Foundry Group is now a Certified B Corp!

BCorp_logo_transparentFoundry Group has always focused on community. From our work across all manner of community organizations, to bringing key industry conferences to our home town of Boulder, to supporting entrepreneurs, we’ve always looked for ways to engage productively in the markets we work in.

We’re firm believers in doing more than just talking. We are founders and major supporters of Pledge 1% and The Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado and have watched them grow into nationally – now internationally – acclaimed organizations.

But we wanted to do more to align the Foundry brand with our commitment to give back to the communities in which we live and work. To really put a stake in the ground about what Foundry stands for.

It is with great pride that we announce that Foundry Group has achieved B Corp Certification through B Lab®.

Certified B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab® to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Certified B Corps pledge to not only focus on their bottom line but also on the community at large.

We are also excited that two fellow Colorado venture firms – Colorado Impact Fund and Greenmont Capital Partners – are announcing their B-certifications alongside us. We hope this sends a message to the broader industry that we can all do well by doing good and encourage others in the industry to make the leap to Certified B Corporations®.

We will join 75 other Certified B Corps in Colorado and over 1,700 in nearly 50 countries around the world including well-known leaders New Belgium Brewing, Patagonia, Seventh Generation, Ben & Jerry’s, Kickstarter, Etsy, Warby Parker and Hootsuite.

We also join notable tech B Corps in Colorado such as Rally Software (the first ever B Corp to go public with that certification), Namaste Solar, Simple Energy, and dojo4.

We believe that a group of people acting together towards a common goal can have a far greater impact than when they act alone. With this in mind we challenge everyone reading this to consider joining us in the B Corp movement. #BtheChange

  • Welcome to the club! Really excited that you all took this step to get certified.

  • Nextspace.us and PublicGood.com are investments I made that happen to also B Corps Congrats.

  • tamccann

    Awesome. Leadership yet again by FG!

  • DaveJ

    Are the investment funds also certified, or just the management company? How do decisions interact if the funds are aimed at maximizing profit and the management company has other stakeholders?

    • Hi Dave. No – we certified at the partnership level (in VC parlance, the General Partner). The funds themselves (which are separate legal entities) are not certified. We did this because our employees, vendor relationships, etc. are all at the management company. We run our funds to maximize return. We run our business to consider all stakeholders. We don’t believe these two ideas are in conflict at all.

      • DaveJ

        So in their roles as board members of a portfolio company, Foundry partners do not take into account social or environmental stakeholders to the extent that those interests are in conflict with returns? And doesn’t that mean you should not, according to your fiduciary responsibility to the LP, advise portfolio companies to become B corps, since that would require them not to maximize returns at the expense of social/environmental stakeholders, at least in some cases?

        Pre-empting one possible response, if you say that you think there is never a conflict between returns and social/environmental stakeholders, then the entire notion of a B corp is superfluous.

        • jasonmendelson

          Corporate law dictates how we interact with our portfolio companies. Whether that is a B corp or not is dependent upon each individual circumstance and we can’t generalize. We run Foundry Group how we want to run Foundry Group and we’ve decided that our company should be a B corp. That is best for us. This does not affect our investment entities.

        • Jason’s response below is spot on. Further to your question about fiduciary responsibility, I lay out in a post I wrote on becoming a B-Corp (on my blog at sethlevine.com) reasons that I believe becoming a B-Corp is an advantage for businesses (and therefore absolutely in their best long term interests as a business, not just as responsible members of the business community).

    • DaveJ

      One can imagine that B-Corp-like requirements could be a legal prerequisite to limiting an entity’s liability (e.g., corps or LPs), turning limited liability into a privilege and mitigating the dysfunction of optimizing for a single variable. Thoughts?

      • jasonmendelson

        That is a policy issue that I don’t want to get involved in. For us, we feel being a B-corp is the right thing to do.

  • erict19

    Very cool. Hope this precedent for the broader industry.

  • Congratulations and welcome to the B Corp community from your friends at Hilary’s Eat Well.

  • Brad Canham

    Congratulations!