Alexander Asseily is the founder and Executive Chairman of London based semantic web start-up State. Prior to State Alexander was the founding CEO of Jawbone, the largest venture capital-backed consumer electronics company in the world, where he served as Executive Chairman until 2015. Jawbone is the industry leader in mobile lifestyle products including the award winning ICON wireless headsets, JAMBOX speakers, and UP wellness solutions.
Alexander also serves as the Chairman of Chiaro, a London-based wearable technology startup, whose first product Elvie is a smart pelvic floor muscle exercise tracker for women.
Alexander grew up in Beirut and London before receiving his BSc & MSc in Engineering Design from Stanford University.
"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.
"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.
Captain, The Black Wind
"I pledged to quit reaving and destroying the islands around my home. No more will the Ironborn pillage!"
Queen Yara Greyjoy is an ironborn, Theon Greyjoy's older sister and his only surviving sibling. She was raised at Pyke, the stronghold of House Greyjoy. Yara is a fierce warrior and commands her own longship. She is currently a claimant to the throne of the Kingdom of the Iron Islands and an ally of Daenerys Targaryen, despite being captured and taken prisoner by her uncle, Euron Greyjoy, during the assault on the Targaryen Fleet.
Yara is captain of her own longship, the Black Wind.
"I believe that every entrepreneur, regardless of the stage of their business should be able to help make a difference. The Founders Pledge makes that possible."
Andy McLoughlin is co-founder of Huddle, the enterprise cloud collaboration company.
Huddle is now used by more than 100,000 organisations worldwide and has raised more than $40M in venture funding from leading investors including Matrix Partners, Jafco Ventures, DAG Capital, In-Q-Tel (colloquially known as 'the venture arm of the CIA'), Eden Ventures, and WebEx founder Subrah Iyar.
A firm favourite with government organisations, Huddle works with 80% of central UK government departments, including the Cabinet Office and Crown Prosecution Service. Globally recognized brands such as SEGA, P&G, Kia Motors and Unilever also use Huddle to share and work on content with teams inside and outside of their organisations.
Based in San Francisco, Andy manages Huddle’s growing U.S. presence and is responsible for corporate development and product strategy. Andy is also an active early-stage angel investor, working with amazing companies like Pipedrive, Postmates, Buffer, Secret Escapes, Rolepoint, Intercom and Apiary.
Co-founder of ustwo
"At ustwo our mission is to make a positive and measurable difference to the world through product development. Taking the Founders Pledge was a no brainer in terms of accelerating that mission. The pledge allows me to make a positive and measurable difference to the causes close to my heart."
Matt Miller is co-founder of ustwo, a digital product studio with offices in London, New York, Malmö & Sydney. Ustwo pushes the frontiers of digital product design to create some of the world’s best digital experiences & products. Ustwo is recognized for producing industry-changing technology. One of it’s biggest successes was the game ‘Monument Valley’ that won the Apple Design Award 2014, Apple Game of the Year 2014, 2 BAFTAs & 3 GDCs. In 2014, Matt also co-founded ustwo’s first joint venture, DICE, a music discovery & ticketing app. Matt’s true passion is inspiring & bringing people together; he brings unrivalled energy to his companies & has created a unique working culture focused on collaboration.
Before cofounding Vicarious, Scott was CEO of Frogmetrics (Y Combinator S2008), Entrepreneur in Residence at Founders Fund, CXO at OnlySecure (acquired by NetShops) and MarchingOrder (Ben Franklin Partners). Scott's design work has been featured in 16 magazines and 3 museums, including the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Scott earned his BAS in Computer Science and Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania.
"The Founders Pledge is well aligned with my values and provides me with the opportunity to commit to social causes early on. Pledging publically comes with future responsibility that I am happy to take."
Rouven is Founding and Managing Partner of the Berlin-based (pre-)seed VC Cavalry Ventures at which he contributes his expertise in strategic decision making, e.g. investment strategies, portfolio management as well as fundraising support to back the growth of portfolio companies.
Prior to Cavalry, Rouven invested privately in more than 35 startups worldwide that have created over $1.5bn in shareholder value. Among them are companies such as Tradeshift (world's largest network for businesses), Simplesurance (leading online provider for product insurances).
Rouven started his career at KPMG as a consultant in the Financial Risk Management practice. He then supported Morten Sondergaard in his investment activities and joined the early/mid stage VC fund Capnamic Ventures.
Aside from being experienced in the digital economy, Rouven possesses strong ties to the old economy as he grew up closely connected to his family’s business, Dresselhaus GmbH & Co KG, one of the largest providers of screws and fastening parts in Europe. Other than taking the Founders Pledge, he is an avid supporter of and donor for YUNUS Social Business to generate sustainable social impact.
Rouven holds a M.Sc. in Business Administration from EBS Business School, Oestrich-Winkel (with distinction) and a Master of Finance from EAE Business School, Barcelona (honors).
"I've always been interested in applying the lessons I've learned about scaling companies to problems for which there's a social and moral imperative. Founders Forum For Good was an obvious way for me to formalize my commitment to making a difference, and leverage the dedication and resources of like-minded entrepreneurs."
