Individual Upsides

VCs across Canada are pledging to share their own upside with local charities close to them

Upside Leaf Icon

VCs are joining the movement to share their own upsides

The mission and vision behind The Upside Foundation is one of a thriving tech community who's success powers opportunity for all Canadians.  VCs across Canada are pledging 1% of their fund or personal carry to charity through Upside. Here's why:

The Upside Foundation was born of support from the VC community, and has long been supported by prominent industry leaders, including its Board of Directors, and with Howard Gwin, Salim Teja and Gerry Pond as early champions. Upside has also partnered with the community to honour the legacies of VCs Derek Smyth and Barry Gekiere through Memorial Funds. Read more in our special contribution to CVCA Central.

Join these leaders

Dominique Belanger
Dominique Belanger
Managing Partner, Late Stage Venture Fund, BDC Capital

"At BDC, we do a lot of work for startups - a huge part of that is contributing to the betterment of the Canadian innovation ecosystem. Pledging my own personal upside gives me an opportunity to do this in a very tangible way for my community"

Alkarim Jivraj
Alkarim Jivraj
CEO, Espresso Capital

"We're huge believers in Upside's mission, and actively encourage our portfolio companies and community to join and commit to giving back. And since we think it's important to lead by example, that's exactly what we've done ourselves."

Mark Skapinker
Mark Skapinker
Managing Partner, Brightspark

"As the Co-founder of Upside, it was always our goal to tie giving back into the community we are a part of. Aligning philanthrophy with success is a huge motivator for me and my portfolio companies"

Eva Lau
Eva Lau
Founding Partner, Two Small Fish Ventures

"I encourage entrepreneurs to make a commitment very early on, so it's important that I lead with the same values and action. With the generosity of both founders and VCs, we can build a more equitable society together"

Prashant Matta
Prashant Matta
Partner, Panache Ventures
Steve Abrams
Steve Abrams
Partner, IT Venture Fund, Strategic Investments and Women in Tech Fund- BDC Venture Capital
Mark Skapinker
Lise Birikundavyi
Managing Partner, BKR Capital
Brent Holliday
Brent Holliday
Founder & CEO, Garibaldi Capital Advisors

How it works

VC pledges a portion of their fund or personal carry (typically 1%) to Upside 

VC experiences an upside from a portfolio company liquidity event

Cash proceeds are donated to a charity(s) of their choice

Steps to share your Upside

There are a few easy steps to pledge a portion of your Upside to charity and become an Upside Member

1. Complete 30-second pledge form

See Pledge to access the form and get started

2. Sign the donation agreement

Select the 'Personal Proceeds' section of our donation document. See here for a quick walkthrough of the document, and access the Agreement here.

3. Select your charity(s) now or later

You can choose any registered Canadian charity that is meaningful to you at the time of your initial donation, when you have experience an upside from liquidity event, or any time in between (see Charities for more information). This can change over time as you continue to experience upsides.

4. Tell the world about your commitment

Signal your values to your clients and portfolio companies on your website and social platforms, and encourage others to follow suit 

5. Enjoy being part of the Upside community! 

See Community to see past Upside events

The Upside Foundation is building the movement to make giving back the industry norm in Canadian tech. Our goal is to bring everyone in the VC ecosystem together to give back to our community.
Amy Olah, Managing Director, CIBC Innovation Banking, and Upside Foundation Board Chair
When you start a business, the only thing on your mind is, 'will this be successful?'. Giving might not be the first thing that comes up. But it's so easy to set this up right at the start, and it's a great foundation to build a business on top of.
Mike Katchen, Co-founder & CEO of Wealthsimple


How much should my donation be?

Typically VCs are donating 1% of their personal carry or of their fund's carry. This percentage is entirely at your discretion, however we encourage you to ensure the donation is a meaningful amount.

Does the Upside Foundation take a fee from donations?

Most VCs allocate 10% to The Upside Foundation as they want to see more and more companies and investors integrating philanthropy into their business success

How is the Upside Foundation funded?

Upside is funded through patrons, corporate sponsors and private donations. Learn more on our Partners page.

How are the charities selected?

Each VC chooses the charity(s) they'd like to support. The Upside Foundation offers support in terms of due diligence, and all charities chosen must adhere with our Donation Policy. If you'd like to rally other people to support a cause you feel passionately about, reach out, we'd love to work with you to support you in this. For more information, please see our Impact page.

What is The Upside Foundation's Donation Policy?

Any selected charity must meet the following criteria: a registered Canadian charity vehicle, in good standing with the CRA, approved by the Foundation due diligence process (this will include, but is not limited to, a review of financial statements, a meeting with at least one representative from the organization and Foundation Board approval).

It is our mission to fund nonpartisan service organizations that adhere rigorously to fundamental human rights principles and provide a long-term benefit to Canadians.  We encourage the donations to remain in Canada to support Canadians in need. We do not consider support for programs or organizations:
- Involving partisan political activities; direct or indirect promotion of or opposition to a political candidate or party.
- Which discriminate on the basis of race, creed, age, gender, or sexual orientation in policy or practice, or that seek to limit the legal rights and activities of people.
- Which endorse, support, or promote violence, terrorist activity, or related training, whether through their own activities or indirectly through their support of, support by, or cooperation with, other persons and organizations engaged in such activities.

Is the pledge legally binding?

The online pledge form is not legally binding, but the subsequent legal documents are.

What are the tax implications of my pledge?

The Upside Foundation will issue you a full donation receipt upon receipt of your cash donation.

Ready to bring your values to life in your company

Fill out the one minute pledge form,
or explore if Upside is a fit for you