Co-founder of Google DeepMind
"I am very pleased to support such a great effort and I hope we can succeed in persuading all tech founders to take the Founders Pledge."
Mustafa Suleyman co-founded & was Chief Product Officer of DeepMind Technologies, Europe's leading AI company, which was bought by Google in 2014 in their largest European acquisition to date. Mustafa is now Head of Applied AI at Google DeepMind where he is responsible for deploying DeepMind’s cutting-edge machine learning tools across a wide range of Google products as well as in new sectors outside of Google, including healthcare and energy.
At 19 he dropped out of Oxford University to help set up a telephone counselling service, building it to become one of the largest mental health support services of its kind in the UK. He then worked as a policy officer for the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, where he advised on human rights and counterterrorism. Mustafa went on to help start Reos Partners, a boutique conflict resolution consultancy with eight offices across four continents specializing in designing and facilitating large scale multi-stakeholder ‘Change-Labs’ aimed at navigating complex problems. As a skilled negotiator and facilitator Mustafa has worked all over the world for a wide range of clients such as the UNDP, UNFCCC, The Dutch Government and WWF.
"We all rely on our broader communities for our successes, and it's only right that we give back when possible. Founders Pledge should be a no-brainer for any founder."
John has been at intersection between finance and technology since graduating from University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign in 2007. He's been involved in several fintech startups in the past several years, 2 of which he co-founded. His latest project, Avant, is an online consumer lender focused on expanding access to affordable credit, and making it cheaper and easier for the middle class around the world to borrow money. Til date, Avant has raised more than $600 million of equity and more than $3 billion of debt capacity from prominent investors like August Capital, Peter Thiel, Tiger Global, and General Atlantic among many others.
Founders Pledge should be a no-brainer for any founder.
John Sun, Co-Founder
Co-founder & COO of Onfido
" I joined Founders Pledge because it's a fantastic opportunity to both support charities, and encourage young entrepreneurs. As a founder of a startup business, it's often difficult to find the resource (in terms of time or money) to donate as much to charity as I'd like. Founders Pledge makes that easy, helping me find, connect with and support the causes that are close to my heart."
Eamon Jubbawy is the co-founder and COO of Onfido. Eamon manages the company’s international growth and expansion, and was this year named as one of Forbes' ‘30 Under 30’ entrepreneurs . Prior to Onfido, Eamon worked at Credit Suisse as well as serving as Vice President of the Oxford Entrepreneurs Society. Eamon studied Economics and Management at Oxford University.
Co-founder & Director of Funding Circle
As a founder, Andrew has grown Funding Circle from an idea into the largest and fastest growing small business loan marketplace in the world. Andrew helped build out and lead the company’s operations before focusing on risk management. He was responsible for ensuring the performance of the first $1.5bn of loans originated globally has great risk adjusted returns for investors before handing over the reins to Jerome, our Global CRO.
Before founding Funding Circle, Andrew worked at Nomura and Citigroup specializing in regulatory and risk management. He also spent time at Ernst & Young as a consultant where he advised financial institutions, government and regulators on risk management and regulation, including a major UK bank on its SME credit models. Andrew holds a degree in Mathematics from Manchester University.
Founder and CEO of Launchpilots (Acquired by Robin8)
"As an efficiency geek, I see the Founders Pledge as one of the most efficient ways for entrepreneurs to do good - their research and resources help me vastly reduce the time I need for donation decisions, while maximizing the ROI of my donation dollars. "
Jah Ying is the Founder and Air Marshal of Launchpilots, an online partnership platform connecting student leaders with brand sponsorships. Brands work Launchpilots to engage and empower students across China with their products and programs.
With a network of over 25,000 student leaders in 16 countries, Launchpilots has created over 100 campaigns for brands like Adidas, L’Oreal and Airbnb, and connected students across Asia with over HK$1,000,000 worth of cash and in-kind sponsorships. Launchpilots was acquired by US-China influencer platform, Robin8, in 2017.
Jah Ying started her first business at 10, selling selectively bred hamsters to her teachers and members of online communities. Since then, she continued to build up her entrepreneurial and community building skills while launching environmental campaigns and social enterprise projects for global climate change NGO 350.org (Global Work Party, Great Power Race) and venture philanthropy firm Social Ventures Hong Kong (Playtao, Sonova Institute). Jah Ying has also worked with Civic Exchange and the United Nations Development Program, editing and publishing reports on social and economic development issues in Hong Kong and China.
Ben Nelson is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Minerva, and a visionary with a passion to reinvent higher education. Prior to Minerva, Nelson spent more than 10 years at Snapfish, where he helped build the company from startup to the world’s largest personal publishing service.
