Foundry Group Joins the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado

by Brad Feld

All of us at Foundry Group try hard to be substantive members of our community. We have all chosen to live in Boulder, Colorado and we share the belief that giving back to the community in which we live is an important part of supporting this goal. In addition, we strongly believe in the cliché of “putting our money where our mouths are.” As a result, we are proud to announce that we have recently become members of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado.

In early 2007, Brad was one of the founding members of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado (EFCO). EFCO was created to encourage the various constituencies of entrepreneurial companies in Colorado (including founders, employees, and investors) to incorporate philanthropy early in the creation of their companies and contribute to the long-term health and sustainability of our community. To date, eighteen entrepreneurial companies in Colorado have joined EFCO – Foundry Group makes nineteen.

The mechanics of EFCO are straightforward – companies contribute 1% of their post-Series A equity to EFCO. This is done in the form of a warrant that is only exercisable in a change of control so that there is no administrative overhead on the company. At the time of the grant, the company also allocates the future gift to a community foundation, a specific charity, or some combination. When the company has an exit event, the cash generated from this gift is distributed to the designated organizations.

The Entrepreneurs Foundation has chapters in eight other major cities around the country and one in Israel. To date there are approximately 700 member companies (representing over 20,000 employees) who have contributed over $15 million to support various charities. In Foundry Group’s case, we are contributing 1% of our carried interest (the functional equivalent of 1% of our equity) to the Community Trust Endowed Fund of the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County.

In addition to the financial contribution, EFCO serves to engage all employees of an EFCO Member Company in the process of philanthropy – to the extent that they want to. In August EFCO will have its first major Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado Members event where it will gather as many members and their families together for a half day to learn more about local philanthropy, engage in a specific family friendly project that benefits our community, and have some fun together.

We are proud of how quickly the Colorado entrepreneurial community has embraced the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado. Given that many well known venture capital firms participate in the Entrepreneurs Foundation program on a national basis, we hope others follow our lead and up the ante by participating financially.