Founder & CEO of Ometria
"I already intended to allocate a significant portion of any potential financial success from Ometria towards starting a very specific charity that I'd been thinking about for almost a decade. The Founders Pledge allowed me to institutionalise this commitement, and ensure that whatever happens in the future doesn't derail this plan. There's simply no downside to signing the Pledge, and I believe that it's only a matter of time before all entrepreneurs join us in doing so."
Ivan Mazour is the founder and CEO of Ometria - a customer insight and marketing automation platform built specifically for retailers, giving them a unified view of their customers and allowing them to send individually personalised messages to each one. Ometria has received multiple rounds of VC funding and has been invested in by London’s most successful technology entrepreneurs. Ivan was previously the Founding Partner of Innova Kapital, and has himself invested in over thirty technology startups. As well as holding degrees in Mathematics from Cambridge University, and in Economics from the Open University, Ivan is a regular public speaker, and is the author of several books and a popular blog.
"As founders, we start businesses because we want to change the world. If we're successful in our mission, this is the most we could ask for in life, and any financial rewards are just a bonus. If someone else can help realise their dreams or have a better life, by spreading some of the rewards we reap, that makes the Founders Pledge even more worth doing."
Tushar Agarwal is the co-founder & CEO of Hubble, an online marketplace to rent, manage & share office space. Prior to starting Hubble, Tushar completed a degree in Economics from the London School of Economics before working as an investment banker specialising in mergers & aquisitions. After a few years in investment banking, Tushar decided to make the leap to startups. He believes that London is the greatest city in the world & is extremely passionate about making it a dominant hub for entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur & Investor
"I have tried to give both time and capital to charity throughout my career; it's been inspiring to be part of a group that is committing to this on an ongoing basis - we will hopefully all do it smarter as a result."
Tom Hulme is a General Partner of Google Ventures, a European fund that invests $125m per annum into high growth technology ventures across Europe & Israel. Previously, he founded OpenIDEO in 2007, an open innovation platform that has over 58,000 users from more than 170 countries. OpenIDEO allows a global community of users to tackle big design challenges for social good. A serial entrepreneur, Tom also invests in startups, including: thread.com, YPlan, GoCardless, Qriously, Wonga, Duedil & Moveguides.
"It's crucial that amid the hype and chaos of building and growing a startup, we as founders are mindful of how fortunate we are. For me, taking the Founders Pledge was a great chance to pause and reflect on how I'd like my success to impact society in a positive way, and along with my co-founder, we're proud to be part of such a powerful movement."
James is the co-founder and CEO of Encore, the fastest way to find and book great musicians. James spent six years studying cello and piano at a music school in Scotland before masquerading as a computer scientist at the University of Cambridge. There, he started his first startup, and upon graduating, joined the Entrepreneur First accelerator where he met co-founder James King. Outside of the office, you'll probably find him performing at and attending concerts, cycling, or writing.
Founder & CEO of Third Space Learning
"I believe that innovation and enterprise will be the solutions to many problems we face. As such, my motivation in building Third Space was to create a profit-making business with social impact at its heart. The Founders Pledge fits with this ethos and I'm very pleased to be able to commit any value I create to charitable causes alongside a community of like-minded entrepreneurs as part of a movement for change."
Tom Hooper is the founder & CEO of Third Space Learning, a London-based EdTech company that uses technology to connect academic talent from around the world with children at risk of failure in schools across England. Third Space’s mission is to help address teacher shortages & social failure in the UK education system. Third Space's model, impact & traction has been recognised by the UK Department of Education, who are financing a two-year research study, & was voted UK Social Impact investment of the year in 2014. Tom is committed to social enterprise, believing that business can harness innovation for social good. He was selected as a rising star at Founders Forum in Singapore, is a CFA Charterholder & graduated with a masters degree in philosophy & politics.
"I had always felt uneasy about the established models of charitable giving, from the mixed motivations behind individual fitness/adventure challenges, to the confrontational methods used by street collectors. Common to all of them was a lack of a philosophical framework for the giver and the receiver. What's important about effective altruism is that it is dogmatic, but theoretical - agency is left to the individual. If I achieve personal financial success, I want to have a framework to help me use that gain effectively and charitably. Founders Pledge is a great part of that framework."