Nelson’s passion for reforming undergraduate education was first sparked at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he received a B.S. in Economics. After creating a blueprint for curricular reform in his first year of school, Nelson went on to become the chair of the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education (SCUE), a pedagogical think tank that is the oldest and only non-elected student government body at the University of Pennsylvania.
Megan is Founder and COO of 3Scan, a biotech company that offers automated microscopy services and software for the 3D analysis of cells, tissues and organs.
Megan also helped in founding and running the BIL Conference series, and has experience in running projects all across the world. Her passions include travel, disaster relief, and growing small companies into large ones. Currently, she is involved in Start-Up Chile.
Megan has a degree in Biology and Anthropology from UC San Diego.
"I made the Founders Pledge because I wanted to formalise my commitment to give back to society in advance of any exit. I look forward to sharing my thinking with the community and learning from others point of view. I truly believe in giving back and I hope my pledging will motivate others to join."
Sina is co-founder of Markafoni, Turkey's first and leading online fashion site. Markafoni was the first homegrown internet company to expand beyond the borders of Turkey, launching sites in Australia, Ukraine, Greece and Poland from 2009-2011. Markafoni won several awards including “Best Web Start-up 2011”, “Best Online Fashion Site" in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was ranked in the Wired UK 100 hottest companies in Europe in 2012 and 2013. Markafoni was aquired by the Naspers Group in 2011, in one of Turkey's biggest internet deals to date. Sina is also an active angel investor in early stage start-ups and is the Chairman of the Entrepreneur Foundation. Sina has previously been voted “Internet Entrepreneur of the Year” and “Business Angel of the Year” in Turkey. In 2014 Sina was also voted one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Tech in Europe. Prior to founding Markafoni, Sina spent 5 years working at eBay and 12 years with KPMG. Sina received a "Diplom Kaufmann" from Münster University and speaks five languages.
Co-founder & CEO
"It's important that founders think long-term, beyond themselves and their own businesses. For that reason I'm using Founders Pledge to contribute towards the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, which focuses on research for AI safety."
Riva-Melissa Tez is the CEO and Co-Founder of Permutation, a San Francisco based database platform and development studio specializing in emerging artificial intelligence-related technologies. Permutation uses its database and industry knowledge to scout for talent and opportunities, developing the next generation of AI companies through it's Entrepreneur-In-Residence program. She has held teaching positions at the DAB and HTW Business Schools in Germany and has presented at Oxford, Birkbeck and Stanford. Riva writes for a number of publications on topics such as existential risk, artificial intelligence, finance and philosophy.
Co-founder & CMO
Claire is Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Ada Health, an app that provides AI-powered healthcare to its users. She is also founder of Doctorpreneurs, an non-profit community for doctors and students who are interested in healthcare innovation.
Claire holds a MBChB in Medicine from the University of Bristol, and a PhD in Developmental Neurobiology from the University of Cambridge.
Co-founder & CEO of Hassle.com
"Our duty, and my desire, is to open doors for others."
Alex Depledge is the co-founder & CEO of Hassle.com, a London based start-up that makes it easy for anyone to book a pre-vetted cleaner online. Originally from the North of England, Alex started a career in US Politics in Chicago before returning to the UK as a management consultant at Accenture. Alex made the leap into entrepreneurship in 2012 & is passionate about the UK's tech scene. In 2014 TechCity Insider named Alex ‘Entrepreneur of the Year' following on the heels of her appearance on the ‘Silicon Valley Comes to the UK Scale-up Top 100’ - a list highlighting British entrepreneurs expected to lead their firms to £100m in revenue in three to five years. She is now fully focused on making Hassle the best it can be & expanding into major cities in the UK & Europe.
Co-founder & CEO of DueDil
"As a company founder, both time and money can be in short supply. The Founders Pledge helps entrepreurs get involved with charities in a meaningful way, even before they might have the material resources to do so."
Damian Kimmelman is the founder and CEO of DueDil, the London-based fintech business whose vision is to organise the world’s private company information and which was recently listed among Wired magazine’s Hottest Startups in Europe.
In March 2014, DueDil completed a $17m Series B financing round, supported by Oak Investment Partners, Notion Capital and Passion Capital and has raised $22m since April 2013.
Before launching DueDil, Damian set up two other businesses: a peer-to-peer Chinese gaming platform and a digital agency whose clients included the BBC, Virgin and General Motors.
In June 2015, he was named “International Entrepreneur of the Year” by Tech City News.
