Howard Gwin is having a great week. After announcing that he would be a venture partner in the newly-launched $100 million Leaders Fund, Gwin is also being named as The Upside Foundation‘s first ambassador.
The experienced VC and corporate director — in the past, he’s worked with Rypple and Vision Critical — will actively promote Upside’s mission to the startups and entrepreneurs in his network. The Upside Foundation is a Canadian charity that asks startups and high-growth companies to pledge stock options or warrants to Upside, which then sells the options once a startup goes through a liquidity event. The proceeds go to Canadian charities spanning education, poverty, and technology.
The organization said that Gwin has long been a supporter of Upside — when he advises startups, Gwin has asked some of them to send cash or donate options to Upside in lieu of payment to him.
“Those of us who have had the great fortune of working in the North American technology sector now have a fantastic vehicle to give back. The Upside Foundation makes it very easy and I encourage all entrepreneurs to think about pledging options or warrants in this way,” said Gwin.
Gwin’s experience spans two decades in roles like corporate director, chairman, and operating chairman. One of his notable roles was in 2000, when Gwin was President/COO of Solect Technology Group, sold to Amdocs Inc. for US$1.4 billion. Prior to Solect, Gwin was executive vice president at PeopleSoft, and was responsible for growing it from $100 million in revenues to $1.3 billion.