The two co-founders of email marketing company iContact have donated $270,000 to entrepreneurial support group CED, the largest single one-time gift in the organization's history.
The entrepreneurs, Ryan Allis and Aaron Houghton, made good on pledges they made in 2003 while they were students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They pledged stock in their then-fledging company, which at the time was called Broadwick but later became iContact, after they made a presentation to investors at CED's annual venture conference, said spokesman Jason Parker.
IContact was acquired at the end of February by a publicly traded Maryland company, Vocus, in a deal valued at $169 million. That deal made the stock that Allis and Houghton pledged to CED a liquid asset.
Houghton, 30, donated $150,000 and Allis, 27, donated $120,000. Triangle-based CED has received larger donations, but they were spread out over time, Parker said.
"It is especially gratifying to see successful entrepreneurs support an organization designed to help the next generation of entrepreneurs start and grow their business," Joan Siefert Rose, CED's president, said in a statement.
Allis and Houghton have long been active in CED, including serving on its board of directors.
Allis and Houghton also donated $1.2 million to create a foundation that will provide scholarships for children of iContact employees over the next 30 years in the wake of the sale of iContact.
Allis, who was iContact's CEO, has remained with the business as president of the iContact unit of Vocus, Houghton, who was iContact's executive chairman, said in an interview when the sale was announced that he was "moving on and working on a new startup in downtown Durham."