Founder & CEO
Kathryn is the Muse's CEO and number one swashbuckler. Kathryn has spoken at MIT and Harvard, appeared on The TODAY Show and CNN, and contributes on career and entrepreneurship to the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. She was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Media and Inc.’s 15 Women to Watch in Tech. Before founding The Muse, Kathryn worked on vaccines in Rwanda and Malawi with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and was previously at McKinsey. Say hi on Twitter @KMin.
Founder and CEO
JB founded Criteo in 2005 and has driven its growth into a truly global organization with technology as its heart beat and its clients as its focus. Having transitioned his role from CEO to Executive Chairman in 2016, JB returned to the role of CEO in April 2018. A serial entrepreneur, in addition to a number of start-ups, JB also founded The Galion Project, a non-profit think tank that helps other entrepreneurs to grow faster.
Founder / CEO
Emmanuel Arnaud is the CEO of HomeExchange and GuesttoGuest. A graduate of HEC Paris and the Harvard Kennedy School, he has combined his passion for sustainable development with his passion for traveling to revolutionize the home exchange market. Arnaud founded GuesttoGuest in 2011. In 2017, GuesttoGuest acquired U.S.-based HomeExchange, creating a world leader in the home swapping market. Solidly anchored in the sharing economy, GuesttoGuest is a promising alternative to traditional hospitality markets, ensuring that peer-to-peer transactions become ever-more mainstream. Arnaud is a sharing economy insider with management, entrepreneurship, start-up and leadership expertise. He is frequent keynote speaker and panellist at travel, technology and other events. He is the recipient of Echo Touristique’s “Person of the Year 2017” trophy for innovation and the FACCNE (French-American Chamber of Commerce New-England) Business Award 2018.
Co-founder & CTO of Swiftkey
"I made my Founder's Pledge because I want to help promote awareness of the responsibility of founders and entrepreneurs to give where there is need, recognising the tremendous opportunities given to us."
As co-founder and CTO of SwiftKey, Ben Medlock invented the intelligent keyboard for smartphones and tablets that has transformed typing on touchscreens. The company’s mission is to make it easy for everyone to create and communicate on mobile.
SwiftKey is best known for its smart typing technology which learns from each user to accurately autocorrect and predict their most-likely next word, and features on more than 250 million devices to date. SwiftKey Keyboard for Android is used by millions around the world and recently went free on Google Play after two years as the global best-selling paid app. SwiftKey Keyboard for iPhone and iPad launched in September 2014, following the success of iOS note-taking app SwiftKey Note.
SwiftKey has been named the No 1 hottest startup in London by Wired magazine, ranked top 5 in Fast Company’s list of the most innovative productivity companies in the world and has won a clutch of awards for its innovative products and workplace.
Ben has a First Class degree in Computer Science from Durham University and a PhD in Natural Language and Information Processing from the University of Cambridge.
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.
Chairman and CEO
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.
Founder and COO of Shift
Minnie Ingersoll is Founder and COO of Shift, a leading online car retail platform. After 12 years at Google, Minnie went on to co-found Shift, an online car marketplace which has revolutionized the way people think about car ownership with trust, simplicity and convenience. Minnie is both a long-time Silicon Valley executive and dedicated mother. She now stands as COO at Code for America, a progressive nonprofit dedicated to improving civic tech and strengthening America's social safety net.
Beth is Chief People officer at Zenefits, a People Platform which brings everything HR into one radically simple, single app. Zenefits is one of the fastest software as a service companies in history and is leading the way in HR technology. Beth has over 20 years of experience in organization development, talent strategy, and leadership development. Her focus has been to help leaders and companies with complex organizational and growth issues.
She has a BA in Psychology from San Jose State University, took part in the Executive Program at Stanford University, and has a stellar track record of leadership and coaching accolades. Beth is also a former Ironman athlete and has completed over ten marathons!
"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.
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!