Toby Mather graduated from Oxford University in Russian & Italian language and literature, and spent a year teaching English to children overseas. He is the co-founder of Lingumi, an interactive method for early years language learning. The products use a method based on academic research into infant language acquisition to teach children aged 2-5 the building blocks of a language, through playful, gamified products and apps. Toby loves learning and speaking languages, travelling, and design.
"Making Founders Pledge was an easy decision for me. Not only am I making a pledge to myself that I am going to be successful some day, I am pledging that I want to do something with that and have a positive influence on the world and causes that matter to me."
James is a young entrepreneur turned "sort of a VC". He started a tech business with friends at University aged 20, went onto 2 accelerator programs (Ignite and Seedcamp), raised $1m in Angel/VC money and grew the team and product to relative scale.
The Now Native suite of mobile/web products were used by 130 websites, generating over 50m monthly pageviews with team of ~8 in Newcastle and London.
He now works as a Partner at Potential VC where he manages Europe's largest and most active AngelList syndicate, executing early stage investments in the UK.
"Having never exited a company I couldn't imagine what it might feel like. However, knowing that in some way I can make a contribution to a cause means that there is now a degree of certainty that I can make some sort of positive impact to somebody, somewhere."
Tom Watson is the co-founder & CTO of Hubble, an online marketplace that matches those looking to rent office space with those who have it. Prior to starting Hubble, Tom completed a degree in Computer Science from the University of Warwick & spent a stint at IBM before recognising his love for startups. After university he joined the Entrepreneur First programme & it was there he met his co-founder, Tushar, & founded Hubble.
"As founders I think we have a tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact on the world. The Founders Pledge makes this simple, and gives me confidence that whatever the contribution it'll go where it's most needed, and be used in the most effective way possible. It's thrilling to be a part of this community. "
Theo is co-founder and CEO of CloudNC, which is developing artificially intelligent Computer Aided Manufacturing software designed to provide a step-change in the effectiveness of one of the most widespread pieces of manufacturing equipment in the world, the CNC milling machine. CloudNC is backed by Entrepreneur First and the UK Government's High Value Manufacturing Catapult.
Theo holds a master’s degree in Manufacturing & Mechanical Engineering with Business Management from Warwick University, during which he filed a patent in metals 3D printing, won an Institution of Mechanical Engineers Best Project Award, and was chief engineer on the university's Human Powered Racing Submarine project.
"We were put in this world to leverage our skills and abilities change the world, be it through business or through non-profit, it's all for the betterment of society."
James Yaakov Zar started his entrepreneurial career in college, as CEO and founder of angel-backed SocialRent. After graduating from Boston University, Yaakov started Dispatch to help enterprises gain new insight into their networks of employees or third-party field service providers. He focuses on product and business development.
Co-founder & CEO of Tapdaq
"Having been involved in a number of volunteer based events and charities, I am delighted to have the opportunity to confirm my intent to contribute financially to a cause close to my heart. Charitable organisations help so many people in very different circumstances so I feel very fortunate to be in a position where I can make a difference to a truly admirable cause.""
Ted Nash is co-founder of Tapdaq, which aims to provide developers with the most transparent, cost effective & user-friendly mobile advertising platform in the world. Tapdaq was recently confirmed as one of the biggest tech seed rounds in Europe, with the completion of $1.4m seed funding. Ted was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the 30 Under 30’s for his work on Tapdaq & was awarded ‘Global Mobile Innovator Of The Year’ at the Mobile World Congress in March 2015. Ted is a serial entrepreneur who has been creating online companies from the age of 12, becoming the first teenager in the world to achieve 1,000,000 App Store downloads with Face Rate.
"I chose to donate through the Founders Pledge because I believe every person has a duty to help those who are less privileged and the pledge makes this easy for entrepreneurs. I grew up in Southern Africa and through the Founders Pledge I intend to support various causes close to my heart there. I hope by taking the pledge I will encourage other founders to do the same, because together I believe we can combat some of the worlds biggest problems."
