I never thought I would exit

When British entrepreneur Alex Depledge exited her company, she had no strategy for giving back. Founders Pledge provided accountability and helped her stay true to her values with a few essential services.

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▲ Photo by Getty Images for TechCrunch

Hand on heart, I had never thought about exiting Hassle.com.

Of course I made up some companies that might buy us for my pitch deck, but I hadn’t ever thought I would exit, or what that would mean. So when I did, I actually found it quite traumatic. Oh, I know... first world problems and all that, but here I was - suddenly wealthy - and all I felt was guilt that I didn’t deserve it. Founders Pledge was a balm to that. A strange kind of therapy.

Signing up to Founders Pledge was very real for me because I was negotiating our sale at the same time. It wasn’t some far off event. I gave it very detailed thought and, quite frankly, it turned out to be a no brainer.

What I most liked about the process was I was locked in.

Sounds daft or even slightly scary, I know, but how many times do you think ‘oh I am totally going to do that’ and then it somehow falls down your priority list and you never get around to it. I know if I hadn’t signed a Founders Pledge, that would have been me too.

What I was most surprised about is the level of support I received.

The deployment team listened to what I was most passionate about (Mental Health and Sex Slavery of Women), went away, and then came back with a comprehensive research report that highlighted the best way I could support those charities. They identified the best charities in terms of outcomes, data-driven giving and transparency. I now know that the money I’ve donated will actually help to free women from sexual slavery. That means a lot to me. I know the outcome and the impact I have had. My giving was effective.

What I have been most impressed with is the connection to like-minded, off-the-chart empathetic, thoughtful and in some cases mind-blowingly bright people.

The Founders Pledge dinners host fascinating speakers that have really opened my eyes to how much good and impact even small efforts can have. At Founders Pledge Forum I left with my intellect slightly bruised, but walking taller and more full of hope than I had been in years.

What I am most in love with is David Goldberg. He’s not only wicked smart, so I know my giving is in safe hands, but he has assembled a world-class team around him. He has started a movement - one I am very proud to be a part of!

About the author


Alex Depledge

Founder & CEO of Resi

Alex Depledge is the founder and CEO of Resi, previously co-founder and CEO of Hassle.com. Originally from the North of England, Alex started a career in US Politics in Chicago before returning to the UK as a management consultant at Accenture. Alex made the leap into entrepreneurship in 2012 & is passionate about the UK's tech scene. In 2014 TechCity Insider named Alex ‘Entrepreneur of the Year' following on the heels of her appearance on the ‘Silicon Valley Comes to the UK Scale-up Top 100’ - a list highlighting British entrepreneurs expected to lead their firms to £100m in revenue in three to five years.