Co-founder of Entrepreneur First
Alice is co-founder of Entrepreneur First which identifies and invests in Europe's top technologists. Entrepreneur First focuses on supporting technical founders at the very earliest stage - usually pre-company - and works closely with them for six months to help them turn deep technology into fast-growing companies, which include AdBrain, Prizeo, Blaze Components, Sparrho, ClickMechanic, Mavrx, Spacious, Permutive, Code Kingdoms, Echobox, Magic Pony Technologies, Tractable, Pi Top, CaseHub and many more. Alice was previously at McKinsey & Co.
Dileep is the co-founder of Vicarious, which is building a unified algorithmic architecture to achieve human-level intelligence in vision, language, and motor control. Before this, Dileep was CTO of Numenta, an AI company he cofounded with Jeff Hawkins and Donna Dubinsky. Dileep has authored 22 patents and several influential papers on the mathematics of brain circuits. Dileep's research on hierarchical models of the brain earned him a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He earned his MS in EE from Stanford and his BS from IIT in Bombay.
"I feel humbled and privileged to donate my equity to the Cabify Foundation. "
Brendan is a Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Fifth Wall.
Brendan was Co-founder & CEO of Identified, a data & analytics company focused on workforce optimization that raised $33M of venture capital and was acquired by Workday (WDAY) in 2014.
Brendan co-founded Cabify, a ridesharing service in Latin America, operating in 14 countries and 35 cities. Cabify has raised $160M.
Brendan owns Otter Rock Capital which has invested $29M into 65 companies, including early investments in DollarShaveClub, Earnest, Bonobos, Zenefits, Classpass, Cabify, Philz Coffee, OpenDoor, Clara, Tripping, Clutter and many more.
Brendan worked at Goldman Sachs in investment banking and The Blackstone Group in real estate private equity.
Brendan received an MBA from Stanford University and a BA from Princeton University. Born in New York City, Brendan is 33 years old and an avid skier, kiteboarder, triathlete and mountaineer (having summited 4 of the 7 Summits). Brendan is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Co-founder of Zopa
"At the heart of being a Founder is a desire to make something better, to make a difference - and at the heart of being a successful Founder is the ability to do this with purpose and for the long term. To succeed for the long term requires the unhelpful dogma of shareholder value to be replaced, as it is, by the old and much better common sense of creating shared value for all stakeholders. This means, that as a Founder I have a responsibility, extrinsic to me and to the firm. For me, making Founders Pledge is a natural thing to do. And if Founder's Forum, and doing it publicly, can help stimulate other tech Founder's to do the same - then together we can help contribute even more and play our part in helping make the world a better place"
James is a Partner at The Foundation, working collaboratively as a growth architect to help leaders build famous customer centric organisations. His clients include: HSBC, Save the Children, Tesco, Eurostar, Just Giving. He is also a core team member of FutureAgenda.org, the world's leading open foresight programme, looking at the world in 2025. James was previously a Founder and CEO of Zopa, the world’s first peer to peer lender, and prior to that Strategy Director at Egg during its early growth period. James continues to actively support the RSPB, the UK's largest nature conservation organisation, where he was previously a Trustee, and Chairs GEN Community Ventures, a leader in community owned energy investment. James is also an advisor to several early stage social finance initiatives (Seedrs, LandBay, Spacehive, LootBank). James holds an MBA from INSEAD and a 1st class honours degree from University College, London. He is also a birdwatcher and was lucky enough to be part of a team who re-discovered three species of bird, previously considered by many to be extinct.
At the heart of being a Founder is a desire to make something better, to make a difference. And for me For me, making Founders Pledge is a natural thing to do.
James Alexander, Co-founder of Zopa
"Founders Pledge is a product of brilliant design. I appreciate the well-thought out structure, deep research on worthy charitable causes and the skilled, caring staff."
Mark is an entrepreneurial go-to-market specialist; a CEO with a focus on sales, marketing and business development. His greatest professional passions include creating new billion dollar categories in technology and developing new leaders.
Along the way, Mark has lived in Toronto, Silicon Valley, Chicago and Singapore. He has also founded 6 companies, raised more than 15 rounds of financing, hired over 250 people, built 7 offices around the world, and helped a lot of people realize their dreams.
The ideas that Mark is excited about these days include Holacracy - radical empowerment, pushing decision-making to the edges of the company; how category creators should market and innovate differently from category entrants; the role of advocacy in creating the most successful companies.
His specialties include: Creating cultures that are a competitive advantage, recruiting talent, strategic alliances, corporate finance, sales compensation design, positioning, lead generation, product management, big deal sales, learning organizations.