Jay Patel is the co-founder & CEO of Intros.at, an early stage start-up solving how people network at events in a simple, relevant & engaging way. Intros.at is developing a sophisticated match-making platform, utilising artificial intelligence, natural language processing & big data to offer event attendees suggestions of people they may want to network with. Previously, Jay was the co-founder & commercial director of ubiCabs, a distribution platform for private hire cars & taxis. Jay began his career at IBM, where he worked in in strategy, marketing, CRM & process reengineering consulting projects. Jay has a BSc in bioengineering from the University of Illinois, an MSc in Biotechnology from the University of Pennsylvania & an MBA from London Business School
"It’s a real privilege to be amongst some of the most amazing people in the world. I’ve always been a fan of giving back. It’s something we don’t do enough and the Founders Pledge makes it easy for me to do that."
Stephen is the co-founder of Readbug, a mobile platform for award-winning independent and cult magazines. Prior to founding Readbug, after meeting Matthew on their respective honeymoons, Stephen worked for several of the largest companies on the planet in various senior finance positions. Readbug launched in May 2015, off the back of a successful crowdfunding campaign, and the platform now boasts 58 worldwide titles with more joining all the time. #honeymoonbrosforlife
"As founders, we're trying everyday to make the world a better place. To solve some of the world's biggest problems, a not-for profit approach is sometimes required. The Founder's Pledge helps us make a positive contribution towards solving those problems, making the world a better place, which is ultimately the only reason why we are here."
Jean-Michel is a French entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of LeSalon - a premium mobile beauty service. LeSalon is changing the way beauty is delivered, offering a luxurious experience at home while empowering the professionals delivering the service. Jean-Michel was named to Forbes 30 under 30 list in the category Retail and E-Commerce for reinventing the way we shop, online and off. Prior to LeSalon, Jean-Michel worked as a management consultant at Oliver Wyman in AIG's European Headquarter's. He holds a Master’s degree from London Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in from ESSEC. He speaks English, French, German, Spanish and Vietnamese.
"I am delighted to sign up to Founders Pledge. Success for entrepreneurs is usually hard won, but no one’s journey happens in isolation from the world around you. Committing to sharing your success when it happens is a great thing to do."
Shilen Patel is the co-founder of Independents United, an innovation company that helps corporates achieve discontinuous growth. Shilen is also the co-founder & CEO of Distill Ventures, the world’s first accelerator for new & growing spirits brands. Independents United are investors in Osper, state.com, Dressipi & IAmFy.co.
Co-founder + CEO
"I made the pledge because my goal is to build a business that creates long term benefits for others. This means jobs, education and resources for those who might not otherwise have access."
Jeremy Bodenhamer is the Co-founder and CEO of ShipHawk, a logistics automation platform. He is a leading expert at the intersection of shipping and eCommerce, has been featured in TechCrunch, AOL, VentureBeat, and Fortune, and is a frequent speaker on innovation, technology, and business development. Jeremy is an active volunteer in the community, an avid Crossfitter, and lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, educator and youth advocate Bethany Bodenhamer, and their three sons.
"Shaun Dowling is the co-founder, chief data geek & CTO of interpretive, a predictive analytics platform for business-to-business sales teams, which uses machine learning to make plain English recommendations to improve sales. As CTO, Shaun is responsible for turning data into value. Shaun has two masters degrees: Masters in Engineering Mathematics from Bristol University, during which he spent 1 year living in San Diego, & Masters in Machine Learning from University College London. Shaun is a yoga obsessive, loves travelling & has spent two summers working in San Francisco & previously founded a company in Rio de Janeiro."
For us, it’s really important to be able to build a culture of giving into our company right from the start. Founders Pledge is a great opportunity for us to do this before we have the time and resources of a large company.
Co-founder & Managing Director of Founders Factory
"I took the Founders Pledge because I think it's an innovative model that will inspire the next generation of founders to support their communities."
Jim Meyerle is part of the founding team of Founders Factory and the Managing Director. Founders Factory is a corporate-backed, multi-sector, incubator and accelerator at the very centre of the European technology ecosystem. Jim also previously co-founded Evolv OnDemand, InvestRx and worked as Lead Consultant at Keystone Strategy.
Co-founder & CEO
"Ever since I was a child I have wanted to improve the water and food problems in Africa with the aim of one day eradicating these issues as every human being must be able to have the basic human rights. The pledge and the foundation I believe will be able to help me with my long term goals."