Justin is co-founder and COO of DueDil a private company research tool for lead generation and credit risk management. DueDil has raised $24 million from US and European investors including Oak Investment Partners, Notion Capital, Passion Capital and a series of prominent angels, and is one of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK. Justin was previously involved with two other prominent venture-backed companies, establishing offices for them in Asia and Europe. He occasionally tweets @ojfutures.
Co-Founder & CPO
"Why wouldn’t someone make the pledge? Given it’s structured solely around an exit event I see no reason for anyone to veto given they’ll already be receiving some serious pocket money… The Founders Pledge represents a far more concrete intent to “do good” beyond generic CSR mantles and creates a win/win/win for the Triple Bottom Line of business conduct. It’s a fantastic initiative and I expect a myriad of authentic, people-centric founders sign-up."
Ry Morgan is Co-Founder & CPO of Unmind, a B2B mental health platform. Unmind provides clinically-backed tools and training to improve people's mental wellbeing – creating healthier, happier, more human organisations.
His prior venture, Yomp (from which he also pledged), was acquired in early 2016 by a global employee benefit provider. A big fan of almost all things tech/startup, Ry is always happy to connect with those passionate about the early-stage ecosystem. x
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
Co-founder & Head of Business Operations of Poq Studio
"I took the pledge because I believe that every business needs to give back to the society that allows it to thrive. Also, it's perfectly aligned with the goals as a startup founder creating a win win situation."
Michael Langguth is co-founder and head of business operations at Poq Studio, a mobile ecommerce platform that enables retailers to launch and maintain performance of mobile websites and shopping apps.
With clients including House of Fraser, Orla Kiely and Missguided, Poq Studio increases conversion rates and mobile revenue, whilst providing a delightful mobile shopping experience for customers.
Michael is a serial entrepreneur, having previously founded SIFE at University College London and HomeAbroad. Poq Studio is his second digital business.
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.
"The Founder’s Pledge is a great way for entrepreneurs to get together to give back and make a much bigger positive impact on society as a collective than we can as individuals."
Alastair Paterson is the co-founder & CEO of Digital Shadows, the first company offering complete Cyber Situational Awareness, protecting organisations from data loss & targeted cyber attacks. Headquartered in London & San Francisco, Digital Shadows services clients around the world, including some of the world’s biggest banks. In 2014 Digital Shadows was selected by the Bank of England to help define the CBEST framework for threat intelligence based security testing of the UK financial sector. Alastair is a well-known industry spokesman with multiple appearances on Bloomberg, BBC World & CNN & was named in the Financial News’ Top 50 FinTech Innovators of 2015 & City AM’s 2015 FinTech Power List. In 2015 Alastair accompanied the UK Prime Minister on a cyber security trade mission to the USA. Alastair received a MEng in Computer Science from the University of Bristol.
Alastair is the CEO and co-founder of Digital Shadows, the first company to offer its customers complete Cyber Situational Awareness, protecting organisations from data loss and targeted cyber attack. Digital Shadows enables organisations to exploit social, cloud and mobile technologies while keeping their security and reputations intact. With its dual headquarters in London and San Francisco, Digital Shadows services clients around the world, including some of the world’s largest banks.
The company has been recognised for innovation by the UK Technology Strategy Board, SWIFT, Cisco and Gartner and was selected for the inaugural London FinTech Innovation Lab run by Accenture. In 2014 Digital Shadows was selected by the Bank of England to help define the CBEST framework for threat intelligence based security testing of the UK financial sector. In 2015 Alastair accompanied the Prime Minister David Cameron on his cyber security trade mission to the USA, shortly after which the company announced it had raised $8m in venture capital, led by Storm Ventures from Silicon Valley.
With multiple TV appearances on Bloomberg, BBC World, CNN and CNBC amongst others Alastair has become a well-known industry spokesman for cyber security and London’t technology scene in general.
Alastair was named in Computer Weekly’s top 10 rising stars of 2013, Financial News’ FinTech 50: Innovators shaping the future of finance 2015 and City AM’s 2015 FinTech Power List. Alastair co-authored ‘The Impact of Open Source Intelligence on Cybersecurity’, a chapter in the book Open Source Intelligence in the Twenty-First Century.
Alastair received a first class MEng from the University of Bristol in Computer Science and has spent most of his career working with secure government and FTSE 100 clients, specializing in ‘big data’ risk and intelligence projects.
Before founding Digital Shadows, Alastair was International Propositions Manager at BAE Systems Detica.
The Founder’s Pledge is a great way for entrepreneurs to get together and make a much bigger positive impact on society than we can as individuals.
Alastair Paterson, Co-Founder
Founder & CEO of Beamery
"As a founder it is often difficult to find the time for get involved with charitable endeavours. The Founders Pledge is a phenomenal initiative and superb way to bring like-minded people together to make a collective impact. I am honoured and humbled to be among many great entrepreneurs that are a part of this."
Abakar is the founder & CEO of Beamery, the world’s most advanced Sourcing and Recruitment Marketing platform on a mission to make recruitment better by empowering companies to treat candidates like customers, and focus on communication not process. Abakar started his career at Goldman Sachs and went on to be an investor at Francisco Partners, a technology focused private equity fund. He holds a first class honours in Economics from the University of Warwick.