"To give back"
Al is the co-founder and CEO of AvantCredit.com, one of the fastest growing national online providers of consumer loans. By utilizing advanced algorithms and machine-learning capabilities, AvantCredit offers a unique and highly customized approach to the personal loan process.
Prior to AvantCredit, Al co-founded Pangea Properties, where he serves as the Exec Chairman of the Board. Al is also an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and spends time mentoring young entrepreneurs. He received a Bachelor of Science in Finance with a Mathematics Minor from the University of Illinois where he graduated with High Honors and is a CFA charter holder.
"I made the Founders Pledge to guarantee that some portion of any personal wealth I generate is going to causes beyond my current reach. Moreover, the pledge serves as a persistent reminder of what the end game is for any real entrepreneur. To make the world a better place in anyway you can."
Stephen is co-founder and CEO of FreedomPop, the disruptive and highly publicized mobile carrier which has raised over $55 million in financing to date. Stephen leads all aspects of company development including product innovation, customer acquisition and partner alliances. Prior to FreedomPop, Stephen served as Woo Media's CEO where he headed one of the Internet's largest and most innovative interactive video companies. Under Stephen's leadership, Woo Media built a multi-million dollar revenue stream, raised $19 million in capital and was successfully sold in November 2011. Stephen also served as British Telecom’s VP of Strategy and Product Development through 2007. At BT, he lead product innovation and generated over $500 million in new wave revenue putting BT in the forefront of online communications, digital media and open Wi-Fi. He holds two graduate degrees, a MBA from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Finance from London Business School.
Jacqueline is CEO, Co-Founder, and Chairman of BrightLine Partners LLC, the leading provider of IP-delivered video across the entire OTT and connected TV landscape, enabling the world’s premier content players and top brands to deliver engageable video experiences to any screen premium video is now viewed. BrightLine has received an Emmy and multiple Media Excellence awards for their groundbreaking work in the interactive video and ad technology space. Prior to co-founding BrightLine in 2003, Jacqueline was president of Aston Associates, where she directed the company-wide and end-to-end business redesign of major corporations worldwide. She is also passionate and deeply involved in the UN Sustainable Development initiatives, in particular SD Goals 7 (Sustainable cities) and 11 (Sustainable energy), as well as the continuing scale up efforts for the UN's original Millennium Development Goals.
"Many of us owe a large part of our success to the simple accident of being born in the right time and place. I strongly believe it is therefore incumbent upon us privileged few to work as hard as possible to make the world a better place and create more opportunity for others, and the Founder's Pledge is a fantastic chance to do just that."
Jacob Rosenberg is the Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of LendUp, a technology startup that aims to provide anyone with a path to better financial health. As a technologist with over twenty years' experience architecting large scale web applications, he is focused on using technology to solve challenging problems and improve people’s lives. Prior to launching LendUp in October of 2012, Jacob was the 80th employee at Yahoo! and helped create some of the most enduring Yahoo! products, such as Yahoo! Search, News, Auctions, and Travel. He was most recently a platform architect for Zynga. Jacob has a B.A. in Computer Science from Rice University.
His cause areas of focus include animal welfare, existential risks, global poverty, and economic and financial inclusion and empowerment.
"We're all so much heads down in building our companies that we often forget about the greater good. Founders Pledge is a great way to take a broader perspective and make the right choice."
Nicolas is a firm believer of “culture-first” companies and is focusing on building just that at Algolia where he champions team empowerment. Prior to co-founding Algolia with Julien, he spent 12 years working in information retrieval at Exalead and Thales. He is now using that experience to make sure Algolia takes the lead in redefining how people interact with data.
Nicolas holds an M.S. from ESIEA and a Ph.D in Computer Science from Nantes University.
"We should be using the humanity's resources to make this world a bit better for everyone."
Ela is a tech entrepreneur and a Founding Partner at Fifty Years, an early stage VC fund that backs entrepreneurs solving the world’s biggest problems with technology. She's a Y Combinator alum who previously co-founded Base CRM, the software development company Applicake, and was a Partner at Innovation Nest, a Europe-focused VC firm. With Fifty Years, Ela has invested in over 30 private companies in areas such as synthetic biology, energy, space tech, health tech, food tech, autonomous vehicles, and more. Ela also runs Impact.tech, a platform for technologists in Silicon Valley who want to combine purpose with profit.
