Alexandre Mars, How Epic Foundation Innovates Philanthropy
As with any startup opportunity, when the serial and successful tech entrepreneur Alexander Mars decided in 2013 to tackle philanthropy, he had to identify the market gap. Turns out, he already knew it: The disconnect, as he describes, between how much we want to give and how much we actually give.The challenge, of course: How to bridge the gap. Mars’ answer: Just like a business.He gathered specialists in international development, social impact, open innovation, design thinking and technology to develop an industry-leading due diligence process to build and manage a portfolio of high impact social organizations.Beyond the intense due diligence, Epic also leverages startup and business thinking into its fundraising and donor relations, from integrating into corporations’ payroll systems to enable voluntary and automated employee giving to using virtual reality technology to bring the on-site philanthropy experiences to life.The result is Epic, a global non-profit investing in nearly 30 organizations in more than 10 countries, including groups that provide free legal and social support advocacy to abused and neglected children in New York, intervene in Mumbai’s red light areas to end intergenerational trafficking, run children’s hospice in the UK, and others.More about Epic’s CEO and Founder Alexandre Mars, who over the past 20 years has launched and sold multiple companies in the internet, mobile marketing and social media industries, as well as founding blisce/, a venture firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build mission-driven global consumer brands and technology companies.In what appears to be his spare time, the French native was named among Town & Country’s Top 50 philanthropists, and among “the 50 most influential French people” by Vanity Fair. In 2019, he was named a knight of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest civilian award order.