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About Us

The Upside Foundation was founded by investors and leaders in the Canadian tech community to enable founders to give back from day one

VISION

Every Canadian company shares their success with their communities.

MISSION

The Upside Foundation enables founders of early-stage, high-growth Canadian companies to build social responsibility into their business by pledging equity to the charity of their choice, and join a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.

The Upside founders and Executive Directors opening the Toronto Stock Exchange

HISTORY

The Upside Foundation was co-founded by Robert Antoniades, General Partner of Information Venture Partners; Mark Skapinker, Managing Partner at Brightspark Ventures; and consultant Janie Goldstein. The founders were searching for a way to encourage their portfolio companies to give back, noting that this generation of entrepreneurs strives to make an impact. Drawing on the experience of similar organizations, such as Israel’s Tmura and Silicon Valley’s Entrepreneurs Foundation, the trio designed a model built by Canadians for Canadians to enable ambitious entrepreneurs to give back to their communities. In 2015, The Upside Foundation became the Canadian Partner of Pledge 1%, a global movement inspiring early–stage corporate philanthropy.

VALUES

Growth: We are focused on working with as many companies as possible in order to establish equity pledging as a best practice amongst founders in the Canadian startup ecosystem.

Impact: We facilitate equity pledges for any companies headed for a liquidity event, with a focus on maximizing the donations made to Canadian charities.

Diversity: We aim to engage founders, team members, and Board Directors from across Canada, that are diverse in age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability, to draw on a range of perspectives and optimize our potential for positive impact.

Professionalism: We are highly professional in our communications, our events and programs, and in the way our team interacts with each other and others.

Providing Value: We stick to our core work: making it easy for founders to do good. We also help our members to succeed by connecting them with other values-aligned founders, investors, and champions in the innovation industry.

Integrity: We will always do the right thing, not the easy thing. We are fair, honest and transparent in our interactions and transactions. We do not tolerate breaches of integrity from our team, Members or Partners.

Founders & Board of Directors

Amy Olah
Amy Olah
Board Chair
Executive Director, CIBC Innovation Banking
Rob Antoniades
Rob Antoniades
Co-founder, Board Member
Co-founder & General Partner, Information Venture Partners
Mark Skapinker
Mark Skapinker
Co-founder, Board Member
Managing Partner, Brightspark

Janie Goldstein
Janie Goldstein
Co-founder
Consultant


Alkarim Jivraj
Alkarim Jivraj
Board Member
President & CEO, Espresso Capital

Ben Zifkin
Ben Zifkin
Board Member
Founder & CEO, Hubba
Brent Holliday
Brent Holliday
Board Member
Founder & CEO, Garibaldi Capital Advisors
Steven Abrams
Steven Abrams
Board Member
Partner, IT Venture Fund, BDC Venture Capital

Team

Jennifer Couldrey
Jennifer Couldrey
Executive Director
Gabrielle Foss
Gabrielle Foss
Community Manager
Gabrielle Foss
Rosa Sinopoli
Shared Executive Assistant
with Espresso Capital
Gabrielle Foss
Cristin Gray
Shared Executive Assistant
with Information Venture Partners
Jennifer Couldrey
Raya Kassam
Summer Intern

Join the Team

We have no positions currently open, but don't hesitate to get in touch if you are may be interested in volunteering with Upside or being the first to learn about future available roles.

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