Skip to main content

First Ascent Ventures is a proud supporter of the Upside Foundation.

The Upside Foundation of Canada offers an exciting platform to help Canadian startups and high-growth companies “Share The Upside” and positively impact our community.

Incorporated in 2013 as a registered charity, the Foundation has an innovative model that empowers the early-stage, high-growth startup sector to give back. We provide a unique platform for corporate philanthropy: donate options or warrants, not cash. We understand that cash is scarce, as is time, so the Upside Foundation makes charitable giving quick, easy and cash-free.

The model is powerful: early-stage companies pledge stock options or warrants to the Upside Foundation, convertible into a small portion of equity. When the company has a liquidity event (e.g., IPO, acquisition), the Foundation sells its options for cash and donates the proceeds to registered charities in Canada. The Foundation has no involvement in the donor companies’ operations.

A huge effort has gone into building the platform to make it easy to use. It is now easy for Canadian startups to participate with legal and tax considerations fully vetted by our team of experts.

Create more opportunities for Canadians in need
Proceeds from the sale of a donor company’s stock are allocated to approved, registered Canadian charities. The Foundation can identify causes that are relevant to the start-up community and suggest the highest impact charities, based on external research, but ultimately permits donors to choose their charities so the donations can be most meaningful to their companies.

In order for charities to be approved, they must be in good standing with the Canada Revenue Agency and unaffiliated. Each charity must pass the Foundation’s due diligence process.

The platform is a simple way for early stage companies to build their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. If many Canadian startups donate through the platform, together we can make a huge impact on society.

Increase visibility of your company in the VC and start-up community
Not only is your company included on our website as a charitable donor, but it will also be included on the global Pledge 1% website. Being noticed as a leading startup company provides networking and promotional opportunities. In addition, donors are invited to events with prominent representatives of the VC, Angel, incubator and start–up communities.

Build a stronger corporate culture
Winning companies not only have great products and services, but also a strong culture of giving as part of their mission and purpose. You can build a lasting legacy for your company, easily shared by employees. Corporate philanthropy has been proven to improve recruiting, retention and reputation.

Be a part of the success
The Upside Foundation’s structure and mission follow similar proven models in Israel and Silicon Valley and is a partner of the global movement – Pledge 1%. Building on their success, the Upside Foundation will have a profound impact on corporate charitable giving in Canada.

For more information please visit: