"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
"We all have different ways we can make the world a better place: for me, I do this through investing in next technology start-ups but great initiatives like Founders Pledge allow me to leverage my success even further for social good."
Jean-Charles is co-founder of Expliseat which has revolutionized aircraft seating for economy class through new technologies: weight divided by three, more comfort, more durability. Titanium Seat is certified worldwide and flying on several airlines, generating massive fuel and CO2 savings.
Most recently, Jean-Charles co-founded alan, a new startup which uses data to predict disease and send patients to specialist appointments before they start showing symptoms. The aim to change healthcare from passive and actuarial model to one of prevention and action.
He has been awarded French Industry Medal by French Industry Minister and 2 Montgolfier Prices from French "Society for the Encouragement of National Industry", and was selected among the 100 in European aerospace. Jean-Charles is also the founder of a French think-tank focusing on future of technology with French young leaders and an investor in topics such as AI and biotech. Jean-Charles has two degrees, an MSc from Ponts et Chaussés and an MBA from Collège des Ingénieurs.
Great initiatives like Founders Pledge allow me to leverage my success even further for social good.
Jean-Charles Samuelian, Founder
"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!
"I'm really excited to be a part of Founders Pledge. But more importantly, this is something the tech sector really needs. The beauty of the pledge is in its simplicity and its huge potential impact. And as a small team working on a big, ambitious project, having end-to-end solution that helps us to do even more good in the world is invaluable. I can't think of any reason why a founder wouldn't want to get involved."
Robyn is the Founder of HER, the app that helps women meet each other. Originally founded in London but now based in San Francisco, HER is a social network for women to meet and talk about what's important to them, from relationships to sexuality to families.
Currently focused on the lesbian, bisexual and queer market, HER addresses the different ways women use technology to socialise and build relationships with one another. Currently live in the US, UK and Canada HER is changing the landscape and opportunities women have to speak openly about issues important to them. Robyn also co-organises Geek Girl Meetup in the UK, a series of talks and annual conference attracting over 400 women from the technology industry in London, with female speakers from the tech sector created to inspire women and create new role models in the industry.
I'm really excited to be a part of Founders Pledge. But more importantly, this is something the tech sector really needs.
Robyn Exton, Founder
"Even though Inigo Scout already has social enterprise baked into the model, I am still very proud to commit to the Founders Pledge. I believe that every truly ambitious business should commit to having a positive impact on society and frankly, the Pledge makes this incredibly easy to achieve."
Josh Robinson is the founder of Inigo Scout, a company that produces luxury limited edition blankets featuring abstract art by up & coming artists. Josh has 15 years experience in design, branding, marketing & social media. The birth of his twins & a fascination with the physical & emotional value of the knitted blankets in the intensive care unit where they were cared for led to the foundation of Inigo Scout. Every time an Inigo Scout blanket is purchased, 4 children in need of warmth, somewhere in world, get blankets too. Funding is channeled to local knitters in deprived cities, supporting local entrepreneurship, craft & creativity.
Co-founder & COO
"Giving back to society is at the core of our business. Our motivation for creating HiyaCar was not for our love of cars, but because we wanted to help the community financially by providing another potential revenue stream and providing alternate transport solutions. I took the Founders Pledge because it simplifies the giving process, making it easy for me to help others in the areas closest to my heart."
Rob Larmour is the co-founder & COO of HiyaCar, an online peer-to-peer car hire platform created to change the way we use cars. In its early stages, after an exceptional crowd funding campaign HiyaCar reached its initial funding target within 5 days and is now ready to disrupt the $60billion car hire market. Previously, Rob has set up and managed complex online platforms in the UK and Ireland that processed thousands of transactions for thousands of members.
"Taking the Founders Pledge was a joy, as it has given me another reason to drive for success. I am a firm believer that it is our duty to give back to society and open doors for those without opportunity."
Jude grew up in Northern Ireland, moving to London when he was 19 years old. He is Co-Founder of Reposit, a platform offering an insuretech alternative to the current tenancy deposit system. It is Reposit's mission to help provide affordability for Generation Rent. This is Jude's first start-up, having joined Ignite's Accelerator programme in January 2016, Reposit have subsequently raised seed funding, and are working with high profile strategic partners to push growth over the next 12 months. Jude has a passion for problem solving and promoting social change through innovation.
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.
Founder & CEO
"As the founder of a start-up, I know first hand how easy it is to have the right intentions to give back but due to time and resource limitations not get around to doing so. Founders Pledge provides a solution; it is a fantastic initiative with an uncomplicated process that every founder should sign on to. The Founders Pledge means I formalise my commitment to giving back now and then continue to grow my businesses in the knowledge that my growth equals success for the causes I care about."
