150 Companies Pledge to Give Back: The Canadian Startup Community Celebrates Canada150 - Upside Foundation of Canada

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150 Companies Pledge to Give Back: The Canadian Startup Community Celebrates Canada150
July 6, 2017

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When we launched our 150×150 campaign earlier in 2017, our goal was to find 150 companies who are committed to giving back by the end of the year of Canada’s 150th Birthday. When writing a press release in late May announcing that we’d reached the 100 company milestone for Betakit, our PR team at Eighty Eight wrote about our secret, stretch goal to hit this number by Canada Day. We initially pushed back, telling them that this really wasn’t likely to happen. They convinced us that setting the deadline would rally people to action.

And boy were they right.

We surpassed our goal on June 30, 2017- just in time for Canada Day.

The startup community rallied around our goal in a way that was humbling, awe-inspiring, and touching.

The number of times people reached out and picked up the phone to offer to help was astounding.

“I want to help”

“Come speak at my event”

“Who can I call?”

“I’m going to post about this in my group”

“I’m going to send out my newsletter early so I can encourage people to donate in time”

Our goal was to make a statement from the Canadian startup community that says, “This is who we are. We are building great companies that we believe will change the world. And while we do that, we are going to commit to sharing those wins with our communities.” This truly is what being Canadian, and what Canada150, is all about. Success + innovation + kindness + humility. We are so proud to be a part of the community.  So impressed by the founders who have committed to sharing their upside.  So touched by the community leaders who made our mission their mission.

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We’re very proud of the ‘hockey stick’ growth we’ve achieved recently.  Please note that we do not expect our growth to continue to accelerate at this pace- our next 25 companies will take longer than one week to pledge!  

So who are these 50 companies that pledged to give back in June, and where did they come from?

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Thank you to Sunil Sharma, Managing Partner at Extreme Venture Partners and Canada Director at The Founder Institute, for inviting us in to speak with all of The Founder Institute cohorts, and for personally reaching out to over 90 companies to invite them to consider giving back.  Thank you to Douglas Soltys, Founder and Editor in Chief at BetaKit, for baking us into the Betakit150 event so deeply, for pledging to share the upside in BetaKit, and to Jessica Galang, Megan Shay and the entire team for your consistent support.  Thank you to all of our member company CEOs, who reached out to their networks, hosted events, and introduced us to their peers.  In particular, we’d like to thank Ayhan Isaacs, Clayton Magnus, David Bloom, Eric Riz, Erin Bury, Idas Levato, Jaafer Haidar, Jason Smith, Kevin Oulds, Mark Masongsong, Mike Katchen, Rob Klein, Roy Pereira, Sergey Kalnish, Topher Kingsley Williams, and their teams.  Thank you to Jodi Kovitz and the team at AceTech for your relentless support.  Thank you to our committed community supporters, Cassie Ruggiero, Colin Hennigar, Danielle Smith, Katie Paterson, Leah Carr, Nicole LeBlanc, Roger Chabra, Vivian Chan.  Thank you to our community partners who hosted events for us or featured us at their events: Atlantic Venture Forum, CVCA, DMZ, Fundica, Propel ICT, TechTO, Venture Out.  Thank you to our Board Members Alkarim Jivraj, Ben Zifkin, Brent Holliday, Gerry Pond, Mark Skapinker, Rob Antoniades and Steve Abrams for introducing us to founders in their networks.  Thank you to our pro-bono partners who made this campaign successful: Abacus Agency for your leadership of our facebook campaign; Eighty Eight, for your campaign strategy, logo design and PR services; Bennett Jones for hosting events for us and providing special offers to our member companies; KPMG for supporting our events; Lucid Web Group for all of our website updates.

Finally, a huge thank you to those companies who have decided to give back recently.  Kudos to you for sharing your upside!  Some of the companies that decided to give back recently include:

There were many others that supported us along the way- we apologize if we missed anyone! With your help, 2017 has already been a great year, but our work is just beginning. We will continue to work relentlessly to encourage entrepreneurs to give back, make a huge impact for Canada and capitalize on the momentum we have established. Please keep spreading the word, send us your referrals, and help us build or fund the Foundation so that all the money from our company exits go directly to the charities of their choice. All of your efforts are much appreciated.

Happy Canada150!

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