Boulder July 11,2012 – Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado (EFCO) today announced a grant of unrestricted funds to The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County and Rose Community Foundation. The grants, totaling more than $430,000, were made possible by a contribution of profits from Foundry Group and TechStars and the recent initial public offering (IPO) of Jive.
Established in 2007, EFCO is a network of Colorado entrepreneurs whose companies have joined together to give a portion of their founding equity or a portion of their yearly profits to the community. EFCO received equity in Jive when the EFCO member company, Filtrbox, was acquired by Jive in 2010. Foundry Group, a venture capital firm focused on investing in early-stage information technology companies, has endowed EFCO with a portion of its carried interest. Foundry is the first VC firm in the country to provide community funding through the EF Network. TechStars, an accelerator program that provides mentoring and investment to startups, also joined EFCO with a commitment of an annual percentage of profit.
“With the increasing activity in mergers and acquisitions, as well as favorable public market offerings, we’re finally witnessing the entrepreneurial seeds of giving and corporate social responsibility that we sowed in the last decade,” said Ryan Martens, Board Chair of EFCO and CTO of Rally Software. “It’s starting to bloom into real community benefits in Colorado. With Foundry and TechStars’ gifts and Jive’s IPO, the grant to EFCO will generate an incredible community benefit that will be felt both in Denver and Boulder for years to come.”
Realizing cash is limited with start-up companies, EFCO works to encourage entrepreneurs throughout the region to earmark equity for their community early in a company’s inception. Upon a private sale or initial public offering, these shares become liquid and transfer into the community. These grants are typically 1 percent of early equity or 1 percent of profits. During the past 13 years, the Entrepreneurs Foundation Network, of which EFCO is an affiliate, has partnered with more than a thousand companies across the United States and Israel.
Together, Foundry Group’s, TechStars’, and Jive’s contributions will amount to $430,073. The Foundry and TechStars gifts are part of long-term commitments to EFCO. The organizations will continue to receive a portion of proceeds from future exits in the Foundry and TechStars portfolio.
“We’re honored that our initial commitment through EFCO has allowed us to make such a significant contribution to our community,” said Seth Levine, managing director of Foundry Group. “We encourage other VC firms to consider EFCO as a way to begin their own philanthropic program.”
“It’s reassuring to know that our contribution through Filtrbox allows us to leave a permanent mark on our community,” said Ari Newman, founder of Filtrbox and former vice president at Jive.
“We’re so appreciative of Foundry Group, TechStars, Filtrbox and Jive for their support,” said Josie Heath, president, The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County. “Gifts to the unrestricted grantmaking funds of community foundations are visionary because they are invested strategically in nonprofit organizations that are making the most impact on pressing local issues.”
“We’re pleased to have been selected to receive this generous grant from Filtrbox,” says Sheila Bugdanowitz, Rose Community Foundation president and CEO. “We appreciate when businesses choose to partner with us by contributing to our unrestricted grantmaking funds. This allows Rose Community Foundation to use its local expertise to make strategic philanthropic investments in our community and demonstrate that businesses can and do play an integral part in helping solve community needs.”
The timing of these gifts is particularly sweet for The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County, as they come in the final months of a four-year campaign to double the grant-making impact of the Foundation’s unrestricted grantmaking fund, The Community Trust. With these gifts, the campaign has drawn within $250,000 of its $4 million goal.