Founder & CEO, Epic Foundation
Alexandre Mars is a serial entrepreneur and an engaged philanthropist.
Over the last 15 years, he has successfully launched and sold several companies in Europe and North America across diverse business sectors, including venture capital, Internet, mobile marketing, social media and advertising. His two latest startups, Phonevalley (the world’s largest mobile agency) and ScrOOn (a social media management system) were sold to Publicis Groupe and Blackberry, respectively.
At 17, Alexandre started his first venture: a concert promotion firm. At 21, he founded one of Europe’s first web agencies while continuing his studies at the HEC Paris business school and Paris Dauphine University. He ran his own venture fund, Mars Capital, from 1998-2001.
In 2001, Alexandre created Phonevalley and within just a few years, he drove the company to become the largest mobile marketing agency in Europe. Publicis Groupe, the third largest communications group in the world, acquired Phonevalley in 2007 and established the firm as its official worldwide mobile marketing and advertising entity.
Following his success at Phonevalley, Alexandre seized another emerging communications opportunity: the social media revolution. Recognizing its potential, he launched ScrOOn which was acquired by Blackberry in 2013 to be used as the underlying technology for monetizing its popular BBM product.
In 2013, Alexandre reached a turning point. Upon selling ScrOOn, he realized he was uniquely positioned to leverage the skills and experiences he had gained to follow his early ambitions of becoming a social leader. As a result, he founded Epic Foundation to bridge the gap between a new generation of individual and corporate donors and organizations supporting children and youth globally.
Understanding the demands of a new socially conscious generation, he created Epic as a platform for donors to engage in their charity through technology, allowing them to select, monitor and experience their impact. Alexandre is injecting new momentum into the world of philanthropy by shattering outdated restrictions to the act of giving. By manipulating what has traditionally been consumer technology, he is giving donors a chance to see the reach of their donations, ultimately driving them towards a two-way relationship with their charity.
Besides being regularly quoted by the Financial Times, Le Monde and the Wall Street Journal, Alexandre has spoken at a number of global forums and events including: Web Summit (Lisbon), YPO (Vancouver), SXSW (Austin) and WSJDLive (LA), where his expertise in tech innovation and leadership in philanthropy help others better understand contemporary trends and challenges. Alexandre is a regular guest contributor on BFMTV, France’s most watched news network and an active member of the Global Philanthropists Circle at Synergos, Young Presidents’ Organization and Nexus.
In 2015, he was named one of New York City’s top 20 philanthropists under 40 by the New York Observer. In 2016, he was awarded EUROPE 1’s prestigious Trophée de l’Avenir as “Personality of the Future.”
Alexandre lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children whom he enjoys traveling with. He is also passionate about sports. A devoted practitioner of mixed martial arts and avid runner- has run both the Paris and New York City Marathons- he was appointed Chair of the 28-member Sport and Society Committee, as part of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Bid Committee.