How Epic Foundation is bringing Philanthropy into the digital age

Jan 13, 2016
Vote on Hacker News

Screenshot 2016-01-13 09.20.31

About 6 months ago I found myself pacing back and forth during some startup event – I wasn’t avoiding pitches or waiting to use the bathroom, I was talking with NYC-based French entrepreneur Alexandre Mars about his Epic Foundation. I can’t say that I was surprised that an entrepreneur with a successful exit would go into philanthropy, it was more the way Mars approached philanthropy that got me excited.

In a word, Epic Foundation is bringing the process of giving donations into the 21st century. Epic Foundation hand picks foundations each year to promote to its user base of donors. Donors get a filtered look at foundations that Mars & his team have personally visited and validated, and they can also monitor progress, view regular video updates, as well as see how funds are being spent.

Increasingly I’m seeing innovation as converting an “Industrial” process into an “Internet” process. What Holberton School (or Ecole 42) seeks to do with Education, what Scytl does with the voting process, what Nest does with the home, what Ethereum does to Financial Services, what AppNexus has done to the Advertising industry, and what Epic Foundation is doing for Non-Profits. Each of these brings a very Industrial way of doing things – teaching, paying, voting, managing energy efficiency, advertising, donating – and introducing software into the mix, shifting the industry entirely.

Epic Foundation exists in a world where hosting dating, communicating, and even taking professional-quality video have never been easier, more accessible, and cheaper than they are today. If there are no barriers to providing constant updates to donors, all that’s needed is the proper platform to unify these actions. Epic Foundation seeks to be that platform.