Founder Institute Toronto has announced a partnership with the Upside Foundation, a charity that encourages Canadian startups and high-growth tech companies to pledge stock options and warrants towards Canadian charities.
Through Upside Foundation, companies pledge stock options or warrants, and once the company has a liquidity event like an IPO or acquisition, the Foundation monetizes the options and donates the proceeds to registered Canadian charities selected by the donors and approved by Upside. Founder Institute cohorts, alumni, and mentors will be encouraged to give to the Upside Foundation.
“The Upside Foundation model is brilliant. Many founders find that our businesses take up all of our available cash, yet we still want to continue to support charities we believe in,” said Kamal Hassan, director of Founder Institute Toronto. “Upside offers us the chance to continue our giving, through equity, while we reinvest in our businesses.”
In January, the Upside Foundation announced Howard Gwin, a venture partner with the Leaders Fund, as the first ambassador.
Mentors who have already donated warrants include Aran Hamilton, Ben Zifkin, Jason Atkins, Mark Skapinker, Mike Katchen, Rob Antoniades, and Saul Colt.
“Founder Institute is an important part of the mature infrastructure in the Toronto tech industry,” said Mark Skapinker, co-founder and of the Upside Foundation and Managing Partner of Brightspark Ventures. “We are thrilled to be associated with them and believe that this partnership will result in significant benefit to Canadian communities for years to come.”
Applications for Founder Institute Toronto’s Summer 2016 cohort are due July 31.