Rich Waldron is the founder & CEO of tray.io, the integration platform on a mission to make connecting software services a breeze. tray.io helps companies & individuals connect the services they use everyday via it's innovative visual workflow editor & fully extendible cloud connectors. To date tray.io has raised $2.8m in funding, having recently announced financing from True Ventures, Redpoint VC & Angelpad.
Founder & CEO
"Back in 2011, I created a non-profit to promote the use of technology for societal impact. Since then, I vowed to always have a positive impact with my work, and give back to others who want to do the same. Founders Pledge makes executing on that much easier!"
Dr Rand Hindi is an entrepreneur and data scientist. He is the founder and CEO of Snips, an AI company specialized in Context Awareness.
Rand started coding at the age of 10, founded his first startup at 14 and created a web development agency at 15 before starting his PhD at the age of 21. He has been elected as a TR35 by the MIT Technology Review, as a "30 under 30" by Forbes and received the Excellence Française award.
He holds a BSc in Computer Science and a PhD in Bioinformatics from UCL, as well graduate degrees from Singularity University in Silicon Valley and THNK in Amsterdam.
I vowed to always have a positive impact with my work, and give back to others who want to do the same. Founders Pledge makes executing on that much easier!
Rand Hindi, Founder & CEO
CEO of Learnerbly
"I'm a big believer in doing well by doing good. I have always tried to ensure that my various ventures have a positive social impact and signing the Founders Pledge is another way for me to ensure that I am able to share my future success in a positive way."
Rajeeb Dey is the Founder and CEO of Enternships, a portal connecting students and graduates to work placements in over 6500 startups and fast growing businesses for which he was named the “02 X Young Entrepreneur of the Year” and the youngest recipient of the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2013. Rajeeb is also the Co-Founder of StartUp Britain, a national entrepreneurship campaign launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011.
He is a Trustee of UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, and was named as one of the 1,000 Most Influential People in London by The Evening Standard and recognised in prestigious publications "Who's Who 2014" and "Debrett's People of Today". He graduated in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford and was appointed as the world's youngest Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012. You can follow him on Twitter @rajdey
"We all have a duty to help make the world we live in a better place. Founders Pledge helps make this possible."
Raj Sharma is a serial entrepreneur and investor. Raj started his first successful company in fashion wholesale and retail aged just 23, growing the business to include 57 retail outlets. He then worked in property development before discovering startups and co-founding HiyaCar. HiyaCar is the Airbnb of car sharing, with a mission to bring communities together and improve citizens lives. Raj is also involved in Only by Nature, the UK's healthiest frozen yogurt that recently launched in Waitrose and Art Rebellion, a new art based coffee concept launching on Duke Street, London.
Co-founder & CEO of Insta Supply
"Making things better is what being an entrepreneur is all about. The core function of who we are and what we do is improvement. Positive transformation not just for our specific business sectors but for the world at large. Founders Pledge is the perfect example of the positive effect business can have when we look further than our own personal horizons."
As the Co-founder and CEO of InstaSupply, Lee Pruitt set out to simplify the way buyers and suppliers interact through cloud technology, in the convoluted world of B2B commerce. An American who has made London his home, Lee's a serial entrepreneur who strongly believes that cloud technology and digital networks are here to improve people’s lives and bring consumer specific simplicity to business processes. Follow Lee on twitter at @lee_pruitt.
Co-founder & CEO of Brolly
"Phoebe Hugh is the co-founder & CEO of Brolly, an insurance tech startup that uses artificial intelligence to advise insurance customers on a mobile app. Brolly is a game changer for the insurance sector, and is backed by Entrepreneur First and Project Innovate at the Financial Conduct Authority. Phoebe began her career at Aviva where she built up her insurance expertise and gained unique insight into the challenges faced by the sector. Prior to launching Brolly, Phoebe co-founded Ambition First, a diversity and inclusion initiative that supports emerging business talent from the grassroots up. In addition to being qualified with the Chartered Insurance Institute, Phoebe has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Manchester."
As a young girl, I was fortunate to spend much of my time in Egbelubi, Nigeria, where I first understood the stark differences in opportunities people have in life. The founder community is full of brilliant minds who can use their problem solving abilities and financial positions to level the playing field, and improve lives and societies around the world. The Founders Pledge is one of the most meaningful commitments I’ve ever made, and I am grateful that it’s encouraging so many entrepreneurs to engage in philanthropic activities.
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!