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.

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.

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OTTAWA, ON, June 15, 2020 – Kinaxis® Inc. (TSX: KXS), the authority in driving agility for fast, confident decision-making in an unpredictable world, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Toronto-based Rubikloud, a disruptive, emerging provider of AI solutions that automate supply chain prescriptive analytics and decision-making in the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries.

Globally-recognized retailers and CPG manufacturers in the health and beauty, household and grocery segments use Rubikloud’s AI-based products today. Their offerings include demand forecasting and automation to manage and optimize trade promotions, pricing and assortment to drive product demand and dramatically improve financial results. Kinaxis will enhance RapidResponse’s demand planning capabilities with the Rubikloud offerings, anticipating initial opportunities in the company’s rapidly-growing CPG customer base and over time for other industries such as life sciences. The acquisition also offers Kinaxis a springboard into the enterprise retail industry.

“Rubikloud has capabilities and value that we can offer our CPG customers today, leads us into the retail industry with some bellwether accounts, and adds a group of approximately 80 people to an already-impressive AI and machine learning (ML) team here at Kinaxis. Over time, this enhanced group will contribute to new and existing AI-powered capabilities across the full Kinaxis RapidResponse® platform and applications,” said John Sicard, President and CEO of Kinaxis. “This acquisition reflects the growing importance of AI and ML to power intelligent automation and augment human decision-making to better deliver on customer promises, remove waste and increase resiliency for effective risk management.”

Rubikloud’s SaaS-based ML offerings empower retail and CPG manufacturers to transform their core operations by improving and automating complex, profit-generating decisions. Rubikloud’s proven AI capabilities and intuitive tools enable users to leverage disparate data sources to improve forecast accuracy, site-level allocations, inventory availability and promotion plans by allowing users to run boundless simulations in real time.

“We founded Rubikloud with the belief that purpose-built AI could be used to solve some of the most complex industry problems and we have spent the last seven years building a fantastic product that receives validation from global customers every day,” said Kerry Liu, CEO, Rubikloud. “We’re excited at the prospect of joining Kinaxis, which helps us bring our innovations to a much broader customer base at a faster pace than on our own. Not only that, being two strong Canadian companies we see great cultural synergy and look forward to working on the complex problems we know RapidResponse and concurrent planning can solve for customers.”

Terms of Agreement
Kinaxis will acquire Rubikloud for US$60 million in an all-cash transaction that is expected to close within 60 days. Based on Rubikloud’s current revenue and expense profile, the company’s fiscal 2020 revenue and Adjusted EBITDA guidance, as reiterated in its May 6, 2020 news release, remains unchanged. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

About Kinaxis Inc. 
Everyday volatility and uncertainty demand quick action. Kinaxis® delivers the agility to make fast, confident decisions across integrated business planning and the digital supply chain. People can plan better, live better and change the world. Trusted by innovative brands, we combine human intelligence with AI and concurrent planning to help companies plan for any future, monitor risks and opportunities and respond at the pace of change. Powered by an extensible, cloud-based platform, Kinaxis delivers industry-proven applications so everyone can know sooner, act faster and remove waste. For more Kinaxis news, follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.