The Upside of supporting mental health care & research

Niraj Bhargava

Niraj Bhargava is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for making a difference in his community. He is the founder and CEO of The New Energy Group and As a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) governance, his company creates solutions to navigate the challenges of delivering ethical and principled AI. In addition to measuring the trustworthiness of AI applications, Niraj also volunteers his time as a member of The Royal’s Board of Directors, and Chair of the Innovation Committee.

“Like so many others, I look to do what I can to support our community,” he says. “When my best friend died by suicide five years ago, I knew that I wanted to support The Royal and mental health. There are many people in our community who are not getting the support they need and deserve.”

One way that Niraj is hoping to make a difference and further his support for patients and families at The Royal is through an organization called The Upside Foundation. 

The Upside Foundation enables founders of early-stage, high-growth Canadian companies, to build social responsibility into their business by pledging equity to the charity of their choice, and join a community of like-minded entrepreneurs.  The team at are inspired by giving back to the community as they work hard to build a start-up success.

Niraj hopes to encourage other entrepreneurs, like himself, who are building companies and want to make a difference in the world, to consider working with The Upside Foundation and choosing a charity that resonates with them.

“The concept of sharing a piece of your equity pie as a contribution is unique and resonates with me and many other founders,” explains Niraj. “Asking us for a big financial donation from our start-up companies isn’t likely in the beginning, but with The Upside Foundation, a gift to our charity of choice could ultimately be much larger in the end.”

The Upside Foundation connected these dots and has created a win-win for both socially conscious entrepreneurs and charities. “Mental health touches all of us,” says Niraj. “There’s so much more we can and should do for mental health in our community. Supporting The Royal is a way to support our friends, family, colleagues and ourselves.” 

We are so grateful to Niraj for his volunteer work with The Royal, for caring about mental healthcare in our community and for planning a meaningful gift to The Royal in this unique way. 

For more information about designating a gift to The Royal, is this or other ways, contact Jamie Inrig, Senior Lead, Corporate Development & Philanthropy, the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental health, at 613-722-6521 x 6587 or email