William Todd is the co-founder and CTO at Nutmeg, the world's first online investment management company that offers complete transparency & accessibility to all customers. William has over 25 years of experience in the technology industry, serving in management, development & design capacities. He has designed & built software for the financial services industry, including developing derivatives exchanges across Europe & Asia. William previously served as CTO for an online trading platform for banks & brokers, & built a gaming platform based on a trading metaphor.
Co-founder & CTO
"I want to create the shift towards a reality where "doing good" and "doing well" are not different things but rather two sides of the same coin. By joining Founders Pledge we create a new norm: It is easy and perfectly normal to give back and support others while having personal success."
Philip is an entrepreneur, who lives in the startup world since the early 2000s. After his move from Germany to San Francisco in 2006, he worked with a variety of companies in social, mobile, fintech, and enterprise software. He started multiple companies, which raised more than $150 million in angel and VC funding and he led projects to acquisition. Philip was CTO, CPO, developed a physical card game and cares about personal development and community. He served on multiple boards and advises startups on technology, product, teams, and operations. He has been active in the world of crypto-economics since 2016 and most recently co-founded http://centrifuge.one where he builds a distributed protocol for global commerce.
Engaging in philanthropy following a successful exit is one way a founder can recognise the good fortune inherent in success and 'give something back'.
I learned about Founders Pledge a year or so before my own exit, and quickly saw the value in both encouraging founders to commit to giving, and also providing a framework to facilitate the effective use of donations.
BEN MEDLOCK – CO-FOUNDER, SWIFTKEY
Engaging in philanthropy following a successful exit is one way a founder can recognise the good fortune inherent in success and “give something back”. I learned about Founders Pledge a year or so before my own exit, and quickly saw the value in both encouraging founders to commit to giving, and also providing a framework to facilitate the effective use of donations.
Following the exit, Founders Pledge helped me to think through where I should donate to maximise impact and to explore some of the more challenging questions around my motivation for giving. The process was efficient and painless, and I’m looking forward to working further with the team in future.
Altruism is always a combination of emotional and rational motivations, and it gives our lives a purpose.
Seeing Founders Pledge apply data-science to charitable giving was fascinating and really reaffirmed that this initiative was the one for me.
SARAH WOOD – FOUNDER, UNRULY
What I really like about Founders Pledge is that I feel like part of a movement. It is also very true to our mission at Unruly, measuring impact and sharing a message. Altruism is always a combination of emotional and rational motivations, and it gives our lives a purpose. Seeing Founders Pledge apply data-science to charitable giving was fascinating and really reaffirmed that this initiative was the one for me.
What I most liked about the process was that I was locked in. Sounds daft or even slightly scary, I know, but how many times do you think ‘oh I am totally going to do that’ and then it somehow falls down your priority list and you never get around to it.
I know if I hadn’t signed a Founders Pledge, that would have been me too.
ALEX DEPLEDGE – FOUNDER AND CEO, HASSLE.com
Hand on heart, I had never thought about exiting Hassle.com – of course I made up some companies that might buy us for my pitch deck, but I hadn’t actually ever thought I would exit or what that meant. So when I did, I actually found it quite traumatic. Oh, I know... first world problems and all that, but here I was - suddenly wealthy - and all I felt was guilt that I didn’t deserve it. Founders Pledge was a balm to that. A strange kind of therapy.
Signing up to Founders Pledge was very real for me because I was negotiating our sale at the same time. It wasn’t some far off event. I gave it very detailed thought and, quite frankly, it turned out to be a no brainer.
What I most liked about the process was I was locked in. Sounds daft or even slightly scary, I know, but how many times do you think ‘oh I am totally going to do that’ and then it somehow falls down your priority list and you never get around to it. I know if I hadn’t signed a Founders Pledge, that would have been me too.
What I was most surprised about is the level of support I received. The deployment team listened to what I was most passionate about (Mental Health and Sex Slavery of Women), went away, and then came back with a comprehensive research report that highlighted the best way I could support those charities. They identified the best charities in terms of outcomes, data-driven giving and transparency. I now know that the money I’ve donated will actually help to free women from sexual slavery. That means a lot to me. I know the outcome and the impact I have had. My giving was effective.
What I have been most impressed with is the connection to like-minded, off-the-chart empathetic, thoughtful and in some cases mind-blowingly bright people. The Founders Pledge dinners host fascinating speakers that have really opened my eyes to how much good and impact even small efforts can have. At Founders Pledge Forum I left with my intellect slightly bruised, but walking taller and more full of hope than I had been in years.
What I am most in love with is David Goldberg. He’s not only wicked smart, so I know my giving is in safe hands, but he has assembled a world-class team around him. He has started a movement - one I am very proud to be a part of!