Entrepreneurs Foundation (EF) Announces New Focus, Culturati becomes an Independent Nonprofit

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Austin nonprofit to be led by Ionic Partners’ Donald Park as new Board Chair; Austin Community Foundation will manage its program for entrepreneurs’ contribution of equity for philanthropy

Entrepreneurs Foundation & its member companies have donated & helped raise nearly $18 million and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours to local, state, national and global nonprofits and community initiatives.

The Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas (EF), an Austin-based nonprofit founded in 1999, promotes philanthropy and community engagement while helping entrepreneurs build corporate cultures that contribute to their business success.

During its 23 years, the Entrepreneurs Foundation & its member companies have donated & helped raise nearly $18 million and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours to local, state, national and global nonprofits and community initiatives. Entrepreneurs have contributed equity in over 300 tech startups for future philanthropic giving.

EF today first announced that Ionic Partners co-founder and President Donald Park, a longtime EF Board member, will take over from EF co-founder and outgoing Chairperson Bill Bock, effective Jan 1, 2023. Donald will lead a new Board through a strategic planning process to co-create with the Austin entrepreneurial community a new EF to best serve Austin’s needs in 2023 and beyond.

“The Entrepreneurs Foundation represents an extraordinary legacy of Austin’s entrepreneurial community which we mustn't lose if we’re to maintain the uniqueness & rich history of Austin. We want to honor this rich history while giving a voice to new entrepreneurs, new Austinites, and encourage them to join us in continuing to build Austin into a city of unique significance,” said Donald Park, the incoming board chair for the Entrepreneurs Foundation.

In addition, EF today announced that one of its signature programs, Culturati, will become an independent nonprofit. Co-Founded in 2015 by Eugene Sepulveda and current EF Board member Josh Jones-Dilworth, Culturati is a national community of corporate CEOs, CHROs and other executives who get the power of culture and its ability to transform the workplace, employees lives and the communities where we live, work and play.

With this announcement, Entrepreneurs Foundation CEO Eugene Sepulveda will leave his post, becoming co-founder & CEO of Culturati, joined by COO Myste Wylde to focus on leading the new nonprofit and stewarding its continued growth.

“Culturati has exceeded all of our expectations,” said Eugene Sepulveda, CEO. “What started as a small, intimate gathering of culture-forward CEOs in Austin has become a truly national platform and community — and the #1 brand in culture — with Knowledge & Thought Partners including McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, Indeed, NI, Google, Sailpoint, DLA Piper, NXP Semiconductor and many others. Culturati helps companies build cultures that contribute to success and for its employees & communities to thrive. We aspire to help companies change the world.”

Since its inception, EF member companies have set aside equity in the early stages of their growth. When those companies were acquired or went public, the proceeds of the granted equity were used to create a corporate foundation in the form of a donor-advised fund (DAF). EF managed the equity grants, helped set up the foundations, and advised member companies on strategy end-to-end. EF also provided employee engagement programs to member companies focused on mission-aligned volunteer opportunities.

“We started the Entrepreneurs Foundation in 1999 so that Austin entrepreneurs and their companies would give back to the community from which they launched their successful ventures. In 2001, we expanded into community involvement and volunteer programming, eventually developing leadership projects including a Huston Tillotson strategic plan, a Chestnut neighborhood plan, a breast cancer service organization initiative, reigniting youth entrepreneurship, and the founding of Culturati. Over 300 entrepreneurs & startups have set aside equity for charitable giving and have granted millions of dollars,” said Bill Bock, co-founder & chair of the Entrepreneurs Foundation.

EF today announced an evolution of its DAF program, which will now be managed by Austin Community Foundation. Current equity grants with EF will be transferred to Austin Community Foundation, which stewards more than $400 million in approximately 1,300 charitable funds, and has managed donor-advised funds since its founding in 1977.

“We look forward to the opportunity to build upon the Entrepreneurs Foundation’s work to build a culture of giving among the tech and entrepreneurial community in Austin,” said Mike Nellis, president and CEO of Austin Community Foundation. “We have the tools and creativity to support these companies and their executives in pursuing their social impact goals through charitable giving.”

EF made this announcement just before its annual Poker Invitational, a marquee event for the Austin entrepreneurial ecosystem and a major fundraiser bringing together 200 entrepreneurs, investors and friends for, now, 16 years.

About the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas

The Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas was established in 1999 to engage Austin’s entrepreneurial community in philanthropy through the contributions of startup equity by member companies for eventual charitable giving. Our focus expanded to include team member volunteering and engagement. Our leadership projects have included neighborhood organizing in East Austin, capacity building for Central Texas breast cancer resources, youth entrepreneurship, raising millions for hurricane relief in the US and earthquake relief in Haiti, and the founding of Culturati.

To learn more, please visit: http://www.entrepreneursfoundation.org

About Culturati

Culturati® is a community of CEOs, investors, scholars and other executives who practice & study culture building and share our playbooks. We host open, candid conversations around the country in addition to an annual Culturati Summit where we unite powerhouse speakers, interactive sessions, and engaging workshops so leaders are empowered with the latest research and tactics. We commission research and publish thought leadership: The Culture Book, Vol I: When Culture Clicks; The Culturati Magazine; and the On Culture Newsletter. Our knowledge partners and sponsors include McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, Indeed, Atlassian, NXP, Google, NI, Silicon Labs, DLA Piper, Sailpoint, HEB and more.

To learn more, please visit: http://www.culturatisummit.com

About the Austin Community Foundation

Austin Community Foundation brings together philanthropists, dollars and ideas to build a better Austin today and tomorrow. The Foundation is focused on closing the opportunity gap through research, pooled resources and data-driven grantmaking. Since its founding in 1977, Austin Community Foundation has granted more than $460 million to the community, mostly through donor advised funds.

Learn more at AustinCF.org

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