Foundups – People centred business with a social purpose as an alternative to venture capital’s startups

The startup culture has become pervasive in this society. Capital is drawn to startups because they promise fast growth and big returns on investment. Their business plans are all about growing and making money. There is only one catch: Most of them are increasing inequality and are contributing to the destruction of our environment.

In counterpoint, Michael Trout and his team are creating people centred ‘foundups’, businesses with a social purpose and an attention to environmental concerns. They are also working on a mobile app to allow anyone to launch them.

Here is a video (15 min) where Michael Trout explains the difference between a foundup and a startup.

Explaining how startups and foundups differ

Foundups is a social experiment to usher in an new open P2P business model that will create P2P open corporations – a way to usher in The Empathic Civilisation?

“By transforming the startup into the foundup we can change everything.”

The page, hosted on patreon, explains the concept in more detail.

Patreon is, as the name implies, a site that lets you sponsor a worthy cause, become a patron of the arts or of social initiatives, such as foundups.

We can and we are building the decentralized framework to bring it about called foundups. The solution is simple… In order for us to usher in a new world paradigm we need to transform the selfish, centralized, top-down, closed startup, of the few for the benefit of a few, into an open one for the People by the People that we call “foundups.” Simple put… Transform the centralized startup into decentralized foundups and we can save humanity and the 50% of species that are slated for extinction by as early as 2050.

2 Comments Foundups – People centred business with a social purpose as an alternative to venture capital’s startups

  1. MIchael J. Trout

    Thanks for sharing foundups Sepp. Foundups seeks to help usher in a new p2p paradigm shift that is currently under way and recently referred to as the collaborative commons business model that Jeremy Rifkin talks about in his recent book as “The Zero Marginal Cost Society.” The goal of foundups is to replace startups as the leading way ideas are launched. The definition of foundups is constantly being discovered. What I am realized very recently is foundups is not based on “what” or “how”… but “why.” Why foundups is important is because our planet systems, anyway you slice it, are crashing. “How” we need a new person centered, bottom-up, selfless, open, business model that replaces the current paradigm of “success = to capital to capital” to simply “success = crowd validated idea.” Foundups are selfless. What does this mean? Well, it means that it will use a kind “distributed crowdfunding” to help fund many foundups and it introduces “passive crowdfunding” that will turn like, follows, shares into $ to help seed more foundups. What makes foundups very interesting is 1) they are individual driven 2) they level-up and have the potential to become kind of open Google that re-invest 80% of their netprofits and capital gains launching more foundups via a proposed ethereum PLAY FOUNDUPS app that we are raising funds to code via patreon (

    Here is an unlisted talk of mine.

  2. Jeff Mowatt

    The 1996 paper for people-centered approach to economic development described this business model, saying:

    “The P-CED concept is to create new businesses that do things differently from their inception, and perhaps modify existing businesses that want to do it. This business model entails doing exactly the same things by which any business is set up and conducted in the free-market system of economics. The only difference is this: that at least fifty percent of profits go to stimulate a given local economy, instead of going to private hands. In effect, the business would operate in much the same manner as a charitable, non-profit organization whose proceeds go to local, national, and international charities. Non-profits, however, are typically very restricted in the type of business they can conduct. In the United States, all non-profits must constantly pay heed that they are not violating those restrictions, lest they suffer the wrath of the Internal Revenue Service. For-profits, on the other hand, have a relatively free hand when it comes to doing business. The only restrictions are the normal terms and conditions of free-enterprise. If a corporation wants to donate to its local community, it can do so, be it one percent, five percent, fifty or even seventy percent. There is no one to protest or dictate otherwise, except a board of directors and stockholders. This is not a small consideration, since most boards and stockholders would object. But, if an a priori arrangement has been made with said stockholders and directors such that this direction of profits is entirely the point, then no objection can emerge. Indeed, the corporate charter can require that these monies be directed into community development funds, such as a permanent, irrevocable trust fund. The trust fund, in turn, would be under the oversight of a board of directors made up of corporate employees and community leaders.”

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