June 14, 2019
Post-growth startup ROS makes landmark 140k donation to NLnet. A Netherlands based security company (Radically Open Security) is donating 90% of its net profit to an internet charity that supports open source technology and open internet research and development. NLnet was set up by the earliest internet pioneers in Europe in the eighties, to improve the development of the internet.
The landmark donation from the startup made this week is a milestone to both organisations, in a number of ways. Radically Open Security is a not-for-profit computer security company legally established as a 'Fiscaal Fondsenwervende Instelling' (fiscal fundraising institution) in the Netherlands. This enables 90% of all profits to go tax-free to the NLnet Foundation in support of open source technology, digital rights and open internet research.
This is the single largest donation made to NLnet in recent years, states Bob Goudriaan, general director of NLnet.
The NLnet Foundation is thankful for Radically Open Security's sustained support in helping to fix the internet. As an independent grantmaker for over 20 years NLnet has funded a lot of valuable initiatives in terms of internet infrastructure, privacy and security and many key application. This includes amazing projects like Wireguard, ARPA2 and Searxthat make the internet more open, secure and privacy-friendly. Only through donations can we support projects and ideas that rely on public funding and look beyond short-term benefit to build a better internet. Radically Open Security helps us fulfil this mission in a sustainable way."
As the company continues to grow year over year, these donations increase in size and meaningfully support NLnet as a leading independent grantmaker of core internet technology research, software development and standards efforts.
Radically Open Security is extremely proud to support the amazing work of the NLnet Foundation! states Melanie Rieback, ceo and co-founder of Radically Open Security.
Giving 140k euro after our third book year, which is ROS's first profitable year, as the first of our annual (!) donations validates the concept of post-growth entrepreneurship. I hope that this donation will inspire both entrepreneurs, NGO's and charities alike, to view nonprofit business as a potential new revenue stream for funding impact, social and ecological projects. Anyone who wants to brainstorm about this is welcome to reach out to me.
About NLnet Foundation
NLnet Foundation is an independent organisation whose means come from donations and legacies. The history of NLnet goes back to 1982 when a group of Europeans led by former NLnet director and member of the Internet Hall of Fame Teus Hagen announced the European Unix Network (EUnet) which became the first public wide area network in Europe and the place where internet was introduced to Europe. NLnet also pioneered the worlds first dial-in and ISDN infrastructure with full country coverage. In 1997 all commercial activities were sold to UUnet (now Verizon) and since that time NLnet has focused on supporting the open internet and the privacy and security of internet users.
Its private capital ensures an absolute independent position. The articles of association for the NLnet Foundation state: "to promote the exchange of electronic information and all that is related or beneficial to that purpose". NLnet's core business is to support independent organizations and people that contribute to an open information society and to a safe, secure and open internet.
A number of times a year NLnet organises a worldwide open call for projects to be supported. The long list of NLnet-funded projects includes NLnet Labs, Tor project, Unhosted, Qubes, NOMA, Wireguard, Koruza, Serval, Jitsi, ARPA2, , CeroWRT and GNUnet. NLnet currently spearheads NGI Zero, a unique consortium that includes Radically Open Security and funds privacy and trust enhancing technologies and improves search and discovery as part of the Next Generation Internet initiative of the European Commission.
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About Radically Open Security
Radically Open Security (ROS) is the world's first not-for-profit computer security consultancy company. ROS is an award-winning social enterprise with 40+ staff members and 80+ customers, serving the following sectors: government/police, financial, insurance, internet/hosting, energy/water, retail, media, software development, universities, SMEs, startups, and NGOs/nonprofits/civil society (for whom we work on a nonprofit basis). ROS' core values have birthed the "Peek Over Our Shoulder" style of penetration testing, bringing unprecedented transparency to a traditionally "black box" service offering.
ROS is also a highly successful prototype of a Nonprofit Business. We are providing an example of non-extractive "post growth entrepreneurship" with ethics by design — prohibiting dividends, investors, and exits, and re-envisioning business as a vehicle for pure positive impact. In 2018, we started Nonprofit Ventures, the world's first post-growth startup incubator, where we are working with (aspiring) social entrepreneurs to bootstrap their own post-growth startups. We also co-developed a "Post-Growth Entrepreneurship" course (piloted, June 2019) in the School of Business and Economics of the Vrije Universiteit (Free University of Amsterdam).
The Chamber of Commerce ranked Radically Open Security as the 50th most innovative SME in the Netherlands. CIO Magazine called ROS's CEO, Dr. Melanie Rieback, the "Most Innovative IT Leader" of the Netherlands (TIM Award 2017). The European Council also named Dr. Rieback one of the 8 Most Innovative Women in the European Union (EU Prize for Women Innovators 2019).
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