.

David Helgason

David is a technologist, the founder of Unity Technologies, non-exec director to others, and a restless entrepreneur with a passion for creating feedback loops between innovation and teams and products, applying new and old business models to changing industries, and pushing people to do the very best they can do.

David's background is in programming, an assortment of university dabbling, creating companies, and helping entrepreneurs. He served as CEO of Unity Technologies since co-founding it in 2003 and until October 2014, with an unflinching vision to democratise game development, and to develop technology and business models for the next phase of the games industry.

Taavet Hinrikus and Silvia Fantauzzi

Taavet Hinrikus is co-founder and Chairman of TransferWise. Prior to starting TransferWise, Taavet was Skype’s director of strategy until 2008, starting as its first-ever employee. Taavet acted as CEO of TransferWise until 2017, and since then has stepped into the role of Chairperson.

One of the World Economic Forum's Tech Pioneers, Taavet has acted as adviser to the former Prime Minister of Estonia on the digital agenda and helped the European Commission on its digital and innovation programs. He’s also a mentor for the next generation of talent, leading TransferWise’s 20 Under 20 programme to support Europe’s brightest teen CEOs and having co-founded the Good Deed Foundation Education Fund in Estonia. Lastly Taavet is an active angel investor; his investments include Bolt, Zego, Veriff, Tweetdeck, Mendeley, Improbable and Cleo.

Taavet and Silvia live in London with their two young children. Silvia is the creative part of the family with her background in graphic design.

Neil Hutchinson and Jessica Stroup

Neil is the founder of NEON, an investment vehicle with activities in technology, property and philanthropy. He is also the CEO of Front Of The Pack, on a mission to lead the revolution in pet health. Jessica is an actor who has starred in a number of films and TV shows. Neil and Jessica are committed to giving back through the NEON Foundation, helping exceptional charities and social enterprises transform lives.

Eric and Wendy Schmidt

Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative, co-founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, that finds exceptional people and helps them do more for others together. Schmidt Futures knits talent into networks, bets on the most promising ideas through diverse forms of competition and support, and equips people to scale through partners and modern tools.

Jaan Tallinn

Jaan is a founding engineer of Skype and Kazaa. He is Co-Founder of the Cambridge Centre for Existential Risk, Future of Life Institute, and philanthropically supports other existential risk research organizations. He is also a partner at Ambient Sound Investments, an active angel investor, and has served on the Estonian President's Academic Advisory Board.

Christian Angermayer

Christian Angermayer is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder of Apeiron Investment Group, his family office and merchant banking business. With over 20 years in business, Christian has created, co-founded and invested in numerous successful companies across a broad section of sectors. Today, he is one of the most active and significant European investors in BioTech with a special focus on the development of innovative treatments that address significant unmet medical needs in the mental health space. Through his company ATAI Life Sciences he has the ambitious goal of enabling people to live healthier and happier lives. Christian serves as a member and advisor to several global economic and political think-tanks, institutes and councils.

Benefits of Joining The Foundry

All Founders Pledge member benefits*, including:

  • Free-of-charge DAF (free for first $5m deposited, with a minimum contribution of $10k into the DAF)
  • Invitations to Community events and programmes, annual Founders Pledge Forums, invitations to join cause-based cohorts, and more
  • Access to Founders Pledge Community Platform, to foster increased connection and collaboration across our member network

Research + Advisory

  • A personal Research Advisor who can aid in your philanthropy via:
    • Personalised “Values Discovery Sessions” - for individuals, couples, foundations, and multi-generational families to align/hone their charitable priorities and inform a portfolio of giving
    • Philanthropic Mission Workshops, Goal Setting, and other journeys for you and your family
    • Vetting of charities and cause areas - bespoke explorations into causes or organisations of your choice
    • Cause and charity prioritisation on an annual and ongoing basis through a portfolio approach to giving
  • Private briefings with Founders Pledge Researchers on high-impact cause areas of their expertise

Recognition

  • Name recognition as a Foundry member:
    • On Founders Pledge website
    • In annual impact report and periodic impact updates
    • In select community emails, newsletters, in member materials
    • Our Founders Pledge community platform
  • Bi-annual call with Founders Pledge CEO

Events + Community

  • Exclusive webinars focusing on cause areas and topics of interest with leading experts, Founders Pledge team, and partners.
  • Annual dinner with fellow Foundry members and guests on the occasion of the London and San Francisco Forums (when live events are permitted)
  • In the meantime: virtual opportunities to foster connection and collaboration
  • Priority registration at London and San Francisco Forums
  • Priority invitations to Founders Pledge retreats and travel

Leverage your Impact

  • Annual Impact report + periodic impact updates
  • Opportunities to advise on Founders Pledge strategy and direction
  • Amplify your philanthropic voice and priorities to our community/emerging philanthropists via Founders Pledge marketing and communications; such as being interviewed for our podcast or blog, or hosting a programme to highlight a cause area of interest (in coordination with Founders Pledge)
  • Opportunity to engage Founders Pledge Leadership, Research team, or Founders Pledge network of experts for your hosted event, podcast, or other personal or professional platform (to be mutually agreed)
  • Beyond the Pledge: Opportunities for members to take meaningful moral action outside of their traditional pledge. This may come in a variety of forms and we are delighted to explore both opportunities that members bring to us and also those that we can offer through our Charity Matchmaking initiative

*By making a pledge and joining our Community, Founders Pledge members are granted philanthropic education benefits free of charge.

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