Sadra is the Co-Founder & CEO of TheLuxe.London. He's a young entrepreneur concentrating in emerging markets, mainly in Iran and the Middle East to develop the markets and also help the local population with setting up jobs and support
Co-founder & CEO of Landbay
John is CEO and co-founder of Landbay. Landbay launched in May 2014 and is the only peer-to-peer investment platform to focus solely on the UK residential mortgage market.
John has over 20 years’ experience working across a broad range of industries. Prior to setting up Landbay, John co-founded and managed a leading international financial services executive search business. He also spent 3 years teaching economics at a leading London educational establishment and has held a senior executive role in international stockbroking. John holds an MBA from Imperial College, London and a BA (hons) in Economics from Durham University.
Founder & CEO
"To run a successful tech start-up requires perseverance, luck, and the support of the community and society around you. It's important to me to acknowledge this, and give back whenever you can."
John is the CEO and founder of M14 Industries, the service that powers dating apps. M14 was named as of the 10 "Northern Stars" By TechNorth, meaning it's one of the most exciting and promising startups based in the North of England. M14's flagship app is Bristlr, dubbed the "Tinder for beards" by CNBC and winner of the "Best new dating site" at the UK Dating Awards. John previously worked as a freelance software developer, and as an engineer at a networking company where he helped automate the backbone of the UK internet. Living in Manchester, UK, John helps run regular tech events in the city.
Co-founder of ustwo
"The goal of the Founders Pledge is so closely aligned with my personal and core business values that it was a pretty simple decision. The pledge gives me even more motivation for building and launching successful products, as I know their success means impact for causes I care about."
John Sinclair 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. John also co-founded ustwo’s first joint venture, DICE, a music discovery & ticketing app; he is head of product. John’s true love is building; he is in his element when leading on product development & prides himself on creating solutions. John is a true believer in the long term & wants to create a legacy for future generations.
Founder & CEO of Appear Here
"As a founder you set out to change the way things have been done before, no matter what the chances. You believe in an ideal and will do whatever you can to make it happen. Founders Pledge, to me, is an ideal. This is the way things should be done. Making the pledge is a commitment to working towards making that belief happen and by pledging together we can make that ideal a norm."
Ross Bailey is the founder & CEO of Appear Here, the leading online marketplace for short-term retail space. Based on the concept that renting commercial property should be as easy as booking a hotel room, Appear Here’s mission is to make retail space accessible to everyone. Hailed one of ‘the most disruptive companies of 2014’, by The Financial Times & chosen as one of Wired’s ‘100 Hottest Start Ups’, Appear Here has become the go-to destination to rent retail space. With 10,000 retailers & some of the world's biggest property companies signed up exclusively. Customers include Apple, Google & Marc Jacobs. Ross has been recently listed as one of the Evening Standard’s most influential Londoners & Business Insider’s 50 coolest people in tech.
Co-founder of F6S, Founding Partner of Motive Partners
"The Founders Pledge is the easiest way to demonstrate your commitment to social responsibility and leverage your success to do good."
Jon Bradford is the co-founder of F6S, a network for founders with the highest-ranked start-up programs globally, where they can apply to accelerators, pitch investment funds, post or apply for jobs, get free deals & grow. Jon also co-founded tech.eu & is the Managing Director of TechStars. He was also previously co-founder & CEO of Springboard. Over the last four years, Jon has helped launch 12 accelerators from Montreal to Moscow. Previously, Jon trained as an accountant with Arthur Andersen before working in various start-ups & turnarounds. He has worked in London, Australia, the United States & throughout Europe.
CEO of Hubbub
"Founders have a responsibility to build more than a company and create value for more than themselves. I started this company to bring good causes to life, and I want to continue this work in the future. I made the pledge to formalise this intention but more importantly to encourage others within the startup ecosystem to think along similar, more socially responsible lines."
Jonathan May is the founder of Hubbub, a network of crowdfunding platforms. Hubbub provides platforms to showcase projects to potentially huge audiences, & gives donors & supporters an easy way to get involved. Previously, Jonathan worked with a range of companies, including RBS & XMOS, & has also created several businesses, ranging from electronics & music effects to web development. He also co-founded the UK’s biggest dedicated table football company. Jonathan describes himself as a technologist & geek with a tendency to break things just so there’s something to fix!
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!