What is the Founders’ Pledge?

A twist on the Giving Pledge, made popular by Warren Buffett ’51 and Bill Gates, The Founders’ Pledge at Columbia Business School focuses on entrepreneurs and serves as a way to unite charitable goals with your business success. It is an innovative way for entrepreneurs to pledge a percentage of their venture’s future proceeds. Founders simply commit to donating a portion of any wealth resulting from their venture to Columbia Business School.

Make the Pledge.


Who can make a Founders’ Pledge?

Anyone who holds equity in a company such as founders, investors, and institutional investors.

Is there a cost to participating in the Founders’ Pledge?

There is no cost. No commission, transaction fee, or hidden costs.

Is the Founders’ Pledge legally binding?

Your pledge is an indicator of your intention to fulfill the commitment and is not legally binding.

What happens if I never exit or the business fails?

Your pledge is based only on the success of your venture.

Is there a minimum pledge percentage?

The percentage that you give is completely up to you.

What tax benefit do I receive by participating in the Founders’ Pledge?

Columbia University is a not-for-profit or 501 (c)(3), allowing your gift to count against your taxes as a charitable gift. The tax benefit will come at the time of your gift, not at the time you make your pledge. We encourage pledgers to contact us as they prepare for a liquidity event so that we can discuss tax efficient ways of honoring your pledge.


For more information on the Founders' Pledge at Columbia Business School, please contact Beth Brown, Vice Dean, at [email protected]

The Founders

Christine Alemany

Christine Alemany ’04

Chief Executive Officer, TBGA, Founders' Pledge

Bing Wang & Yanan Hu

Bing Wang ’07 & Yanan Hu ’08

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Refuge Biotechnologies, Founders' Pledge

Domenico Crapanzano

Domenico Crapanzano ’97

Founder & CEO, Domotz, Founders' Pledge

Gabby Slome Gaddy

Gabby Slome Gaddy ’15

Co-founder and Chief Experience Officer, Ollie, Founders' Pledge

Sunny Grewal

Sunny Grewal ’13

Co-founder and COO, OMNY, Founders' Pledge

Vineet Madan

Vineet Madan '94SEAS, '00BUS

Co-founder & CEO Junction Education, Founders' Pledge

Sandeep Vardhan

Sandeep Vardhan ’17

Founder, Coinapoly Holdings, Inc., Founders' Pledge

Columbia Business School

Shazi Visram ’04

Founder & ChairMom, Happy Family, Founders' Pledge