San Francisco, CA

The San Francisco "super angel" giving away millions

Ash Jurberg

Ron Conway has been described as a "super angel."

He has been an early investor in many successful startups that have earned him a fortune. But what sets this super angel apart from others is that he has pledged to give it all away.

Let's take a look at his story.

The San Francisco "super angel" giving away millions

Ron Conway was born in San Francisco in 1951 and earned a degree in Political Science from San Jose University.

He worked for numerous organizations before founding Altos Computer Systems in 1979. He took Altos public in 1982. In the mid-'90s, he founded SV Angel, an angel investor in companies such as Google, Airbnb, GitHub, Poshmark, and Zenefits. He has also invested in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Slack, and Snapchat.

His ability to invest in successful companies has led to a million-dollar fortune. And he has pledged to give it away.

The Giving Pledge

When Altos went public, Conway founded the Altos Foundation, which pioneered support for domestic violence shelters and preventative efforts. Conway also began donating locally to schools and then to Bay Area children’s hospitals.

In 2020, together with his wife Gayle, Ron Conway signed the Giving Pledge, in which he promised to give away the majority of his fortune while he was still alive.

SV Angel was fortunate to be an early investor in Google. The day our Google investment first became liquid, half went directly to charitable commitments -- not to a personal foundation or donor advised fund sitting on investments for years, waiting for direction. As my successes grew, my charitable commitments have grown and today, we are humbled to be able to join the Giving Pledge.

Much of his philanthropic support has been to organizations in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

This includes the UCSF Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, Hamilton Families, which works to end homelessness, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, and support towards helping first responders and health care workers.

Gayle and I are delighted to join the Giving Pledge in the hope that we can inspire others to engage in philanthropic efforts. We're proud to join so many others in the tech community in making this commitment. Now more than ever, philanthropy is needed to help solve societal issues like income inequality, gun violence, access to healthcare, and racial injustice that are polarizing our nation."

Readers, what do you think of Ron Conway's pledge? What other organizations in San Francisco would you like to see him support?

Please leave your comments below.

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