"Knowing that any exit or profit made from the business will go to insanely great causes makes me a massive fan of the pledge. By attempting to change the world, we can make greater impact together."
Adit graduated from UCL with a MEng in Computer Science and then co-founded Lingumi, an interactive method for early years language learning. He loves building new tech products, reading books on personal development and drinking beer.
"I made the pledge as I want to be a part of a growing trend for those that succeed at capitalism to return wealth to the bottom of the stack. As entrepreneurship grows, it is so important that we become a beacon of social responsibility and not just another swelling body of greed."
Alex Foster trained as an engineer and having self-taught entrepreneurship through a series of (increasingly successful) startups, spent some time in mergers and aquisitions and venture capiltal. His current startup, WeSeeThrough, has just raised a seed round from several ex-founders, angels and the Saatchi guys. Alex has been giving away 50% or more of his income since university, is an active early member of the effective altruist movement and one of the founders of the Earning to Give movement. Alex believes that giving should be about reducing dispair - not vanity. Alex is a massive fan of this new Founders Pledge and keen to help however possible.
"I am very grateful to Founders Pledge for giving me a simple and seamless way to give back as an entrepreneur and amplify my impact beyond my natural ecosystem of start ups"
Alexis Bonte is the co-founder and CEO of eRepublik Labs, a dynamic games studio that gifts you moments of joy through games you can play with friends on any device. More than 6 million players worldwide have enjoyed its first game eRepublik.com and 1,5 million have already installed the recently launched Age of Lords. Prior to Erepublik Labs, Alexis was with lastminute.com as Managing Director (Italy). Alexis is also an angel investor with numerous investments mainly in the Internet space in Europe.
In 2012 the World Economic Forum (Davos) recognized Alexis as a Young Global Leader (YGL).
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.
"The Founders Pledge represents something that is very closely aligned with the inherent aspirations of most startup founders. I think most of us want to make positive changes in meaningful and scaleable ways. The pledge feels like exactly that, along from the personal gratification of giving."
Andrew Crump is founder and CEO of Mitoo, a platform for the world’s sports where teams can share tables, fixtures, results and key statistics with their fans. Andrew also advises some start-ups.
The Founders Pledge represents something that is very closely aligned with the inherent aspirations of most startup founders.
Andrew Crump, Founder
Co-founder of Idio
"I believe that the journey is as important as the destination. Signing the Founders Pledge is important to me as one expression of a commitment to give back along the entrepreneurial journey."
Andrew is a co-founder of Idio, a predictive analytics platform that turns content into intelligence for clients such as JP Morgan, OpenText and Unicef. He previously co-founded a digital agency that built high-scale social media analytics systems for clients including O2, ITV and Number 10, and worked for Deloitte Consulting in their TMT division. When not writing in the 3rd person, he has a bias for action, enjoys working with problem-solvers, loves outdoor fun with his young family and relishes being the underdog.
Co-founder of Airlite
"Giving for me is the first step to appreciate the joy I continue to receive from this amazing world. Founders pledge made this even easier."
Arun Jayadev is a co-founder of AM Technology commercializing Airlite, an effective approach to mitigate air pollution, reduce the energy foot print and enhance lifecycle of built environment. He was previously a Venture Partner at Wellington Partners, a venture capital firm investing in the clean technology sector. He has served as advisor to Department of Energy and is a Kauffman Fellow from the Centre for Venture Education in Palo Alto. Prior to Wellington, Arun worked for two technology start-ups and a private equity fund.
Arun earned an MBA from IESE Business School, Barcelona and a Bachelor in Engineering from RVCE, Bangalore.
"I created Sober Grid to provide a vehicle to give back to the community, Founders Pledge is a tool in which I can fulfil our dream of giving back. Thank you for providing a way to do so."
Beau Mann is the founder and CEO of Sober Grid, the geo-social mobile networking app that connects sober people by allowing users to find one another based on their relative distance. Beau had the idea for Sober Grid while attending the Sundance Film Festival. Before starting Sober Grid, Beau helped a British software company expand into North America and become profitable after year 1. He also secured the largest contract in the company's 23 year history within his first year
"I guess you’re born with nothing and die with nothing so what happens in between that is important. The Founders Pledge was a very simple commitment to living and working for something more important than myself, and I’m keen for my kids to have that same commitment as they grow up."
Ben is co-founder of Unscriptd, the world’s first athlete publishing company and Cristiano Ronaldo was the first athlete to sign onto the platform in June 2015. Ben has spent the last 25 years in the sports & entertainment industry and is considered a global expert in sports marketing and storytelling.
Prior to Unscriptd, Ben was International Sports Marketing Director for NIKE Inc working with many of the world’s most famous athletes and teams to develop an emotional connection through uncovering the story behind the story and making a connection on not just a sporting level but also a human level.
Ben signed up to Founders Pledge in New York recently for the simple reason of reminding himself of the bigger picture of giving back to society. He was inspired by a quote from Karl Reiland: “in about the same degrees that you are helpful to others you will be happy”.
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!