This profile is published as part of Pledge 1%’s Women Who Lead series, which celebrates women in the Pledge 1% community who are creating change within their workplace and communities.

The Upside Foundation of Canada enables Canadian startups to give back by donating equity to charities.  Members of the Upside Foundation form a community of entrepreneurs across Canada, with opportunities for connection and collaboration with like-minded peers, investors and influencers.

The Upside Foundation is led by three co-founders, Janie Goldstein, Mark Skapinker, and Rob Antoniades, and one staff member, Jennifer Couldrey.  Janie and Jen comprise the management duo for the organization.

Janie Goldstein is the Executive Director and has been working pro-bono for the Foundation since its inception.  Janie leads the organization’s strategic direction and partnerships.  Both Janie and Jen built their careers working for boutique consulting firms which were later acquired by Deloitte (different ones!).  Janie’s background also includes technical marketing, Venture Capital, and independent business strategy consulting.  Janie has spent considerable time working on philanthropic endeavours, including as current Chair of the Governance Committee of the Board of Directors of Bialik Hebrew Day School. She is the mother of three children in grades 6, 8 and 9, and proud that they are already committed to charitable giving.  “I have lofty goals for Upside. I think we can get a high percentage of our startups pledging options and it could become the way we do business in Canada,” she said. “Ideally, philanthropy will become one of the many things that define Canadians and how we work. We’re making it easy for startups to share a small percentage of their upsides. Canada needs this.”

Jen Couldrey is the Foundation Manager of the Upside Foundation, and has been running the Foundation on a day-to-day basis since May 2016.  As Foundation Manager she leads business development, member engagement, partnership management, and marketing & communications.  Jen has focused her career on the intersection of business and social impact, having worked in Corporate Social Responsibility consulting, as well as with a Kenyan microenterprise focused on women’s economic empowerment and community health.  “I have always believed in using business and entrepreneurship as tools to solve the world’s greatest challenges.  It’s exciting to live in a world that is advancing so quickly and to be surrounded by the startups leading us into that future, but there are also consequences to innovation.  I believe we have a responsibility to funnel some of that new wealth creation back into the community to ensure no one is left behind in the 21st century economy.  I love that I have the opportunity to help this community make a huge positive impact for Canada.”   

The Upside Foundation is the Canadian partner for the Pledge 1% movement, and is pleased to work closely with the dynamic team on this fast growing global movement.